A recent report by News Corp Australia Network has given insight into what could happen if Boko Haram wins the war it had declared on Nigeria’s north.
The Islamist sect had announced the takeover of some towns in the region and had declared an Islamic caliphate, in the same manner as the Islamic State’s declaration of a caliphate. It is however unclear if Boko Hararam had pledged allegiance to Islamic State’s caliphate.
The situation in the areas now ruled by the Islamic State mirrors what awaits Nigeria if the war against Boko Haram is not won.
According to the report, Islamic State had in an edict from the Islamic State banned the teaching of music, social studies, artistic drawing, sport and philosophy from all schools in the IS-controlled city of Raqqa.
The teaching of any religious studies that refer to Christianity has also been forbidden, along with any mention of Charles Darwin and natural selection. Mathematical teachings may not refer to the earning of interest or be used to explain the electoral process and democracy.
The “General Statement to all Education and Teaching Institutions”, posted on Twitter, came into force four days ago and signifies that the creation of the new caliphate under Sharia Law is well underway.
Supposedly happy school-age children supporting IS feature on hardline Twitter terror feeds emerging from the northern Syrian city, which fell to IS in January, along with the routine scenes of corpses and carnage.
Gender segregation and the requirement that schoolgirls to wear the hijab once they enter grade six are already obligatory, but the new rules indicate that Raqqa has begun formally organising its Sharia governance.
The edict requires that schools abolish the words “homeland” or “Syria” and replace them with “The Islamic State” or “the land of the Muslims” or “the province of ash-Sham”.
Schools must remove “all photos that do not concord with Islamic Sharia”, abolish the name “Syrian Arab Republic” and replace it with “Islamic State”.
The Syrian national song is to be removed “wherever it is found” and will not be replaced with an IS song, given music is “definitively abolished from teaching programs”.
There must be “no teaching of nationalist doctrine” and instead a “commitment to Islam and its people and no affiliation with idolatry and its people”.
Further in the edict, “Abolition from the sciences of anything connected with the Darwin theory, natural selection and not attributing all creation to God Almighty and Exalted is He.”
“The teacher is to make the students aware that all the laws of physics and chemistry are from God’s laws in creation.”
The rules state that the Syrian government’s Education Ministry no longer exists and has been replaced with the IS Ministry of Education and Teaching.
Teachers have been told to “patch up gaps in knowledge of the grammar of Arabic” but in doing so must ensure that any examples they teach “do not contradict the Islamic Sharia and politics of the Islamic State”.
Those subjects that have been outlawed will be “replaced by subjects added in compensation by the directorate of programs in the Islamic State”.
It does not specify what the new subjects will be, but it appears schoolchildren will be forced to focus entirely on religious studies and language.
“This general statement is considered compulsory and all who disagree must be held accountable,” says the edict.
With the approach taken by the two organisation seeming to show great similarities, Nigeria will do well to root out terrorism by Islamic sect Boko Haram before it becomes too late.