Pakistan: Public School Textbooks Continue to Teach Intolerance
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A new study of Pakistani public school textbooks, which reach over 41 million children, found that these textbooks negatively portray religious minorities and signal that these minorities are untrustworthy and inferior. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) sponsored this study, which was conducted by the Pakistan-based NGO Peace and Education Foundation (PEF), an organization dedicated to promoting peace and tolerance in Pakistan.
“Pakistan’s public school textbooks contain deeply troubling content that portrays non-Muslim citizens as outsiders, unpatriotic, and inferior; are filled with errors; and present widely-disputed historical “facts” as settled history,” said USCIRF Chairman Robert P. George. “Missing from these textbooks are any references to the rights of religious minorities and their positive contributions to Pakistan’s development. These textbooks sadly reflect the alarming state today of religious freedom in Pakistan. A country’s education system, including its textbooks, should promote religious tolerance, not close the door to cooperation and coexistence.”