CIMUN Chronicle / Article / 1994

EDITORIAL: Do the Teachings of Islam Mean No Freedom of Religion in Pakistan?

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At last night’s press conference, the cabinet of Pakistan announced their new education plan, which includes teaching Islam to its students. They claim that they will also teach the students to respect other religions. The press secretary says that they will be “implementing a certain regime where [Pakistan] will have people devoted to Islam teaching and they will be offering only one interpretation that they have been given…so that we are all on the same page.”

The cabinet of Pakistan has not released the interpretation yet. By teaching only one interpretation of the Quran the state of Pakistan will not accept any other interpretations of it. This already disrespects other Muslims whose beliefs and interpretation of the scriptures may differ from the one accepted by the government. 

When asked about how they were going to make sure that other religions are not disrespected, the press secretary claimed that they, “cannot answer this question.”

The Asahi Shimbun believes that they mean their plan to not disrespect other religions is to hope that the 95 percent of Pakistanis who practice Islam do not disrespect the religions of the minority. The government is taking the “distant parent” approach by giving Pakistanis the education about the religion, and then saying that the students “shouldn’t” disrespect the inalienable right to religious freedom of people who worship differently.

The press secretary claims that Pakistan is “using Islam as a uniting force,” but this uniting force will only be uniting 95 percent of Pakistanis, and just throwing the other 5 percent to the curb.

Image: Wikipedia