It’s troubling enough to know that there could be extremists out there trying to recruit new members through religious schools and prisons, but could they actually be trying to reach our youngest and most impressionable children as well?
Recently, there were reports that a kindergarten in Depok gave out textbooks, titled ‘Metode Belajar Membaca Praktis’ (Practical Methods to Teach How to Read) that allegedly teach radical Islamic values to its students. The Education and Cultural Ministry said they are investigating the case and plan to recall the textbook if necessary.
“We’re sure that the textbook in question was made not according to the procedures set by the Education and Culture Ministry,” said Tjipto Sumadi, the ministry’s head of the Curriculum and Textbook Department, as quoted by Tempo yesterday.
“Furthermore, there is actually no requirement [for students] to read in kindergarten.”
The controversial textbook initially came to the attention of Gerakan Pemuda Ansor, the youth wing of Nadhlatul Ulama, the country’s largest Muslim Organization, after they received complaints from the students’ parents.
The book allegedly contains phrases like “dying in the name of religion” and “no mercy to those who insult our religion”.
“It’s appropriate to suspect that this is an attempt to brainwash children with radical values,” said Benny Ramdhani, vice chairman of Gerakan Pemuda Ansor.
Gerakan Pemuda Ansor believes that the book was written by people close to a radical group in Solo, Central Java.