Pakistani Textbooks are damaging the fundamental rights of religious minorities. By Professor Anjum James Paul

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The Constitution of Pakistan 1973 guarantees fundamental rights to all citizens of Pakistan but Pakistani textbooks are promoting the culture of discrimination, intolerance and biases through letting down the religious minorities and especially Christianity and Christians, Hindu religion and Hindus and Sikhs who have played vital role in the creation and construction of Pakistan. The lives and properties of religious minorities are insecure. There is desecration of their Holy Books and places of worships. They are forcibly converted violating Article 22 of the Constitution of Pakistan. There are extra judicial killings of the minorities. The residences of the minorities are burnt to ashes. They are burnt alive. Their minor girls are abducted, raped, forcibly converted and married. There is desecration of the marriages that belong to the minority community. There are biased and discriminatory laws against the minorities. They cannot sell edible items. There is recruitment from the majority for the post of sanitary workers but they do not perform their duties and the minority employees have to perform even their duties. The students of the minorities have to face discrimination in the educational institutions. They have been kept deprived to get their religious education while majority students are not only taught religion in the book of religion but also in the social and physical sciences as well.
It is utmost need of the time to revise the curriculum and the textbooks that violate the constitution of Pakistan. Pakistan Minorities Teachers’ Association {PMTA) demands the concerned quarters to abolish all the biased material from the curriculum and the textbooks and to place the educationists from the minorities along with the majority educationists in designing the curriculum and developing the textbooks. Teachings about any Religion or its personalities must be the part of only that textbook which is to be taught to the followers of that particular religion. There must not be comparison between or among religions at any cost. There must be lessons on peace, human rights, human dignity, social harmony, tolerance, acceptance and peaceful co-existence in the textbooks.
Some of the fundamental rights from the constitution of Pakistan are presented below and in the end references have been presented from the textbooks of Pakistan published with the No Objection Certificate of the National Book Foundation Islamabad, Punjab Textbook Board Lahore, Sindh Textbook Board Jamshoro, Balochistan Textbook Board Quetta and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Textbook Board Peshawar.
Fundamental Rights in the Constitution of Pakistan 1973
Article 9. Security of person.
No person shall be deprived of life or liberty save in accordance with law.
Article 10. Inviolability of dignity of man, etc.
(1) The dignity of man and, subject of law, the privacy of home, shall be inviolable.
Article 18. Freedom of trade, business or profession.
Subject to such qualifications, if any, as may be prescribed by law, every citizen shall have the right to enter upon any lawful profession or occupation, and to conduct any lawful trade or business:
Article 20. Freedom to profess religion and to manage religious institutions.
Subject to law, public order and morality:-
(a) every citizen shall have the right to profess, practice and propagate his religion; and
(b) every religious denomination and every sect thereof shall have the right to establish, maintain and manage its religious institutions.
Article 22. Safeguards as to educational institutions in respect of religion, etc.
(1) No person attending any educational institution shall be required to receive religious instruction, or take part in any religious ceremony, or attend religious worship, if such instruction, ceremony or worship relates to a religion other than his own.
(2) In respect of any religious institution, there shall be no discrimination against any community in the granting of exemption or concession in relation to taxation.
(3) Subject to law:
(a) no religious community or denomination shall be prevented from providing
religious instruction for pupils of that community or denomination in any educational institution maintained wholly by that community or denomination; and
(b) no citizen shall be denied admission to any educational institution receiving aid from public revenues on the ground only of race, religion, caste or place of birth.
(4) Nothing in this Article shall prevent any public authority from making provision for the advancement of any socially or educationally backward class of citizens.
Article 24. Protection of property rights.
(1) No person shall be compulsorily deprived of his property save in accordance with law.
Article 25. Equality of citizens.
(1) All citizens are equal before law and are entitled to equal protection of law.
(2) There shall be no discrimination on the basis of sex
(3) Nothing in this Article shall prevent the State from making any special provision for the protection of women and children.
Article 27. Safeguard against discrimination in services.
