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Turkey: 12th grade public school textbook promotes armed jihad



The textbook is called “Fundamentals of Islam’s Religious Beliefs.” Yet in the West, all the learned analysts assume that armed jihad is not among the fundamentals of Islam’s religious beliefs. Maybe Max Abrahms and Will McCants and Graeme Wood and the rest can go over to Turkey and explain to Erdogan and the authors of this textbook how they are misunderstanding Islam.

“12th grade Turkish public school textbook promotes armed jihad,” by Abdullah Bozkurt, Nordic Monitor, July 25, 2022:

The 12th grade religious course book used in public schools in Turkey promotes armed jihad, ignoring the abuse of the jihad concept by violent terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The textbook reflects the prevailing ideology of the Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP), led by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has been governing the NATO member country for the last 20 years.

The 2019 edition, authored by Abdullah Açık, Veli Karataş and Mustafa Yılmaz, was produced by the government printing office in two volumes and distributed under the title “Fundamentals of Islam’s Religious Beliefs.”

The book emphasizes that armed jihad is obligatory for all Muslims and notes that “Today, the concept of jihad is associated with bad examples, especially by the opponents of Islam.” It claims jihad is brought up by opponents of Islam as something bad and something to be avoided, adding that Muslims were deliberately defamed by these opponents over jihad.

The book completely ignores the use of jihad by terrorist organizations and does not make a single reference to al-Qaeda, ISIS or other violent jihadist groups that abuse the concept for murder, plunder, rape and other crimes. Not only were such groups overlooked in the sub-chapter that deals with jihad, but they were also not cited in another sub-chapter that specifically focuses on terrorism.

It describes the founding fathers in Ottoman times as people who made jihad their way of life and says they never hesitated to give their lives to the jihadist cause in the name of Allah. Stating that jihad will last until the end of time, the book describes jihadist activity as one of the responsibilities that every Muslim man and woman must fulfill.

The book is a worrying example of how the Islamist ideology of President Erdoğan and his associates have taken a toll on education in Turkey, with 12 graders being taught to give their lives in the name of jihad without any reference to the terrorist groups that abuse the concept….