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The Impact of Religious Education on Intolerance in Pakistani Classrooms

A recent discussion in class related to secularism caught my interest especially in relation to teaching religion in schools. All religions, by dint of being exclusive, deem themselves to be superior to others- which then leads to intolerance for others. This is something that is especially relevant in terms of hardening sectarian differences and identities in classrooms in Pakistan. For example, a journalist in Karachi doing research on this subject found that a well-known Islamic school in Karachi which offers O level education (according to the British education system), does not teach the GCE approved Islamiyat textbook. This it does so supposedly because of the fact that the official book is deemed as condoning Shiism. The fact that students at such a young age are already being molded to learn that there is only one version even of their religion, with others considered inaccurate, can be said to further exacerbate the religious intolerance in the country.

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