(1) No citizen otherwise qualified for appointment in the service of Pakistan shall be discriminated against in respect of any such appointment on the ground only of race, religion, caste, sex, residence or place of birth:
Some references from the Pakistani textbooks are presented below that violate the fundamental rights of the minority religions and the followers of the minority religions;
LETTING DOWN THE HOLY BOOKS, RELIGIONS AND PERSONALITIES
GENERAL KNOWLEDGE
Grade-II
Third Print 2014
Code STE-495
Publisher: National Book Foundation Islamabad
Lesson 20
DEVELOPING A GOOD CHARACTER
Hazrat Isa (A.S)
There are many changes made by people in Bible and Taurah. But Quran is the only holy book which will remain unchanged. Allah Almighty Himself is its protector (Page 117, Lines 11-13)
History 6
Year of Publication Edition Impression
Jan.2013 Ist Ist
Published by: Kitabistan Publishing Company
38- Urdu Bazar, Lahore
Chapter No.3 Muslims in South Asia-i
PRACTICAL ACTIVITIES
Students present in the class, the conversation between Sultan Mahmood Ghaznavi and worshippers of Somnath. (Page 44, Lines 17-19)
EVERYDAY ENGLISH 7
For Class VII
Edition Month & Year of Publication
First January- 2014
Publisher: Sindh Textbook Board, Jamshoro
UNIT 8 TARIQ BIN ZIAD
LESSON 1 TARIQ BIN ZIAD AS A MILITARY HERO
The ruler of Spain was a wicked man. (Page 49, Line 9)
PREACHING CHRISTIANITY IN ISLAMIC WAY
General Knowledge 2
Date of Printing Edition Impression
March 2013 Ist 2nd
Prepared & Published by: G.F.H. Publishers, Lahore
Unit 21
Developing A Good Character
Some vicious persons among his people imprisoned him in a house and planned to murder him but Allah Almighty lifted him to the sky alive. He (A.S.) will revisit the world and preach the people the religion of Allah Almighty. (Page 127, Lines 8-11)
DESECRATION OF PLACES OF WORSHIP
Textbook of
HISTORY 6
Second Edition 2013
ISBN 978-969-37-05567-6
Publisher: National Book Foundation Islamabad
Chapter No.3
MUSLIMS IN SOUTH ASIA-I
The capture of Somnath is considered to be the crowning glory of his South Asian campaigns. The Shiva temple of Somnath in Gujrat Kathiawar was very famous throughout the country. In 1026 A.D, the Sultan rushed through Ajmer and suddenly appeared before the gates of Somnath. All neighbouring Rajput rulers gathered their forces to protect the temple but they were defeated. The Sultan entered the temple and with one blow shattered the idol into pieces. Sultan Mahmud died in 1030. A.D. (Page 57, Lines 13-19)
BIASES AGAINST CHRISTIANS
History 7
Date of Printing
March 2013
Publisher: Al- Faisal Nashran,
Ghazni Street Urdu Bazar, Lahore
CHAPTER: 5
MUGHAL EMPIRE: ASCENDANCY OF THE BRITISH
Muslims and Hindus were annoyed by interference of the British in their faith matters. British preachers also showed non-respectful attitude for sacred personalities of other religions. (Page 129, Lines 15-17)
BIASES AGAINST HINDUS
Pakistan Studies 9
Date of Printing Edition Impression
Mar. 2013 Ist Ist
Publisher: G.F.H. Publishers
Chapter 4: History of Pakistan (Part-I)
Negative Role of Hindu Teachers
After the establishment of Pakistan, the government failed to inculcate and create the spirit of Pakistani nationalism. On the other hand Pakistan’s opponent group succeeded in continuing their negative activities. Unfortunately, Bengali Muslims had always been backward in education than Hindus. Therefore, Hindu teachers were in majority in schools who turnished the minds of new generation with the idea of Bengali nationalism. They prepared them to rebel against the ideology of Pakistan. It paved the way for getting separation from West Pakistan. . (Page 126, Lines 5-12)
BIASES AGAINST SIKHS
History 7
Date of Printing
March 2013
Publisher: Al- Faisal Nashran,
Ghazni Street Urdu Bazar, Lahore
Chapter 5:
MUGHAL EMPIRE: ASCENDANCY OF THE BRITISH
7 RISE OF THE SIKHS, MARHATAS AND RAJPUTS:
Because of the poor governance of the Mughals, Sikhs looted the masses of Punjab for several years and also caused a great loss to the lives and property of Muslims. Even in this catastrophic situation, they did not try to take any corrective measures. (Page 106, Lines 16-20)
BIASES AGAINST CIVILIZATIONS
History 7
Date of Printing
March 2013
Publisher: Al- Faisal Nashran,
Ghazni Street Urdu Bazar, Lahore
CHAPTER: 5
MUGHAL EMPIRE: ASCENDANCY OF THE BRITISH
In 1835 AD, the official status of Persian was abolished and English was adopted as official language. This affected the Muslim population more severely as compared to Hindus. The whole fabric of Muslim society was destroyed, and consequently they reacted with rage. (Page 130, Lines 6-10)
COMPARISON BETWEEN AND AMONG RELIGIONS
History 7
Date of Printing
