Singling out one reason for extremism involves exaggeration. However, the main cause of extremism is education curricula on the basis that they establish thought. When curricula teach radicalism, they produce militants. In addition to this, education is a huge area that can positively or negatively affect millions of Muslim students around the world.
Morocco joined a list of countries which promised to reform the curriculum and King Mohammed VI personally chaired a ministerial meeting, the theme of which was the school curriculum. He instructed both the minister of national education and the minister of religious endowments and Islamic affairs “to review the curricula and programs of religious education, whether in public schools, private schools or ancient educational institutions”. Will Morocco succeed where other governments that tried to address the educational imbalance failed?
What is new is that Morocco says that it is not only cleaning up the curricula, but has also decided to rewrite the curriculum so that the educational system produces Muslim students who believe in the great values of Islam that call for “moderation, tolerance and co-existence with various human cultures and civilizations”.
A change in curricula will result in producing students who are convinced that tolerance and respecting others of different doctrines, religions and civilisations is part of their religion. Islam is a large religion which people interpret in different ways. The religion has been hijacked during the last three decades by those who say that it is in danger and that it must move to a state of war.
This argument has fuelled ideological groups with political ambitions and many people have succumbed to this ideology which has created chaos and wars with Sunnis, Shiites, Alawites, Christians, Jews, Buddhists and Hindus. Due to this, Islam and Muslims have become the enemy of most people in the world. Can’t Islam be like other religions; its followers coexisting with the followers of other religions?
The Moroccan royal palace says that the strategy to reform the education system will take place between 2015 and 2030. If the Moroccans are able to write new curricula that convey Islam’s great humanitarian teachings and extraordinary morals, then it deserves to be a guide for other Islamic countries that suffer from the problem of how and why Islam is taught to Muslim students.