Mobeen Shahid a professor of philosophy at the Pontificial John Lateran University, Rome is critical of 'fanatical texts' in Pakistani school books.He supports the Pakistani bishops who have asked for changes in text books in schools and universities.
He said that the National Commission for Justice and Peace of the Pakistani bishops has analyzed a 100 school books, from primary school to university, in Pakistan.These books encourage fanaticism and religious hatred.The President and Prime Minister of Pakistan were asked to make changes in textbooks so that society, through education, could grow in a culture of peace and peaceful coexistence between religions. Now there is a parliamentary committee charged with reviewing these books, he mentioned.
In a report on SIR, Mobeen Shahid said there are many bilateral economic agreements between countries for investment in education. These economic accords also seek to change the contents of some education texts which are radical.This education literature create a culture of Islamic fanaticism,explains Mobeen.
The Catholic Church, which has many schools in Pakistan he said has to take security measures. In sensitive areas there are walls, video surveillance and security personnel. It is an economic burden because the government does not help. He says the Church knows that only through education the country's future can be built.
It may be mentioned that it is common for the daily newspapers in Pakistan to criticize non-Muslims.Clerics also use loudspeakers at mosques during the prayers services to criticize Christians and Jews.Religious organisations like the Jamaat e Islami officially say there is no equality in religion and that non Muslims do not have equal rights as Muslims.They object to the presence of Christians and other non Muslims, working in certain professions. In Pakistan a non Muslim cannot be the head of the army or president.Permission is not given to build new churches.There are still large churches and cathedrals in Pakistan which have been there before 1949, when Pakistan was separated from India and a new state was created.-Lionel Andrades