Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Religious Leader Opposes Sex Education

There is a strange sameness to it, a religious leader opposed to sex education. Strangely similar arguments. Strangely similar responses.
A religious newspaper reported on Wednesday that Shaikh Muhammad Sayyid al-Tantawi, the head of al-Azhar institution, said sex education should be taught "in a way that doesn't stir instincts, or offend public morality".

According to Al-Liwa al-Islami, or The Islamic Banner, al-Tantawi said this was "better than teaching sex to school students and permitting the so-called safe abortion and calling for equality between man and woman through gender culture".

The comments come amid attempts to revive plans to revamp reproductive health education in schools.

Reproductive health issues are already included in science classes, but some teachers simply do not teach them because they are shy, Abd al-Qadir said.

Al-Tantawi said Islam recognises only one way of making a family - through marriage between a man and a woman.

The Islamic cleric said this avoids the need to discuss issues of premarital sex, or the need to provide contraceptives to young people or the issue of abortion.

Last month, Egypt's Grand Mufti Ali Gumaa rejected any courses that teach children safe sex and how to avoid pregnancy and disease on the grounds that they would promote sexual activity. Al-Jazeera: Egypt cleric cautions on sex tuition

Funny thing, religion. I mean, you take two groups who have inside knowledge of God's will, but He's telling them different things all the time, about how to worship, what foods to eat, what behaviors are OK and what ones aren't...
... Abd al-Qadir, whose centre has held seminars on reproductive health in high schools, said young girls and boys have a lot of appetite for knowledge about such issues.

"It is their families that don't want them to know," she said.

"The girls and boys wanted to know. They had a lot of questions."

And some things are always the same.

Is this what we want here? Religious control of our public institutions? Some Grand Mufti telling the schools what to teach your kids?


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