Egypt’s former Culture Minister Jaber Asfur faced backlash after he demanded that the government remove pro-Jihad verses from the state curriculum.
“These verses are used as a pretext by terrorist organizations and as a mechanism to recruit young Egyptians,” he said.
“Our education should be based on tolerance, moderation, and open-mindedness, in the spirit of our time,” he added, praising the Moroccan government that recently published new editions of textbooks.
“The verses about jihad should be replaced by verses about compassion and forgiveness,” he said.
Asfur’s statement was hotly condemned by several clerics, including Abdullah Najar of the Institute for Islamic Studies, who said, “Asfur is like a sick man who goes to the doctor, who says that the most effective way to get well is to kill himself.”
“The Quran is a matrix of compassion that Allah bestowed upon us, and will continue to be a source of inspiration,” he said. “If we remove these verses, will the West treat us respectfully?”
Asfur’s statements also didn’t go down well on social media. “If Sisi’s government were able to delete the Quran completely, they would do it,” Muhamad wrote.
@Arabi21News لو استطاعت حكومة السيسي وامثالهم من الحكام الفاسدين حذف القران كاملا لفعلوا
— محمد الوزني (@islamgh9) July 5, 2016
“May Allah punish Sisi and his cronies, the friends of the Zionists,” Abu Muhamad wrote.
— ابومحمد الخلايله (@yFeUIne9pCfZ2M1) July 5, 2016
Saoud tweeted: “Allah should remove your head.”
حذف الله رأسه.
— سعود البقعاوي (@baqawiss1) July 5, 2016
“Just be brave enough to admit that you want to remove some verses from the Quran itself,” Saer wrote.
@Arabi21News خلي عندك شجاعه وطالب بحزف ايات الجهاد من القران لان ده غرضك يا اسطى
— عابر سبيل (@saeradarb) July 5, 2016
Naboha warned: “That man may well be our next education minister.”
@Arabi21News ده مرشح كمان يكون وزير التعليم فى التغيير القادم
— Naboha Awad (@Naboha1) July 5, 2016
“Once these verses are removed from the school curriculum, they will ask to remove it from the Quran itself!” Abu Mashaal wrote.
@Arabi21News وإذا تم حذفها من مناهج الأزهر سيطالب هو أو غيره بحذفها من القرآن نفسه !!!
— ابو مشعل (@rahman885566) July 5, 2016