Malaysia Uncut

A Repository of Malaysian Stuff and More

Maximal Insensitivity

Islamisation of national schools – a parent’s view

Not that this is unknown or new. However, as a parent, I found it quite disturbing that this has reached an alarming state. Allow me to give you a first-hand insight.

We had enrolled our daughter at a national school in Bandar Sri Damansara for Primary 1. What was supposed to be an eagerly anticipated ‘graduation’ into formal schooling turned out to be a worrying scenario that has caused us to rethink our future in this country as well as our plans for our kids. We had, of course, heard of the instances of the growing Islamic influence in national schools and some horror stories to go along with it. But perhaps we underestimated the level of abuse that was occurring.

Orientation was conducted on Jan 2 and the very first horror story to greet us was that all children were required to attend Arab language classes. Don’t get me wrong. I am of the opinion that learning a foreign language is beneficial. However, in this case, rather than it coming across as knowledge, it smells of propaganda and a subtle attempt to reinforce Islamic principles on us – Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

We insisted that our children be exempt from the class. What perplexed us the most was the lack of options presented for non-Muslim students. When we inquired, the response was that there were no teachers for other languages, namely Mandarin or Tamil. Also, it was told to us that the children need not worry about the Arab classes as it was purely language and there were no elements of religion in it – something that we came to discover was not true. This became apparent when this morning one of the parents chanced upon the Arab language teacher in class.

Prior to starting the lesson, the teacher made all the students rise and lift their hands to recite the ‘Bismillah’ prayer and other chants. There was no attempt to inform the non-Muslim students that they did not need to do so. Just imagine, these were impressionable seven-year-olds who have just come out of kindergarten. The fact that there was no regard for the rights of the non- Muslim kids by these teachers was just unbelievable!

One would easily be tempted to think that this was part of a bigger plan to influence non-Muslim children into embracing Islamic way of life. This should not be happening in national schools.

There was more to come. Not only was it necessary for the children (Muslims) to start off the assembly with a prayer (Islamic, of course), the teachers also made it a point to enforce this before and after recess. The students would be ushered out of the classrooms and be made to line up prior to visiting the canteen.

But just before that, the ‘Bismillah’ prayer is recited (there were attempts to inform the non-Muslims that they were not required to do so) and once recess is over, the Muslim students are again required to recite another prayer. All this is done together with the non-Muslim students. Would this not confuse a child that is eager to learn and yet be constantly reminded that they should not do this and that?

There’s a lot more but I just wanted to highlight the crux of the matter. I just cannot comprehend the need for all this when, at the heart of the matter, is sound education and growth of the children that matters. The religious needs are already met by the Agama/Moral studies, so why the need for Arab classes? What is the objective of these programmes? Why is there no proper alternative for those who do not practice Islam? What scares me the most is that this is being practiced or implemented at the national level. If this is the case, then why talk of national integration and a new education blueprint? How can you achieve this with so many divisive policies?To say I am disappointed is an understatement. I just hope that common sense will prevail – but as they say, common sense is not so common after all.The school later did accede to our request to have the children segregated during Arab classes, but after having one too many encounters with the lackadaisical attitude of the teachers, we are not convinced.

Source: Malaysiakini Letters 

Anak Malaysia – Whither Malaysia? This is getting way too absurd. The very people crying for sensitivity from others doesn’t appear to show any to others. Can you imagine if the situation is reversed in any Muslim minority country? All hell will break lose. No one color, creed, language, race or religion is superior to another. Let’s get that in our heads 1st! The level of civilisation of a society is judged by the way it treats its minorities.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007 - Posted by | Commentary, Islam, Issues, News, Politics

1 Comment »

  1. It saddens me to hear of such news. If they would like to do it, then for all fairness have various i.e buddhist & hindu prayers as well! Back when I was in school there was also the bismillah reading but we were verbally told before each session that it “was NOT compulsory for non muslims to participate and that we could pray in our own way if we prefer”. I thought that that was a very good way of going about.

    Comment by Andrew | Tuesday, January 9, 2007 | Reply


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: