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Further to yesterday’s letter in the Irish Times…

Barbara McCarthy, in The Times Ireland edition, reports:

John Hammond, deputy chief executive of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, said that the Koran was included because of its literary and linguistic value rather than its religious value.

The NCCA said that it received a complaint from a Christian parent of a student, contesting the assumption that all Arabic students were Muslims and had a knowledge of the Koran.

Eight separate sections of the Koran are identified as prescribed texts in the exam.

The council is willing to address the issue that it is compulsory and will look into making it optional for the next school year,” Mr Hammond said.

Koran may be dropped from Leaving Cert (The Times Ireland edition)

Yesterday: Leaving Cert Fail

33 thoughts on “Inshallah

    1. Tish Mahorey

      Seems like you’re outraged.

      It was a fair comment and is now being easily addressed. No big deal.

    2. nellyb

      Baffling is ncca choice of literature in Arabic. They didn’t choose bible for russian leaving cert.

  1. Owen C

    So just 8 sections of the Koran are prescribed text for the exam, for their literary and linguistic value? So the father of the girl taking the exam hadn’t actually looked into what exactly was on the exam and why?

      1. Owen C

        I’m not lobbying for it. I’m not lobbying for Shakepeare on the English exam either, but he seems to fit well within the idea of English literature. As does the Koran within Arabic literature.

        1. classter

          Agreed, Owen.

          I can understand why this guy would not be keen for his daughter to study the Koran in any form but in the longer run she is better off doing so.

          1. Cup of tea anyone?

            How can you “understand why this guy would not be keen for his daughter to study the Koran in any form”
            Understanding other religions is very important so that future generations do not use religion as an excuse for hate. See all the hate Muslims around Europe received after the terrorist bombings last week.

            But I suppose if she learns anything about other religions she might actually choose her own religion. And that would bring shame on the parish.

          2. Kieran NYC

            “Understanding other religions is very important so that future generations do not use religion as an excuse for hate.”

            In a religion class. This is a language class.

            Unless you also want a history of the development of maths in Arabia on Maths Paper II?

      2. collynomial

        The Acts of the the Apostles and the four gospels are included in the leaving cert Ancient Greek course, mate. That’s a little more than 8 sections.

        1. ahjayzis

          Contemporaneous to ancient Greek.

          Has there been no new literature in the Arabic language in 1600 years?

          1. Owen C

            From Wikipedia (caveats as standard) on Quaran

            “The exemplar of classical literature

            The Qur’an was one of the first major works of Arabic literature and definitely the most influential.
            The Qur’an had a significant influence on the Arab language. The language used in it is called classical Arabic, and while modern Arabic is very similar, the classical has social prestige. Not only is the Qur’an the first work of any significant length written in the language it also has a far more complicated structure than the earlier literary works with its 114 suras (chapters) which contain 6,236 ayat (verses). It contains injunctions, narratives, homilies, parables, direct addresses from God, instructions and even comments on itself on how it will be received and understood. It is also, paradoxically, admired for its layers of metaphor as well as its clarity, a feature it mentions itself in sura 16:103.”

            It would actually be weird if they didn’t reference the Quaran in an Arabic exam.

    1. C Sharp

      If you are fleeing fundamentalists carrying a Koran in one hand and a bloody scimitar in the other it’s understandable that you might be a small bit touchy if your child’s required reading at school involving either.

      1. Owen C

        Oh, i completely understand his reponse. And completely disagree with it. Ireland ain’t Syria.

        1. ahjayzis

          Reckon the catholics up north would be okay with the Book of Common Prayer being compulsory reading for the English Lit exam?

      1. Owen C

        So the Teaching of Scientology has the same level of importance in English literature/culture as the Quaran has in Arabic literature/culture?

        An example of its importance/status:

        “Islamic scholars regard the Qur’an as a literary work of unmatched eloquence, written in perfect Arabic. Few members of the early Islamic community could read or write. The introduction of the Qur’an helped transform Arabia into a literate society. ”

        http://www.oxfordislamicstudies.com/article/opr/t243/e275

  2. Paps

    Great news! Now the daughter of the Christian Syrian can take a gaap yaaar, do a test in her primary language and not have to deal with and comfortableness.
    Meanwhile I as an Atheist attending a catholic secondary school had to attend mass, and received all kinds of dirty looks when staying behind and not getting communion..
    Can we not just remove all aspects of religion from education.

  3. MoyestWithExcitement

    Isn’t it mad how a letter to a newspaper will get our resident trolls frothing about “Outrage” with no sense of self awareness? Clearly in this case they didn’t like seeing an uppity complain about something in the country.

  4. bisted

    …another great victory for christianity over islam…but don’t forget lads…while you both can’t be right, you both can be wrong!

  5. Cup of tea anyone?

    It is funny how people have been complaining about one religion in schools for years and nothing is done to remove it.
    A person complains about another religion and it is removed quite quickly.

    I guess it just wasn’t the right religion.

  6. KirkenBrenner

    I’m awfully surprised that Moyest hasn’t been roaring and gibbering and accusing the girl and her father of being islamophobes.

  7. Cromuel

    The King James Bible is certainly an influential text in English (and its translation is a valuable text in Irish). I’m very happy to read both for literary merit. Would I be happy to see them on the school curriculum? About as happy as to see those influential bomb recipes from The Anarchist Cookbook.

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