Claim: Normalizing “jihad” in schools in Turkey

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Claim: Normalizing “jihad” in schools in Turkey

2017-08-24 03:56 BST
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BBC news story reports false claims concerning concept of jihad

Education Ministry Undersecretary Assoc. Prof. Yusuf Tekin

On 22 August 2017, BBC released a news story titled “Are Turkey’s schools dropping evolution and teaching jihad?” which made the impression that teaching the concept of jihad in public schools will be compulsory. Also, giving voice to people with a distate for the concept of jihad, one of the subtitles “Normalising jihad in schools” suggested that the goal of introducing the concept is to normalize its worldwide notorious popular meaning.

However, the statements of Education Ministry Undersecretary Assoc. Prof. Yusuf Tekin delivered in a TV show manifestly refuted the claims revolving around the concept of jihad. According to Tekin, the fundamental objective of introducing students to the concept of jihad, in strict contrast to allegations, is to teach them the genuine meaning of the term, which is to struggle against one’s own detrimenal desires – and therefore prevent them from being exposed to the distorted popular form identified with sheer violence.

Secondly, Yusuf Tekin said that “The concept of jihad takes place in two classes at the moment. The first one is the class on fiqh [Islamic law] which is taught only in Imam Hatip schools [schools with additional courses of religon]. The second is The Fundamentals of Religion class which is selective, not compulsory.” Tekin added that the concept of jihad is not added to the compulsory Religious Culture and Moral Knowledge course.