The Pontificate - Contribute to help UCA News
The Pontificate - Contribute to help UCA News
UCA News

Pakistan

Quran becomes compulsory subject in Punjab universities

Education groups call for an alternative course for minority students

Featured Authors - Columnists | Make a Contribution
Featured Authors - Columnists | Make a Contribution
Quran becomes compulsory subject in Punjab universities

Minorites are upset that teaching of the Quran will be compulsory in Punjab universities. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Share this article :
Educationists in Pakistan are demanding an alternative course for minority students after Punjab’s governor made studying the Quran compulsory in universities.

Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar said it will be compulsory for Muslim students to attend “Quran with Translation” lectures, adding that it will help them to become good human beings.

Sarwar has constituted a seven-member committee of university vice-chancellors to submit its recommendations by May 10 on how to make the course part of the syllabus. The draft will then be shared with vice-chancellors of other public and private universities and clerics in the province.

“I believe Allah is angry because of our mistakes,” he said, referring to the Covid-19 pandemic that has caused 18,114 confirmed cases and 417 deaths in the country.

Muslim students are already studying recitation of the Quran from grade one to 12. Islamic Studies is also a compulsory subject for every Muslim student in state-run schools across the country. Minority students can opt for ethics as an alternative subject. However, parents often complain of the absence of books on the subject in stores.

The Pakistan Minorities Teachers’ Association (PMTA) requested the governor to treat religious minority students equally in a letter sent on April 25.

“Unfortunately these students are deprived of civil rights including freedom of religion and equality of citizenship. The decision to oblige only Muslim students is certainly discriminatory and biased,” said Catholic professor Anjum James Paul, chairman of the PMTA.

“Minority students are deliberately deprived of equal rights. Kindly review your decision and make arrangements for the compulsory study of their holy books as well on an equal basis.”

The Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS), an interdenominational organization working for persecuted Christians, shared his concern.

“Forcing compulsory teaching of the Holy Quran with Urdu translation against the will of non-Muslim students and their parents will have a negative impact on non-Muslim students. It will promote bigotry and hatred against non-Muslims in Pakistani society, something which is already on the rise,” said Nasir Saeed, director CLAAS-UK.

“It is sad that the government is forcing students to study religion. It is also shameful that there are 11 minority MPs in the Punjab Assembly, and nine of them are Christians, but nobody raised their voice or is asking for an alternative program for non-Muslim students.”

The US Commission on International Religious Freedom, in its annual report released last month, recommended the State Department to designate Pakistan as a “country of particular concern” for engaging in systematic, ongoing and egregious violations of religious freedom.

Support UCA News...

UCA News provides a unique service, bringing you the voices of emerging churches and helping you see efforts made to evangelize and bring relief to people in all manner of need.

UCA News has more than 40 full time and part time reporters, editors and administrators bringing you this service from across 23 countries in south, southeast and east Asia. You, too, can be part of their efforts by contributing even a small amount to keep UCA News available to the world.
Click here to consider the options available to you.

Your contribution to UCA News will immensely help us continue to grow a strong media community by harnessing information technology to inform, engage, inspire and influence the Catholics of Asia and the world.

As a gesture of our gratitude to your commitment to UCA News, we are pleased to gift you a free PDF Book/e-Book titled Mission in Asia when you make a contribution.

UCA News Donate
UCA Newsletter
YOUR DAILY
NEWSLETTER
Thank you. You are now signed up to our Daily Full Bulletin newsletter

Also Read

UCA News Podcast
UCAN Ad
 
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution