Fatwa against Muslims studying Israeli curriculum

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Cii Radio| Ayesha Ismail| 19 September 2017| 28 Dhul Hijjah 1438

Shaikh Sabri: Israel works to erase Palestinian and Muslim identity from the holy city

Ramallah: Jerusalem’s top Imam, Shaikh Ekrima Sabri, has issued a fatwa (religious pronouncement) against studying the Israeli curriculum in occupied East Jerusalem, stating that Muslim families who send their children to schools that teach the Jewish syllabus are sinners.

Shaikh Sabri, who heads the Supreme Muslim Council in occupied East Jerusalem, says that learning the curriculum imposed by the Israeli occupation authorities runs totally contrary to Islamic teachings and regulations.

Shaikh Sabri said parents should be aware of the dangers posed by the Israeli educational agenda to current and future generations of Palestinian Muslims. “The Israeli curriculum is strictly against our traditions, customs, history, religion, legacy, civilisation and values,” he told Gulf News in an exclusive interview.

He said Israel was attempting to enforce the Israeli curriculum on Palestinian schools in occupied East Jerusalem with a carrot-and-stick policy. Although Jerusalemites were exerting massive efforts to spare their children from the risks of the Jewish curriculum, several schools, under Israeli pressure, had been switching to the syllabus.

Shaikh Sabri chose last Friday’s sermons to announce his religious fatwa while preaching from the pulpit (minbar) of Al Aqsa Mosque. He predicted that his proclamation would make a great difference in the daily life of residents of the holy city. “We cannot and will not risk our future generations,” he said.

The occupation forces have been trying to make Palestinian schools adopt the Israeli curriculum since Israel captured and annexed the eastern part of Jerusalem in 1967. In return, they promise to renovate school facilities and provide further educational amenities, while making it easier for Palestinian students to get into Israeli colleges and universities. Most recently, the occupation’s Ministry of Jerusalem Affairs allocated a special budget of more than $5 million for Palestinian schools that adopt the Israeli curriculum.

Occupied East Jerusalem houses about 190 schools, 23 of which have shifted partially or totally to the Israeli curriculum. Schools in the area suffer a serious shortage of more than 2,200 classrooms, but Israel refuses to add even a single classroom unless a school adopts the Israeli curriculum. Meanwhile, the Palestinian Education Ministry allows leniency and flexibility in licensing schools and kindergartens that sign pledges to teach the Jewish syllabus.

Palestinians say the Israeli regime is trying to erase all Palestinian and Muslim identity from the holy city. Israel wants to make an undivided Jerusalem its eternal capital, while the Palestinians see the occupied eastern part of Jerusalem as the capital of their future independent state.

The fate of occupied East Jerusalem caused the breakdown of peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians in April 2014, after which the Palestinian territories and Israel have been rocked by heightened violence, leaving more than 400 Palestinians, 40 Israelis and three foreign nationals dead.

Source – Gulf news