As part of a debate following the introduction of the concept of jihad, or holy war, in the new national school curriculum, a deputy of the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy said it is useless to teach math to a child who does not know the concept of jihad.
AKP deputy Ahmet Hamdi Çamlı, who used to be President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s driver, claimed that the concept of jihad is one of the main pillars of Islam. “Our Ministry of Education made a good decision,” said Çamlı, who also serves on the parliamentary National Education Commission.
Meanwhile, the dean of the Islamic seminary at Ankara University, Professor İsmail Hakkı Ünal, objected to the idea of including the concept of jihad among the five pillars of Islam. However, Çamlı claimed that jihad precedes even prescribed prayers in Islam.
“When you look at the Ottoman sultans, almost none of them performed the Hajj because they didn’t want to stop engaging in jihad,” Çamlı stated. “There is no use in teaching math to a child who does not know the concept of jihad,” Çamlı said on Friday.
Last week, speaking during a press conference to introduce the new school curriculum in Ankara Minister of Education İsmet Yılmaz said: “Jihad is an element in our religion; it is in our religion… The duty of the Education Ministry is to teach every deserving concept correctly. It is also our job to correct things that are wrongly perceived, seen or taught.”
In reference to the removal of evolution theory from the new curriculum, Yılmaz said it was not included “because it is above the students’ level and not directly relevant.”
Yılmaz also said last year’s failed coup attempt would be touched on in classes while the national struggle, led by modern Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, was being discussed.