Teaching the kids

The latest educational development in Tajikistan is causing waves:

“Tajikistan’s secondary school system will be placing an increased emphasis on Islam, as per a new government initiative.

“The move pleases Islamic parties in the country, which unlike those in other countries in Central Asia, are allowed to participate in the government.”

Some secularists are unhappy but New Eurasia explains the rationale:

“The importance of Islam to Tajikistan’s history and culture is self-evident. It seems only natural, therefore, that it should be covered in the school system. So long as students are learning about Islam from an academic perspective, as opposed to a religious one, this move does nothing more to threaten the secular nature of the regime. Furthermore, increased knowledge about Islam may diffuse some of the more extreme elements of Tajik society, as their inclusion in the political process arguably does.”

When Murdoch’s Australian, claiming to represent the popular majority, argues that schools in Australia should focus on the positives in our history – stressing the negatives is clearly a “leftist” conspiracy – it’s reassuring to think that countries on the other side of the world are equally struggling with the changing face of religion in contemporary life.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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