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July 14th 2010 print

Oz bad, Islam good

Kevin Donnelly: “Those responsible for the booklet, sponsored by the Australian Curriculum Studies Association and the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Excellence in Islamic Studies, are happy to assert that teaching Islam should be embedded in every school subject.”

Kevin Donnelly, in the Australian Conservative, on a new booklet by leading educationalists which asserts positive views of Islam should be introduced into school curriculums, and claims Australia is racist:

Imagine the howls of outrage from the secular non-believers if the Catholic Church argued that every school subject had to include a Catholic perspective and that understanding Christianity is a vital part of our state education system.

Imagine the outcry if the Church, along with a respected national curriculum body and a prestigious university, published curriculum material and held teacher workshops celebrating Christianity’s contribution to Australian society and Western civilisation.

Given that Australia’s schools, on the whole, are secular in nature and the argument that classrooms should not be used to teach a particular faith, it’s understandable why introducing religion into school subjects, for many, would be unacceptable.

Not so, when it comes to teaching Islam and introducing Muslim perspectives to the curriculum. Those responsible for the booklet Learning From One Another: Bringing Muslim Perspectives into Australian Schools, sponsored by the Australian Curriculum Studies Association and the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Excellence in Islamic Studies are happy to assert that teaching Islam should be embedded in every school subject.

Citing the Julia Gillard inspired national curriculum directive that subjects must be taught from an Asian perspective and the, supposedly, negative stereotypes presented in the media, the booklet argues that there is a “degree of prejudice and ignorance about Islam and Muslims” and Australian students must be taught to embrace difference and diversity.

The booklet’s authors also bemoan the fact that “most texts used in Australian English classes still have a Western or European perspective” and argue that providing “students with a Euro-centric version of history denies them the opportunity to evaluate different perspectives on past world events”.

Read the full text at the Australian Conservative 

Listen to Alan Jones interview Kevin Donnelly here…