Egypt: Education Ministry Approves Teaching of Judaism in Schools for First Time Ever
i24 News – Egypt’s Education Ministry recently approved the teaching of a new school subject: religious values and verses that have the same meaning in the three Abrahamic religions — Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, according to Al-Monitor.
The decision, which Egypt’s parliament commended, will permit Egyptian students to study verses from Jewish texts for the first time.
“The Education Ministry’s approval of the subject of religious values shared between the divine religions expresses the state’s keenness to spread the values of tolerance and fraternity,” declared Kamal Amer, head of parliamentary defense and the National Security Committee in the Egyptian Parliament
The three religions “include common values that students must study to be able to confront the extremist and takfirist [apostasy defying] ideas that backward groups are working on to spread in society,” Amer maintained.
“President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is keen to teach youth the values of respect for others, tolerance, and rejection of fanaticism and extremism,” he added.
Farid el-Bayadi, a member of the Defense and National Security Committee and author of the proposal, said that it was an important step to spread “principles and values” that could stand against extremism and hatred.
He also called for the removal of religious text from subjects that do not ordinarily have much connection with them, such as Arabic, history, and geography, arguing that it was dangerous because they could too easily be hijacked for extremist purposes.
The ministry refuted as “rumor and speculation” that the teaching of Quranic verses and hadiths (a record of teachings or sayings of the Prophet Muhammad not enshrined in the Qur’an) would not be removed from school curricula.
Egypt’s move follows that of Morocco — with which Israel signed a normalization deal as part of the Abraham Accords — which in December announced that it would teach Jewish history and culture in its schools for the first time.