“Pakistan and Social Studies textbooks are rife with negative comments regarding India and Great Britain, but Hindus are often singled out for particular criticism in texts and in interview responses,” said the report. This intolerance and prejudice also extends to other minorities like the Christians and Ahmadis, who consider themselves Muslims but are not considered so by the Pakistani constitution.” The Islamisation of text books, the Commission has said began under the army rule of late dictator Zia-ul-Haq who courted Islamists to support his rule.
Though in 2006 the government announced plans to reform the curriculum, this has not been done under apparent pressure of hardliners, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) said in a report made public today. The Commission in its 139-page report said that though Pakistan was envisaged as a moderate state where minorities would have full rights, but three wars with India and appeasement of hardline clerics by successive weak governments had led to steady radicalisation of the society.
The Chairman of the Commission Leonard Leo warned “the teaching discrimination increases the likelihood that violent religious extremism in Pakistan will continue to grow, weakening religious freedom, national and regional stability, and global security.” “Although an unbiased review of history would show that Hindus and Muslims enjoyed centuries of harmonious co-existence, Hindus are repeatedly described as extremists and eternal enemies of Islam. Hindu culture and society are portrayed as unjust and cruel, while Islam is portrayed as just and peaceful,” USCIRF said in its report.
- US commission: Pakistan schools teach Hindu hatred (seattletimes.nwsource.com)