Institute Established to Monitor Representation of Religion in School Textbooks

June 27, 2004


On June 27, 2004 reported, "Distortion of Islam in French school syllabi can be seen as a reflection of the mutual misunderstanding between Islam and the West, yet a reflection with its own significance, which can also be viewed in the light of the American attempts to change the religious curricula in some Islamic countries. Dr. Mustafa Al-Halwaji, a professor in the Faculty of Languages and Translation, Al-Azhar University, Egypt, explains the motives and reasons that have incited him to study this issue." Dr. Al-Halwajj held a seminar with officials in the French Ministry of Education to address the issue of representation of Islam and other religions in school textbooks. "Dr. Al-Halwaji affirms that, two months after the seminar, the French minister of education issued a decree to establish the European Institute for Religious Sciences under the supervision of professors of Islamic, Christian, and Jewish History at the Sorbonne University. The job of the institute is to review religious texts in school books and hold training courses for teachers in order to acquaint them with different religions."