Published Date: Nov 14, 2011
USCIRF ISSUES STUDY ON EDUCATION AND RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION IN PAKISTAN
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom yesterday issued a 139-page study (full text) titled Connecting the Dots: Education and Religious Discrimination in Pakistan– A Study of Public Schools and Madrassas. As summarized by USCIRF release on the report, the study found:
- Public school textbooks used by all children often had a strong Islamic orientation, and Pakistan’s religious minorities were referenced derogatorily or omitted altogether;
- Hindus were depicted in especially negative terms, and references to Christians were often inaccurate and offensive;
- Public school and madrassa teachers had limited awareness or understanding of religious minorities and their beliefs, and were divided on whether religious minorities were citizens;
- Teachers often expressed very negative views about Ahmadis, Christians, and Jews, and successfully transmitted these biases to their students;
- Interviewees’ expressions of tolerance often were intermixed with neutral and intolerant comments, leaving some room for improvement.