Education Society & Culture

Roman god textbook exercises lead to blasphemy complaints

Photos: Thayyib Shaheem

Parents have raised their concerns about blasphemous content in secondary school textbooks, reports local media.

Screenshots of grade eight textbooks featuring exercises about Roman gods began circulating on social media after internet activist Thayyib Shaheem tweeted images of them Tuesday.

“Breaking: Students have been made to complete lesson exercises from grade 8 English books, it is about the god/goddesses of those who worship the stars,” he tweeted.

Parents have expressed concern about shirk (polytheism) reported Mihaaru. Some have said they do not believe their children should be taught from textbooks that contain shirk and weakens the aqidah (religious belief system) of their children.

State Minister of Education Ahmed Shafeeu said similar complaints had been received last year, and that lessons were taught once students were made to understand they were based on Greek fables.

“We don’t believe it is an issue for that story to be told that way. The exercise is one where students need to discuss and give the answers. Planets have been named after gods in Greek and Roman mythology. Therefore, the students would discuss how these folk tales have no truth to them, and it becomes an opportunity to strengthen the belief in their hearts that Allah is the only god,” said Shafeeu.

“When this lesson is being taken, we should try to make the students understand what we believe. Mythology means it’s fiction, tha it’s not true. That’s how the lesson is, it does not contradict our religion. The lesson doesn’t say they should believe or worship the gods/goddesses in the textbook. Teaching the students how planets are named is important. Therefore it’s not an issue.”

He also said the students would learn about such things from the internet, but that schools teach it with the intention of strengthening aqidah.

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Source URL:  Maldives Independent

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