Islamic State militants ban maths, social studies for children

  • PTI, Dubai
  • Updated: Sep 17, 2014 21:55 IST

Thousands of children in swaths of war-torn Syria, now controlled by dreaded Islamic State militants, can no longer study maths or social studies under new diktats issued by the jihadists.

While sports is banned, the children will not be allowed to learn about elections and democracy. Instead, the children will be subjected to the teachings of the radical Islamist group. And any teacher who dares to break the rules "will be punished." ISIS announced its new educational demands in fliers posted on billboards and on street poles, CNN reported.

The Sunni militant group has captured a slew of Syrian and Iraqi cities in recent months as it tries to establish a caliphate, or Islamic state, spanning Sunni parts of both countries.

In the letter, IS said alternative courses will be added. It also said teachers must erase the phrase Syrian Arab Republic -- the official name of Syria -- and replace it with Islamic State.

Read: US may send ground troops, IS video threatens to kill them

Educators cannot teach nationalistic and ethnic ideology and must instead teach "the belonging to Islam ... and to denounce infidelity and infidels." Books cannot include any reference to evolution. And teachers must say that the laws of physics and chemistry "are due to Allah's rules and laws." The letter ends with a firm warning: "This is an obligatory announcement, and all violators will be punished." 200 Syrians killed in one day.

The brutal advances of ISIS in Syria come as the country grapples with a three-year civil war with no clear victor in sight. The UN estimates more than 190,000 people have died in the violence between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime and rebels seeking an end to four decades of al-Assad family rule.

In recent weeks, the IS militants killed two American journalists and a British aid worker, prompting world leaders to form joint front to eliminate the newest threat.

The IS group has carried out abuses including beheadings and crucifixions, and faced a backlash from Syrian rebel groups opposed to its violations and harsh interpretation of Islam.

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