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Koran is "prescribed material" for Leaving Cert Arabic.

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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,224 ✭✭✭✭ Akrasia


    Cabaal wrote: »
    So the bible should be included in English classes....you know...to test people's understanding and comprehension of English
    :rolleyes:

    Far more logical to use a none religious text especially for people of none-faith or other faiths,

    I'd actually love to see certain passages on the bible opened up to a hundred thousand teenagers to critically analyse as a literary text.. There'd probably be some legendary answers.


  • Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators, Regional South East Moderators Posts: 28,076 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Cabaal


    Akrasia wrote: »
    I'd actually love to see certain passages on the bible opened up to a hundred thousand teenagers to critically analyse as a literary text.. There'd probably be some legendary answers.

    As would I, but during religion class,
    Can't see it happening though


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,913 ✭✭✭ Absolam


    Cabaal wrote: »
    But the importance comes from the fact that it is seen as the word of god, this means the viewpoint of it is flawed as its wrong to doubt god.
    Not, apparently, to some, who think it is the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language. For them the importance seems to be it's fineness as a piece of literature. Sounds like a good reason to include it in studies of Arabic literature.
    Cabaal wrote: »
    So the bible should be included in English classes....you know...to test people's understanding and comprehension of English:rolleyes:
    If there's a bible that is generally considered to be a great piece of literature, sure, why not :D Actually, isn't the Song of Solomon supposed to be one of the greatest love poems of all time? I don't know if it suffers greatly in translation to English, but perhaps there is some merit to the notion that some excerpted passages from the (Holy) Bible are worth including in literature classes.
    Cabaal wrote: »
    Far more logical to use a none religious text especially for people of none-faith or other faiths,
    Far more logical to base selection on the quality of literature, rather than the mere presence or absence of religious content, which, in all fairness, isn't terribly relevant to the subject of literature.


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,128 ✭✭✭✭ One eyed Jack


    Cabaal wrote: »
    So the bible should be included in English classes....you know...to test people's understanding and comprehension of English
    :rolleyes:


    If it were an examination of Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek languages then I might expect the Bible would be mandatory reading.

    English? Not so much, as the Bible isn't originally written in english. It has been translated into english.

    Far more logical to use a none religious text especially for people of none-faith or other faiths,


    How exactly is the candidates religion or none even relevant in their study of a particular language?


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,384 ✭✭✭✭ CIARAN_BOYLE


    How exactly is the candidates religion or none even relevant in their study of a particular language?

    Because a candidate of a certain faith would be expected to be familiar with the course material prior to commencing study.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,967 ✭✭✭ TheChizler


    Interestingly the Bible is included in part of the Latin LC curriculum, I think as an option.

    https://www.education.ie/en/Schools-Colleges/Information/Curriculum-and-Syllabus/Senior-Cycle-/Syllabuses-and-Guidelines/lc_latin_sy.pdf


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,128 ✭✭✭✭ One eyed Jack


    Because a candidate of a certain faith would be expected to be familiar with the course material prior to commencing study.


    Candidates aren't being tested on their faith in a language exam though?

    That's the fundamental issue I have with any claims that the exam is discriminatory to a candidate based upon their religion or none - because it isn't relevant. If I were studying Arabic, I would expect the Koran would be a relevant text, regardless of it's religious connotations or otherwise.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 24,240 Mod ✭✭✭✭ robindch


    TheChizler wrote: »
    Interestingly the Bible is included in part of the Latin LC curriculum, I think as an option.
    And it's included in the Ancient Greek curriculum as well, or at least, used to be.

