Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi orders removal of the Qur’an from school textbooks
The Middle Eastern country has been seeing an upsurge in deadly attacks for several years by militants affiliated with Daesh, despite Sisi's campaigns against the group.
The Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, is causing a lot of controversy by ordering education officials to restrict verses from the Qur’an in Islamic textbooks.
According to the Ministry of Education, Sisi has ordered education officials to remove the same verses from all other subjects’ textbooks.
Meanwhile, Sisi has also demanded the Ministry of Education only allow “moderate” schoolteachers to teach Islamic texts to pupils at the country’s schools.
“This aims to combat extremism and stop extremists from teaching religion to the pupils,” Reda Hegazi, the deputy minister of education, said.
The Egyptian president’s commands are the latest in a series of efforts that his administration says are aimed at fighting “extremism.”
The Middle Eastern country has been seeing an upsurge in deadly attacks for several years by militants affiliated with Daesh, despite Sisi’s campaigns against the group.
Sisi has demanded educational and religious officials, especially in al-Azhar, to reform the school curricula and purge books of religious content that militants have allegedly used in justifying their attacks.
Al-Azhar, one of the highest seats of Sunni Islamic learning, says it is revising its schools and colleges’ curricula to remove content it deems problematic.
However, now, it is the turn of the schools supervised by the Ministry of Education to reform their curricula.
The schools directed by the Ministry of Education, numbering around 50,000, lay stress on sciences.
In contrast, the schools and institutes of al-Azhar, around 65,000, place stress on religious studies.
Nonetheless, the textbooks taught at the schools supervised by the Ministry of Education contain many references to the Qur’an, sometimes quoting verses from the holy book and sayings of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.
‘Respect for all religions’
The Ministry of Education says it will include lessons about Christianity in the school curricula.
Moreover, it is also considering a proposal for suspending Islam’s teachings as a separate subject.
Alternatively, the ministry says, a book containing the beliefs shared by all religions’ adherents will be taught to students of all religions in all educational stages.
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