Qur’an Becoming Required Reading in Turkey’s Public Schools

Ah, the bitter fruits of interfaith dialogue and religious bridge-building. Turkey may be welcoming in Syrian Christian refugees but one of the consequences for those refugees will likely be having to watch their children indoctrinated by Islamic public schools.

All this under a President Erdogan who allegedly carried around a copy of Mein Kampf as early as first grade.

As the American left continues its all-out assault on any symbols of Christianity in public schools, Turkey is making Islam mandatory in its public schools. If you’re a Christian student who comes from a family of meager means and can’t afford private schooling, you may be studying both Arabic and the Qur’an whether you want to or not.

According to a report from Asia News:

Turkey’s newly elected President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, aided by his faithful new Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, begins his term of office with a major overhaul of the country’s education system.

Although adopted a year ago, the reform plan, which has largely gone unnoticed, begins this year and extends Islamic religious education to all school grades. Only religious high schools (Imam Hatip Lisesi) offered such an education as part of their training programme for the country’s Muslim clergy. At the same time, the reform extends compulsory schooling from Grade 8 to Grade 12.

Erdogan’s new Turkey, which plans to celebrate the centenary of the secular Turkish Republic founded by Kemal Ataturk in 2023, is making Islamic religious education compulsory in both primary and secondary school, for 12 grades. Until recently, the latter was available only in religious high schools starting in Grade 9.

Another significant change is that religious school graduates can now apply to university faculties that train students for top public administration positions. Even Turkey’s current president, who studied Business Administration and not political science, was kept out because he was graduate of a religious school.

It seems clear that the school system AKP leaders dream about and planned for is inspired by existing religious high schools.

The next step in the reform involves teaching Arabic, even as a second language, to enable students to understand the Qur’an, as Turkish lacks words that help understand the Holy Book.

There is an option for families who don’t want their children to attend these schools but it comes with a major obstacle for most people:

…those who do not want to attend public schools to avoid religious education will have to go to private schools, which are a privilege of the wealthy because of high tuition fees.

Of course, the number of Christian refugees fleeing from Syria to Turkey is numbering in the hundreds of thousands and it’s a safe bet that the vast majority of them do not have the financial means to send their students to private schools.

In the U.S., students have to enroll in private schools to be exposed to Christianity as public schools have been driving every aspect of Christianity from the classroom (while many, ironically, are more welcoming of Islam). In Turkey, apparently, public schools are a place where non-Muslims will be forced to study Islam.

Tolerance, diversity, inclusion, interfaith dialogue and bridge-building… Ain’t it great?



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