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Sunday, February 01, 2009

Picture of Islamic martyr in official Austrian schoolbook

Report in Der Standard

Excitement over textbook for Islamic religion classes which Anas Schakfeh edited work showing "martyr" with rifle and hand grenades
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Vienna - The President of the Islamic Faith Community in Austria (IGGiÖ), Anas Schakfeh, announces to "profile" a training program for teachers of religion. In it basic values such as "absolute loyalty to the state, the rule of law, democracy and the Federal Constitution" would again be called to mind. The controls should be strengthened. The study on the deficits in democratic understanding of Islamic religious teachers which was the cause of the current discussion, Schakfeh was aware of since the end of last summer: "But then, no one was excited."

"profil" shows according to preliminary reports a page from an official textbook for Islamic religion classes in primary schools- books which Schakfeh has personally dealt with. This shows a "martyr" dying on the battlefield. Caption: "A Muslim, on the path of Allah who dies to defend the homeland is a martyr (Sahid). He is rewarded by Allah with Paradise, as Allah has promised in the Koran." It is concerned with the history of the siege of Medina "and how the first persecuted Muslims died - as a martyr, like the first Christians," said Schakfeh. In the picture, the soldier carries a rifle and hand grenades.

Schakfeh wants to ensure that the controversial illustration will be removed from the religious studies book:

"The appearance is now of course bad, but I had this simple representation is no longer in memory. But we are in the process of changing all these books," Schakfeh stresses according to a preliminary report to the newspaper "Austria" (Sunday edition). In the course of this process will the now published martyr image be "safely removed". (APA)
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