ASIA NEWS NETWORK
WE KNOW ASIA BETTER
Non-Muslim parents in Brunei not concerned about children studying Islam
Publication Date : 09-06-2014
Majority of non-Muslim parents are not concerned that their children have to study Islamic religious studies at schools in Brunei.
An Islamic religious knowledge officer, Zahrinah, said most non-Muslim parents are supportive, mainly due to its disciplinary principles in shaping children’s characters and see no problem in their children studying Islamic religous studies.
“Most parents who are non-Muslim understand that the subject does not force children to convert to Islam, but is aimed at teaching the values of Islam that instill discipline,” Zahrinah told The Brunei Times.
However, in one isolated case, she said that a complaint was filed by parents who disapproved of their children to studying the subject.
“Those parent sent their children to a private school,” said Zahrinah, not disclosing the name of the school to protect the identity of the child.
The other concern, she said was that many parents thought studying Islamic religious studies would affect the overall grades of their children. However, the officer clarified that these were isolated cases as in general most non-Muslim parents do not see the subject as a tool to influence their children towards Islam.
Sinega Siwerdi, division head of religious school unit, said that there are non-Muslim students who achieved higher grades in Islamic religious studies examination than Muslim students.
“This shows that even non-Muslims want to learn about Islam,” she said.
Sinega said that there were Muslim students who are not aware of the basic teachings of Islam like performing prayers or mandi wajib (complete cleanse of the body).