It has been reported that in Ipoh, a female teacher caned four Year Two non-Muslim pupils for coming late to Arabic language class. One of the boy’s mum made a police report.
Perak education deputy director Ahmat Arbu Hamzah said the school did not force any non-Muslim pupil to attend the Arabic language classes unless they wanted to. But they would have to attend Moral Studies held at the same time as the Arabic language classes. However, the boys were found playing in the classroom.
But the mum complained that the school had insisted the pupils attend the class because it was compulsory.
Make what you will of the case or who’s been lying. I don’t believe that’s important other than the teacher ought not to have caned the children because that’s against the rules.
Frankly, KTemoc has been disappointed with the attitude of some non-Muslim non-Malay parents who have made much ado about their children learning the Quran or Arabic.
What’s so wrong about learning Arabic language or even the Quran? Every piece of learning is a treasure, and as the Chinese would exclaim, a gift from Heaven. Learning an additional language can only be beneficial to the kids’ future career prospects.
I was educated in a Methodist school where I, from a devoted Buddhist family, did Bible studies (Scripture) for more than a decade. My sisters all went to the Convent where they were fed daily dosage of Catholic indoctrination. In our Christian schools there were thousands of other non-Christian and mainly Chinese students.
Did the teachers, especially the principals tried to convert us to Christianity? Yes! Did our parents complain? Nope!
Were we taught English? Yes! Did our parents object? No!
So why this behaviour and reluctance when it comes to the Arabic language and the Quran?
Okay, that was a rhetorical question because I do know the answer.
Chinese and, to a certain extent, Indian parents are pissed off with what they see as an oppressive Malay dominated Muslim government. Their natural instinct is to rebel against, object to, resist, even sabotage or reject anything that appears to be proselytising.
To them, Christian proselytising teaching is … ho hum … yawnnn .. not threatening (aiyah, hong kau mana ay siang sin*), but oh no, the Islamic lessons are. Then, the English language is useful but bugger Arabic.
* c'mon, don't expect me to believe those Christian teachings
And all these disparate perceptions/values have been because of their grievances against and suspicions about the UMNO-led government and their officials.
Of course in a few cases, where overzealous principals and teachers had attempted to shove those lessons down the kids’ throats, it sure as hell didn’t help the situation. Obviously those principals/teachers haven’t learn about positive motivation or they have just adopted the standard UMNO style of bulldozing threatening ketuanan methodology.
I urge the non-Malay non-Muslim parents to welcome such teachings (including Jawi) for their children with open arms and to encourage their kids to learn diligently.
Look, if your kids’ predecessors were able to master English and Mandarin, why then wouldn’t your kids master Arabic in like fashion? It’s a beautiful language, a language ideal for poetry and love, and one that's spoken by billions.
And don’t worry about Islamic teachings. Your kids will eventually pick up the good and discard what's not suitable for their non-Muslim life style, as I did with the Christian teachings I received.
If they can’t distinguish between those values, well, it’s just as well they have some religious guidance and what do I care whether it’s Islamic, Christian, Confucian, Buddhist, Hindu or Folk religion, so long as they are brought up not to hurt or harm people and to respect others.
Malaysians Split over Palestine & Lebanon - on the surface this may appear to be unrelated to the posting about Chinese parents being against their kids learning Arabic, but do read it to have an appreciation of what I am talking about