What Muslim Kids Are Taught About Jihad in Schools Pakistan Diary

Growing up in a Muslim majority country, we were formally taught Islamic history, beliefs and practices in a subject called Islamiyat. Schools offer this subject from primary school to at least the equivalent of American high school – either the government managed Matriculation or the Cambridge University-designed General Certificate of Education: Ordinary Level (O-Level). Schools usually determine whether they will offer both options, and students then decide which examination they would like to appear in.

Islam: Beliefs and Practices by Yasmin Malik

One of the books used for GCE O‑Level Islamiyat.

The O-Level Islamiyat syllabus is publicly available and intended for teachers, so they can plan their “teaching program”. It was one such syllabus published in the mid-90s that my teachers used for educating us about Islam’s core concepts, and how we ought to manage our relationships with non-Muslims. In the current US environment – where a number of media outlets, politicians and some “experts” “educate” the public about the violent nature of the jihad, or the link between Islam and extremism – the content of such syllabi and associated textbooks is particularly potent. Continue reading →