'Jihad' in, evolution out in Turkey's new education plans

'Jihad' in, evolution out in Turkey's new education plans July 19, 2017

Turkey’s Education Minister Ismet Yilmaz, above, yesterday unveiled the the final version his country new national school curriculum, which will teach pupils the ‘proper’ meaning of ‘jihad’, but  will not address the subject of evolution.
Yilmaz said that evolution out because:

It is above the students’ level and not directly relevant.

The new curriculum will be put into execution for first, fifth, and ninth graders starting from this year, and it will extend to other classes in the 2018-2019 academic year. Accordingly, a total of 176 class curricula have been renewed.
The concept of “jihad” will now be taught. Yilmaz explained:

Jihad is an element in our religion; it is in our religion … The duty of the Education Ministry is to teach every concept deservedly, in a correct way. It is also our job to correct things that are wrongly perceived, seen or taught.
In this manner, in the lessons on Islamic law and basic religion sciences, there will be jihad. But what is this jihad? What our Prophet says is that while returning from a war, we are going from a small jihad to a big jihad. What is this big jihad? It is to serve our society, to increase welfare, to ensure peace in society, to serve the society’s needs. The easiest thing is to wage war, to fight. The skill is the difficult one, which is to ensure peace and tranquility.

Information on last year’s failed “coup attempt” will also be included in the curriculum.
Yilmaz added:

When the subject of winning democracy is covered in social sciences classes, we will want the July 15 National Unity Day to be covered, too.

Pupils will also be taught about the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETO), the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
The chairman of a teachers’ union described the changes as a huge step in the wrong direction for Turkey’s schools and an attempt to avoid raising “generations who ask questions.”
Mehmet Balik, chairman of the Union of Education and Science Workers, is horrified:

The new policies that ban the teaching of evolution and require all schools to have a prayer room, these actions destroy the principle of secularism and the scientific principles of education.

In this report, Balik is quoted as saying:

The bottom line is: generations who ask questions, that’s what the government fears.

Opposition Republican People’s Party lawmaker Mustafa Balbay, above, said any suggestion that evolution was beyond their understanding was an insult to high school students.

You go and give an 18-year old student the right to elect and be elected, but don’t give him the right to learn about the theory of evolution … This is being close minded and ignorant.

Under President Erdogan’s AKP, which came to power in 2002, the number of “Imam Hatip” religious schools has grown exponentially in Turkey. Erdogan, who has roots in political Islam, attended one such school.

He has spent his career fighting to bring religion back into public life in constitutionally secular Turkey and has cast himself as the liberator of millions of pious Turks whose rights and welfare were neglected by a secular elite.
Hat tip: BarrieJohn

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  • Erdogan is going down

    Turkey … has just been flushed down into the sewer of islamofacism. The world has just become a much more dangerous place and to think that Turkey wants inclusion in the EU. Well in that case I am so pleased with Brexit. The primary agendum of Erdogan is the restoration of the caliphate, with him as the caliph waging jihad to enforce the filth of sharia all over the world. But he will fail. The project will fail. It will fail because fascism can never prevail. And if they try then the nascent caliphate will be scorched off the face of the earth and Istanbul will be an obliterated smouldering desolate uninhabilate wasteland.

  • Club Secretary

    ” lessons on Islamic law and basic religion sciences”
    What, other than BS, is a religion science?
    “Erdogan is going down says:
    Wed 19 Jul 2017 at 4:13 pm”
    Pray tell who will be doing this scorching and obliterating?

  • StephenJP

    Well, it just gets worse. Turkey is as far from a united country as it has been since Ataturk’s day. What used to be the liberal, educated elite is being eroded day by day; Erdogan has deliberately pitched for the support of the uneducated superstitious Muslim masses; the Kurds are in a state of permanent insurrection. The EU’s bribes to get Turkey to hold back the would-be immigrants to Europe will not work much longer. Even though we are leaving the EU (good thing or not), it must surely be a relief that Turkey has just about burnt its EU boats.

  • StephenJP

    “…burnt its EU boats”. Apart from those, I should have said, that it is selling to the people-smugglers.

  • Cali Ron

    Club Secretary : Religious Science is an oxymoron. When you actually apply science to religion you get atheism.

  • Vanity Unfair

    [E]volution …”is above the students’ level and not directly relevant.”
    Evolution by natural selection is almost universally regarded as the single most important theory in biology or, by some, in the whole of history. There is no way in which it can be “not directly relevant.” As for “above the students’ level” that depends how it is taught. The older the student, the more detailed can be the instruction. For the most advanced, evolution theory is the only way to understand the latest discoveries in epigenetics. (At least that is how I understand it.) In short it is is the most relevant subject in education.
    “Jihad is an element in our religion; it is in our religion…”
    Even in Turkey there is more than one religion and many of them have no concept of jihad. It is even probable that some Turks are atheists. What I do not like about the explanation given is the assumption that an armed jihad is inevitable before a cultural one can be attempted. You do not need a war in order to to have social change.
    “[T]he lessons on Islamic law and basic religion sciences…”
    I am going to assume here that “sciences” is a mistranslation and that what is meant is more like “knowledge” (Latin: scire= to know) and knowledge of religions is, at least to my way of thinking, a Good Thing. However, when coupled with Islamic law there are problems. Turkey is still (possibly just) a secular state and religious law is not recognised according to the Constitution with authority given to independent courts and judiciary. I fear that might be about to change.
    “When the subject of winning democracy is covered in social sciences classes, we will want the July 15 National Unity Day to be covered, too.
    Pupils will also be taught about the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETO), the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
    The problem here is to know what the students will be taught about them. Last year’s “attempted coup” is one of the very few conspiracy theories that actually make sense; the timing, the perpetrators, their intentions, the discovery all just happened to strengthen the government’s and the President’s hold over the country. It is somewhat like the Gunpowder Plot on a massive scale- not that that sot of thing could happen in the UK. I suppose it is just about possible that students will be told about the Armenian massacre as well.
    It was wartime; mistakes happen; cf. Dublin, 1916, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Dresden, Hamburg. Whole books have been written about each of those but, importantly, they are taught in schools.
    The whole point here is to keep the students ill-informed and ignorant of the real world while giving them the easy religious answers and reinforcing government control with religious threats.

  • andym

    If evolution is too complex for the students, what does that say about them teaching the frequently incomprehensible Koran to them?

  • Paul

    They don’t read the Koran or understand it. That is not required. What is required is rote learning. And that isn’t learning at all.
    Learning reuires inquiry and discovery.
    A parrot could recite the Koran if told.

  • barriejohn

    Paul: You asked for it!
    Sounds like one of the Flowerpot Men to me. (“Was it Bill or was it Ben?”)
    PS What reward to faithful parrots get when they go to heaven?

  • Brian Jordan

    @ Club Secretary and Call Ron,
    To be fair, I think in this case it’s a matter of semantics. “Islamic Science”can mean “the science – as in knowledge, understanding – of Islam” as well as the more usual Western usage of” the science preserved and developed during the Arabian empire”.
    As for evoluion, I was always under the impression that Islam was quite happy with evolution applying to “animals” and indeed there have been claims that it was described by a Muslim long before Darwin. What does the Minister say about that, I wonder?

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