Palestinian children spend more of their school day studying Islam. Critical jobs in public education are filled by Islamic stalwarts. A once-banned social studies reader, crammed with hard-line rhetoric, is now in classrooms.
During a year in power, the Islamic Hamas movement has begun taking control of Palestinian schools and is making changes.
Hamas leaders insist they are not trying to indoctrinate children. But moderate Palestinians say Hamas’ goal is nothing less than shaping the political views of future generations…
So far, [Education Minister Nasser] Shaer has made only a few changes. He has increased religion classes from three to four a week and allowed a social studies reader with a strong Islamic bent to be used in the classroom.
He has focused mostly on moving Hamas loyalists into key positions in the education system, presumably preparing the ground for tighter control in the future.
When a high-level education job opens up, it goes to a Hamas supporter, with appointees often leapfrogging over other candidates with stronger credentials. Eight of 14 West Bank school districts are now controlled by Hamas, from none a year ago, and the new religion requirement meant hiring some 300 graduates of Islamic teachers’ colleges that are Hamas strongholds, Fatah educators say…
In some cases, girls are pushed by pro-Hamas teachers to pray and wear head scarves, although no law requires it. Hala Barghouti, 11, from the village of Deir Yassin, said she is transferring from a public school to a private Christian one next year to escape the nagging.
I had no idea Hamas had its hooks in that deeply in the West Bank; I thought they were basically a Gaza phenomenon. The question is, does it matter? Will greater religious influence in Palestinian life really make much difference when Arafat’s filthy terrorist Fatah party is the alternative?
Look at it this way. It can’t help.
Speaking of which, bad news for Palestinians hoping to escape from the Islamic paradise and find a better life in the west — a new fatwa says they can’t. Think of it is a theological Berlin Wall.
A new piece from my blue period. “Still Life: Arrangement in Blue and Gold, or Another Hundred Years of Palestinian Ruin and Death-Cultism.”