    FWIW, including it is/was useful since - compared to the literary works of Plato, Aristophanes, Herodotus and the rest - the Koine Greek used in the NT is really quite easy to understand - limited vocabulary, simple grammar, uncomplicated story-line. Even the gospel of John, which is by the most polished of all the gospels in Greek, isn't a soggy patch on Plato.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,594 ✭✭✭ oldrnwisr


    Just one minor point about this.
    It is entirely possible that the passages from the Quran were included for sound academic reasons. While the concept of i'jaz (the inimitability or uniqueness of the Quran) is a Muslim belief, the idea that the Quran is noteworthy among Arabic literature is something that is supported by a number of Western scholars too.
    In "A History of God", Karen Armstrong writes:

    "It is as though Muhammad had created an entirely new literary form that some people were not ready for but which thrilled others. Without this experience of the Koran, it is extremely unlikely that Islam would have taken root."


    Similarly, Oliver Leaman, professor of Judaic Studies at University of Kentucky noted:

    "...the verses of the Qur'an represent its uniqueness and beauty not to mention its novelty and originality. That is why it has succeeded in convincing so many people of its truth. it imitates nothing and no one nor can it be imitated. Its style does not pall even after long periods of study and the text does not lose its freshness over time"



    Furthermore, the syllabus shows that the questions about the Quran are contained in a section which also includes questions on either Arabic poetry or modern Arabic prose. This indicates that there is likely to be some kind of comparative question between the older text and newer ones. This is a pretty uncontroversial idea since the LC English curriculum includes (or at least included when I did my LC) middle English in the form of The Canterbury Tales as well as modern English.

    Also, I don't really see what the problem is with including a religious text in a literature course is in the first place. The students are being asked to read it and answer questions, not believe what they're reading. Back in the day when I did LC English we had Paradise Lost to contend with which is a quasi religious text. It doesn't mean any of us came away from the LC believing in Satan because of it.

    I can't think of a good reason to exclude religious texts from a literature course at all. Ignorance is a bad thing IMO. If reading an extract from the Quran gives you a better insight into Islam all the better regardless of whether you have a different religion or none at all. People would be better off if they understood better what different religions actually teach instead of what they think it does. Religion survives in part on ignorance. Lots of religious people and most of the ones I've come across in real life don't know the first thing about what their own religion actually teaches. I'm an atheist in part because I've read the Bible, the Quran, the Guru Granth Sahib, the Book of Mormon, the Baghavad Gita because reading what a different religion believes is not something to shy away from or be fearful of. It's difficult to argue with someone who claims their religion is true if you don't know the first thing about their religion. As Penn Jillette says below, reading the Bible or the Quran or whatever is the fastest way to become an atheist:



    And another thing, religious texts are very useful in literature courses because of the changes and mistranslations that inevitably happen to these texts over history. For example, the virgin birth prophecy in Matthew's gospel is as good an example of deliberate mistranslation as you'll find in any body of literature.
    Similarly, the alteration of Surah 37:103 in the Quran between the Samarkand Codex and the modern text is another example of how the meaning of passages can be changed completely due to copying changes/errors.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 625 130Kph


    Absolam wrote: »
    I didn't want to read about Peig, that was really that simple too...

    On bended knee, I plead with you not to drag the memory of pragmatic yet pessimistic Peig into this Qur'anic quagmire.

    Ochón mo croí, hasn’t this poor seanachaí suffered enough in passing through this vale of tears...


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  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 24,240 Mod ✭✭✭✭ robindch


    130Kph wrote: »
    On bended knee, I plead with you not to drag the memory of pragmatic yet pessimistic Peig into this Qur'anic quagmire.
    In defence of a fellow (former) resident of Kerry, I should point out that the edition of Peig which was inflicted upon generations of Irish school kids seems to have been bowdlerized, sanctified and dehumorized to the extent that Myles NaGopaleen wrote his hilarious An Béal Bocht to help satirize it.

