Casablanca – The disparagement of philosophy in an Islamic education textbook has created controversy and prompted philosophy teachers in Morocco to organize sit-ins from December 21 to 23 in denunciation of the misinformation, which they considered “dangerous.”
The controversy around the issue of education has once again surfaced in Morocco as the Islamic education textbook, “Manar At-tarbia Al-Islamiya”, for first year baccalaureate students, qualifies philosophy as “perversion and blasphemy.”
A unit in this manual dedicated to philosophy and faith stated that philosophy is “a production of human thought that is contrary to Islam” and “the essence of degeneration.” The textbook continues in that specific chapter to define philosophy as “a subject of confusion and misguidance that is motivated by perversion and blasphemy.”
According to the French-language news source Yabiladi, Moroccan philosophy teachers have condemned what they regard as “insulting” and “dangerous” passages, which prove not only a lack of knowledge in connection to the subject and its practices, but also a complete disregard of the discipline.
According to the same source, teachers also stressed the importance of the subject in training students in critical thinking,and in facilitating access to social phenomena.
The concern that this attack on philosophy raises is that this exclusivist view on the discipline of philosophy continues to diffuse through the textbooks despite the efforts invested to restructure them in a way to banish thoughts of violence, racism and intolerance.
This specific manual was validated by the Higher Council of Muslim Scholars and reissued this academic year, following the instructions of the Moroccan monarch to enrich Islamic Education books with manifestations of values of respect and human rights in Islam.