Maldivian school text books, sermons and other published materials on Islam breed hatred and Islamic fundamentalism, says rights NGO, Maldivian Democracy Network (MDN).
The report, which is the first of its kind, analyzed text books used in Maldives for primary and secondary education in order to identify the prevalence of radical narratives in the mainstream academic discourse.
The report noted that the school text books cultivate anti-Semitism and xenophobia, and glorify Jihad or war against those who allegedly “obstruct” Islam.
All Maldivian students are required to take Islam as one of the four compulsory subjects, alongside Dhivehi, English and Mathematics from first grade through twelfth grade.
Islamic studies text books are prepared by specialists at the ministry of education and approved by the ministry of Islamic affairs.
The government is struggling to prevent an outflow of Maldivians seeking to join the civil wars in the Middle-East. The police in January said over 50 individuals have left the country, while the opposition puts the number at 200.
In addition to analyzing text books, the human rights NGO held public forums in several islands to ascertain whether the public view human rights and Islam to be compatible, and conducted interviews with Islamic ministry officials and heads of schools.
In the eleventh grade Islamic studies text book, jihad is defined as “to endeavor greatly,” or “to bravely confront enemies,” and the definition is supported with verses from the Qur’an and prophetic verses or Hadith that stress the importance of a ‘Holy War.’
MDN noted that two whole pages of the book were dedicated to “fruits” of Jihad, claiming that the ultimate fruit of Jihad is martyrdom, for which the reward in Islam is an eternity in heaven.
The text book claims that Muslims who hesitate to perform this “obligatory religious duty have produced bitter results in the past and it will continue to do so if left undone.”
“These discussions fuel hatred an depict the religion as one that is set on building hegemony,” read the MDN report.
An autobiography of a Maldivian man, who was killed while waging Jihad at Syria posted by Bilad-al-Sham media group, claimed that many students studying at the main secondary school, Center of Higher Secondary Education, had chosen to engage in Jihad.
“Though it has a secular curriculum, so far from that very school has come out many shining stars in the path of Jihad and students whose hears filled with the love of Islam. Allah Akbar!” read the biography of Abu Dujanah, who reportedly died in battle in Syria in September 2014.
Us vs. Them
MDN noted that Islamic textbooks for grade one, two and three contain material instilling love for Islam and rarely incites hatred through xenophobic narratives.
“However, from grade four onwards the xenophobic material gradually increases to the point where the radical outweighs the moderate,” the report read.
In the grade five textbook, Jews are described as “devious people” who “do not hold any value to their promises”, leading to stereotyping and has made anti-Semitism the norm in the Maldives.
The text books also incite hate against pagan religions and other Abrahamic religions, and depicts all Islamic Sects expect the Sunni sect as “heresies.”
“For Instance, the grade nine text books dictates a lesson on “deceivers” or “liars” from the Muslim world or Ummah,” read the report.
The books describe the Ahmadiyya sect as a “plot by the British to destroy Islamic Unity,” and says Muslims educated in the West, or Muslims who speak for secularism are considered co-conspirators with the West to undermine Islam.
“Due to the prevalence of these radical ideas, the text books fail to primarily instill a positive interpretation of Islam that is manifested in the  Maldivian Constitution,” concluded the report.
Meanwhile, the ninth grade text book appears to dismiss women’s rights and feminism as part of a ‘western agenda.”
The tenth grade textbook says “slaves must work tirelessly to fulfill their masters needs,” and the eleventh grade textbook outlines discriminatory penalties under Islamic penal provisions for victims of a crime if they are a slave or a non-believer.
“Such discriminatory and racialist attitudes in relation to religion should not be endorsed by educational literature in the modern world where slavery has been abolished,” the report read.
MDN recommends the removal of “discriminatory content” from school books in order to create tolerance and good will to all members of the globalized world.
The assessment was conducted with the assistance of Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives from December 2014 to March 2015.
15 thoughts on “Islam text books in Maldives breed hatred and fundamentalism, says NGO”
No Muslim has the right to change what is in the Quran/Hadhith, so what?
Looks like some people already did that.
Just ask Ali Hameed.
"Islamic studies text books are prepared by specialists at the ministry of education and approved by the ministry of Islamic affairs."
What are the specific academic qualifications of these so called "specialists"? Let me guess, they hold "doctorates" in sharia along with grade 6 (at best) level academic "competence" in infidel subjects like English, maths, geography and science. The beardo weirdos think a PhD in sharia is an actual academic qualification!