March 2013
Publisher: Al- Faisal Nashran,
Ghazni Street Urdu Bazar, Lahore
CHAPTER 3:
MUGHAL EMPIRE: SOCIO-CULTURAL CONDITIONS
Muslim society was based on the principle of human equality and brotherhood. These principles were new for in Hindu society, because they were divided in a brutal caste system which condemned Sudras to a lowest status. Just and equitable system of Islam impressed the Hindus deeply.(Page 69, Lines 25-27 and Page 70, Line 1)
DIVIDING PAKISTANI NATION ON THE BASIS OF RELIGION
ENGLISH
GRADE -V
First Edition 2014
Code No. STE-514
Publisher: National Book Foundation Islamabad
Unit: 1
PLAG OF PAKISTAN
The colours selected for the flag are symbolic. The dark green colour represents majority of Muslim community and the one-fourth stripe at the mast depicts religious minorities in the country.(Page 1, Lines 12-16)
PREACHING OF ISLAM
General Knowledge
Class-I
Code No. BP/G-O/45(O)
Publisher: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Textbook Board Peshawar
Chapter 1 Our Allah
Activity
All children should memorize the Kalima-e- Tayyiba, Tawuz and Tasmiya and recite these to their teacher (Page 1, Lines 10-13)
PROMOTION OF MUSLIM IDENTITY
English 4
Year Edition
2014 Ist
Code No. E-4/320
Balochistan Textbook Board, Quetta
Unit No.13 Days of the Week
On Friday: I go to school. After school I go to the mosque for Juma Prayers. (Page 55, Lines 17-18)
TEACHINGS ON CONVERSION TO ISLAM
Textbook of
HISTORY 6
Second Edition 2013
ISBN 978-969-37-05567-6
Publisher: National Book Foundation Islamabad
Chapter No.5
SOCIO-CULTURAL DEVELOPMENTS
When the Muslim kings were busy in the consolidation of their rule in South Asia, there were some Sufis (saints) who were quietly propagating the cause of Islam by their personal example of pious life. Thousands of the non- Muslims accepted Islam at the hands of these pious men and thus they played a major role in the cultural development of the country. (Page 111, Lines 4-9)
RELIGIOUS IDENTITY OF ONLY MUSLIMS
EVERYDAY ENGLISH
For Class VIII
Edition Month & Year of Publication
Ist Feb.2014
Publisher: Sindh Textbook Board, Jamshoro
UNIT 1 PROPHET MUHAMMAD (Peace Be Upon Him)
TEACHER: What do we have to do to be a good Muslim?
YOU: We have to be honest and trust-worthy to become a good Muslim. (Page 2, Lines 8-10)
DIGNITY OF MUSLIMS
Pakistan Studies 10
Edition Impression Dated
Ist Ist March 2013
Publisher: Gohar Publishers
11- Urdu bazar Lahore
Chapter 8: Population, Society and culture of Pakistan
Commonalities in Regional Cultures Leading to National Integration and Cohesion
The effects of Islamic values
There are effects of Islamic values thriving in South Asian cultures on regional cultures of Pakistan. The Muslims coming to South Asia gave the people their values, the central ones of which are a new way of life, brotherhood, equality, social justice and honesty. These new values appealed to the local people who were in the grip of a caste system. In a short span of time Islam spread to all corners of South Asia. Today these regional cultural similarities are a source of integration and cohesion. (Page 106, Lines 5-13)
WRONG INFORMATION
A textbook of
ENGLISH
GRADE -VII
2nd Edition 2014
Code E508
Publisher: National Book Foundation Islamabad
Unit 3
Pakistan: Geographical Glimpse
The Islamic Republic of Pakistan emerged on the world map on August 14, 1947 as a new state (Page 30, Lines 1-3)
Note: - The official name of this state was Pakistan when it emerged on August 14, 1947
NEED TO UPDATE INFORMATION
ENGLISH
GRADE -V
First Edition 2014
Code No. STE-514
Publisher: National Book Foundation Islamabad
Unit: 5 YOUNG HERO
ARFA KARIM RANDHAWA
Her ancestral village in Faisalabad will be developed as a model village to recognize her remarkable achievement (Page 47, Lines 19-21)
Updated: Arfa Karim was born in Chak No 4 Ram Diwali; a village in the district of Faisalabad. The village will be developed as a model village to recognize her remarkable achievement.
Note: It is necessary to mention the name of her village. Perhaps the writer is hesitant to mention the name of the village as it is in the name of a Hindu.
TYPING ERRORS
Pakistan Studies 10
Edition Impression Dated
Ist Ist March, 2013
Publisher: Gohar Publishers
11- Urdu Bazar Lahore
Chapter 7: Culture
The constitution of Pakistan provids full protection to the minorities (Page 93, Line 27)
Note: it must be ‘provides’ instead of ‘provids’.
GRAMMAR ERRORS
Pakistan Studies 10
Edition Impression Dated
Ist Ist March, 2013
Publisher: Gohar Publishers
11- Urdu Bazar Lahore
Chapter 5: History of Pakistan
Muhammad Khan Junejo too an oath as the prime Minister (Page 13, Lines 20-21)

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