Questionable passages in school textbooks raised before PSC

Saturday, 22 June 2019 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Government school textbooks on Islam contain passages that prescribe death for those giving up their religion and these books in Tamil and Sinhala languages have been published by the Educational Publications Department of the Ministry of Education, the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) probing the Easter Sunday attacks was told on Thursday.

RishvinIsmath, who identified himself as an atheist, said he had campaigned against some teaching material published by the Department of Educational Publications which makes it compulsory to kill Muslims who leave their religion. “In the school Islam textbook for Grade 9 and 10 it is stated that those who leave the religion should be killed. The book is published in 1982 and 1984,” he said.

Ismath submitted to the PSC copies of Islam textbooks published in the years from 1980 to 1990 and a Sinhala language Islam textbook in 2017 prescribing the same and said: “So, I do not need to do anything. The school itself has taught children to kill persons like me. This is not in the Quran. When there are such teachings in the textbook itself there is no need of bringing in IS ideology from Syria for people like Zahran to kill non-Muslims,” he said. Ismath said that following his public campaign to bring attention these matters he has received death threats.

Some of his testimony was heard in camera by the Committee.