Sydney: Schools in Australia would teach kids about moderate Islam and Middle Eastern politics, under a plan to counter the messages of radical preachers who are inspiring a generation of homegrown extremists, News Corp Australia reported (NCA).
State and federal education ministers will be asked to approve a suite of new measures to combat the radicalization of Australian school kids at this Friday’s education council meeting.
Ministers will be asked to sign off on the strategy as a matter of urgency, in a bid to curb the extremists brainwashing that resulted in a 15-year-old high school student shooting dead Sydney police accountant Curtis Cheng in October.
Ahead of the meeting, leading National Security Expert Peter Jennings has called for the teaching of Islam and contemporary Middle Eastern politics to be incorporated into the national curriculum, so misleading online hate-preachers cannot fill the information vacuum.
Education academic Kevin Donnelly, who co-chaired the government’s review of the national curriculum, agreed the “moral and spiritual values” of all religions should be taught across Australian schools.
“The focus should be on teaching young people what it means to be Australian,” he said. “At the same time we should be teaching about the major religions, but teaching this in a way that is not sanitized.”
Education Ministers agreed in May to review the initiatives currently in place to support young people deemed to be at risk of radicalization to violent extremism.
News Corp Australia understands that review is now complete and the findings will be presented to Minister’s at this Friday’s meeting.
Jenning’s proposal to incorporate the teachings of moderate Islam into the school curriculum comes after Liberal frontbencher Josh Frydenberg declared a “problem within Islam” was to blame for the recent attacks and called for more moderate Muslim voices in the debate about terrorism.