ISLAMABAD: Thousands of Pakistani schoolgoing children are growing up learning that the Urdu equivalent of the letter A stands for Allah, B for
‘bandook’ (gun) and J for jihad.
Though not officially prescribed for pre-schoolers, books printed by Iqra Publishers are being used in several regular schools and madrassas across Pakistan.
The three examples of Allah, ‘bandook’ and jihad are not the only ones which sound like a “blueprint for a religious fascist state”. The Urdu letter for the T sound stands for ‘takrao’ (collide), K for ‘khunjar’ (dagger), H for ‘hijab’ (veil) and Z for ‘zunoob’ (sins) – which includes watching television, playing musical instruments
and flying kites.
According to the National Bureau of Curriculum and Textbooks, Class 5 children are expected to “acknowledge and identify forces that may be working against Pakistan”, “make speeches on jihad and shahadat (martyrdom)”, “understand Hindu-Muslim differences and the resultant need for Pakistan”, “India’s evil designs about Pakistan” and “demonstrate by actions a belief in the fear of Allah”, said a report in Newsline magazine.