Primary school pupil: I must die before I commit too many sins, mum!
In Religious Education (RE) lessons, students are taught to 'obey in the name of love', and are told that ‘those committing too many sins should die'.
It was revealed that in Nedret Ilhan Ketenci Primary School in İzmir, children are taught "to die for the love of Allah and their mothers and that they can show their love by being obedient." Parents that spoke to Evrensel Daily Newspaper became aware of the issue after conversations with their children in years 5 and 6.
Aysel Güven, a parent, said “One day a friend called me. She was very upset and frightened and didn’t know what to do. After coming home from school, her son, a year 6 student, said ‘Mum, I love you, I will die for you, in fact right now I can jump off the balcony for you.’ Her concern and shock were still very real when she spoke to me. She asked her son “Where did this come from? Where did you learn this?” Her son told her that the RE teacher shared the sacrifice story of prophet Ibrahim and how he sacrificed his son; the teacher then said: “One can die for the love of Allah and mothers.”
THEY TEACH SERVITUDE AS LOVE
Ms Güven then spoke to her daughter who is at the same school. After asking my daughter what they were taught in lessons, she said: “We are talking about love.” I asked, “How?” She asked “Do you love me?, How do you show your love?” and I said, “I’d kiss you, cuddle you etc.”. Her response was ‘No, it’s not like that.” She then said ‘Whatever you ask, I will obey, if you said take your shoes off and sit on the floor, I will do it.’ I advised my daughter that “this has nothing to do with loving someone; servitude is not love.” I asked her to tell me what the teacher told them. The RE teacher asked them “Do you love me?” and the pupils responded “yes”. The teacher then asked, “so, how do you show your love for me?” Pupils gave various explanations and the teacher said “no”; he asked for a female pupil to come to the front of the class and told her to ‘Now do as I ask you.’ He asked the pupil to take her shoes off and “kneel down in front of me” and the pupil did. The teacher then said, “This is it. If you love me you will do as I ask.”
Ms Güven who is critical of this kind of education at school said, “They are identifying love with servitude and are practising this on female students. They want girls to become obedient individuals. This teacher has been in this school for some time but with the reactionary political changes in education, he is now practising these freely. Our children are in great danger.”
‘I MUST DIE BEFORE I COMMIT TOO MANY SINS’
Another parent that didn’t want to disclose her name, a child of whom also attends the same school, spoke to us about a conversation she had with her son: Her son - a year 5 pupil - had said to her “Mum, I have sinned because I swear. I must die before I commit too many sins.” She told him that “swearing is bad but we don’t need to die because we swear. We must try and change our behaviour instead.” When asked “who teaches you these things?” he told his mum that it was the RE teacher. The concerned parent felt helpless: “Our children are in great danger and we don’t know what to do.”