MDN needs to learn about quran and islam a lot , b4 criticizing
The only people taking the wrong meaning or the unintended meaning of these books are these 'researchers' themselves. This is exactly the type of literal meaning that those anti-islam ignorants of the west would take. As one of the few ways of promoting Islam to children directly, these books should indeed show the greatness and the fruits of Jihaadh, which by the way, we did not make up, but is revealed in the holy Qur'an itself. These text books are merely quoting the words of Allah in his book. And yes, the Jews have been liars and cheaters and bitter enemies of muslims since prophet Muhamed and believe it or not are still, so describing them as such in the grade 5 book is not promoting anti-semitism, but rather raising awareness of the sad truth. And, i dont see the problem of showing what happened to betrayers of islam."Meanwhile, the ninth grade text book appears to dismiss women’s rights and feminism as part of a ‘western agenda.” "... to this i say, so? Is that not correct? All I see as the point of this article is to promote the hatred for islam in the Maldives, so i would urge ngo to stop making up such lies, and ask Allah for forgiveness of doing such a misleading and bad job
I think MDN should first learn how to transliterate Quran before writing such articles. Yes, it does say slaves must follow the commands of their masters but i think you're forgetting that Islam called for the slaves to be freed and condemned slavery
I believe that this is indeed a very important report in the Maldivian history for the reason that many people would benefit a great deal from this report as it serves as a very insightful example of how certain people could distort the truth by extracting bits and pieces out of context.
what this crooks can translate. most of Maldivian mullahs, judges are illiterate and self made.most of them educations level is not more then grade 2nd. for the few hundereds of rufiya. there ready to give coat judgements and translate Qur'an also in the way our tyrants required.
If you want teach Islam, it is better to teach the true history of Islam, Islamic conquest, Umayyad dynasty, integrating Byzantine governing system and learning through conquest and traveling, mastering astronomy to travel and to find direction of Mecca for praying , introducing lunar calendar to follow moths for fasting in Ramadhan . Translating Greek and Persian books in to Arabic and ultimate split in dispute of succeeding caliphate and subsequent civil wars, and killings. The origin of wahhabsim to follow Bedouin culture rejecting science and advancement through history.
There is no glory to teach wrong history, creating imaginary enemies like Jews, Christians. Umayyad dynasty had Christians and Jews in his government.
This here is a western radical who has hatred for Muslims and Islam.
I feel like most of the idiots who write these books have probably never even met a Jew, Christian, Shia or Ahmadi muslim. And yet they think they know so much about those people. It's really like saying that all muslims are terrorists!
1. Jihaadh is not only done through means of warfare. Jihaadh against one's evil desire, jihaadh of tongue and that of spending wealth in good ways are also there. Declaration of war is only done so in order to protect the people, wealth and family. May I remind you that Jihaadh through warfare is also the last resort, are saying that us Muslims should just stand back while the evil non-muslims (Im not saying all non-muslims) take over what is ours? These textbooks also contain the dont's of warfare, DONT kill innocent people, DONT kill people who surrendered, DONT destroy homes, religous places(of ANY belief), DONT cut down trees. Why didn't you include these parts in your report? In order to encourage the defense of the true belief, Allah has provided virtues to those who engage in war jihaadh. BUT, it is also worth mentioning that the books focus more on the jihaadh against one's evil desire, and raises it higher than jihaadh through war.
2. Even 'Murica is at debt to the Jewish banking cartels who have an overwhelming influence in world policy, they rose to their status after pursuing Riba, which is one of the biggest sins. Jews have repeatedly caused major problems inthe Middle East, breaking agreements, "assassinating" scientists and Arab political figures. They have lied to the whole world, getting sympathy for their suffering during WW2, raising the death tolls at German concentration camps through propaganda , all to snatch the land of Palestine. and I feel happy that these text books have warned me about their intentions before I saw these actions on the news.
Lets hope you post this comment,.....
So this article is radicalizing people against Musims and inciting hatred and intolerance with such none sense. Representing authentic teaching of Islam as radical ideas and intolerance towards hit. Quran already teaches what you harbor inside you. And that is the same hatred found here for the religion of Islam.
It's been a while since I went through school, and I imagine things must be a bit changed now, because I went uncased of any violent needs to wipe out the others.
In my opinion ideologies in today's world are on the fast (i.e the Internet) track they have no borders. And really apart from the recent radicalization mostly by mullahs being indoctrinated from abroad come back and create a flock. Apart from that the xenophobio of Maldivians is a thousand year product. A thousand year of inbreeding and small Island living. Muslim Maldivians are xenophobes towards other Muslims as well. Dhivehi people from a certain island and regions are xenephobes towards other Dhivehi islanders and regions lol... yeah its inbred.
I advocate openness and love of the other as well but really the Report takes up misnomer words and biased angle at times. Take for instance the use of the misnomer word anti-semite, it might be ok in the west but around here semite is known as peoples from middle eastern and north Africans who are Semites, not a biggie but really in the early days of Islams it was not the jew ie groups who where following now what is known as Judaic religion who got the harshest treatment. It was manly the non Semitic, like the Byzentines and the Persians. The poor Persians and other central Asian groups the most because they were not followers of the book.
To be fair as abhorrent a practice it is (in today's standards) other religions like Christianity Judaism (even throw in Hindusim into the mix) did not abolish slavery, Judaism is even pro Slavery in the Thalmud. It was the norm of the day, heck back in those days there were cases of voluntary slavitude. but I agree slavery of any form of slavery must be portrait as a vile practice indeed in any text book.
Apart from that I will tell what will happen now to MDN. No politician would touch anything MDN with a barge pole, manly because how the report was worded and framed.
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