    Peig herself, so far as history and the library of her recordings at UCD suggests, was a witty and skilled storyteller and probably wouldn't have had much truck with the misery-laden book which bears her name.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭ recedite


    Akrasia wrote: »
    It would be interesting to see how the essays are graded if someone didn't engage with the text in an intelligent way, but merely venerated it because of their religion

    "Critically assess the themes in the below text"
    "Allah, peace be upon him, is great, therefore everything in the text below is true and beyond human reproach'

    If an answer like that was given high marks out of 'respect' for their beliefs, it would be just as outrageous as someone getting low marks for raising valid but critical questions on the themes in the text.
    That would be interesting alright, and especially the second part; if the student made an intelligent criticism of the Koran, as a literary work.

    This is the problem with using any religious text in a non-religious exam. If the text is considered by some (eg the examiner!) to be perfect, and the word of god, then it is difficult or impossible to make an objective study or an objective critique of it.
    I wonder who exactly examines these papers anyway? If I was a Syrian Christian with fluent Arabic, sitting a Leaving Cert exam in Ireland, I would not be at all happy answering a question on the Koran if a guy in Clonskeagh mosque was going to be correcting the paper.

    Also I find it hard to believe that there is so little merit in the broad lexicon of Arabic literature that the LC exam has no choice but to use such controversial material.


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,128 ✭✭✭✭ One eyed Jack


    recedite wrote: »
    That would be interesting alright, and especially the second part; if the student made an intelligent criticism of the Koran, as a literary work.

    This is the problem with using any religious text in a non-religious exam. If the text is considered by some (eg the examiner!) to be perfect, and the word of god, then it is difficult or impossible to make an objective study or an objective critique of it.

    I wonder who exactly examines these papers anyway? If I was a Syrian Christian with fluent Arabic, sitting a Leaving Cert exam in Ireland, I would not be at all happy answering a question on the Koran if a guy in Clonskeagh mosque was going to be correcting the paper.


    The State Examinations Commission recruits teachers for the roles of examiners:

    Personal Reflection Task

    All suitably qualified teachers are welcome to apply for these positions. Examiners will be selected on the basis of their teaching and assessment experience and qualifications. Full training is provided and a support network is available throughout the marking process.

    Applicants for the position must:

    hold a third level degree or equivalent
    have recent teaching experience in the relevant subject area or related subject
    have good organisational and analytical skills
    be able to work to a fixed time-scale
    be available to work full-time for the duration of the marking
    be resident in the Republic of Ireland during the marking period.
    To apply, download an application form above, complete and return to “Examiners Section, State Examinations Commission, Cornamaddy, Athlone, Co Westmeath” as soon as possible.

    Why become an examiner?

    Being an examiner enables you to:

    enhance your own teaching
    gain a deeper understanding of the assessment process
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    The role of the examiner

    Typically, you will be required to

    familiarise yourself with the contents of the Instructions to Examiners booklet
    attend a marking conference
    collect your allocated scripts for marking
    mark the scripts in accordance with the agreed marking scheme
    submit scripts to your advising examiner for monitoring
    complete the work within a given time period
    submit a report at the end of the marking process
    A support network is available throughout the marking process.

    Marking through Irish

    A number of examiners are required in most subjects to mark scripts answered through Irish. Irish translations of the marking schemes are available. There is an additional payment for marking through Irish.

    recedite wrote: »
    Also I find it hard to believe that there is so little merit in the broad lexicon of Arabic literature that the LC exam has no choice but to use such controversial material.


    It's been on the Leaving Cert syllabus in it's current format since 1997:

    Leaving Certificate Arabic was offered in Ireland for the first time in June 1997, at Ordinary and Higher levels. The current syllabus is based on the Arabic curriculum taught at secondary school level in the state system of an Arabic-speaking country. The curriculum includes a number of prescribed texts, both religious and secular.
    Part 2
    Part 2 will consist of three sections. The first section, to be answered by all candidates, will comprise an extract from the Koran, followed by two questions. The second and third sections, between which the
    andidates will be asked to choose, will consist respectively of a portion of classical Arabic verse, followed by two questions, and an extract from a work of modern Arabic prose, followed by 2 questions. In both cases, one question will bear directly on the text presented, while the other question will be of a more contextual nature.

    Source: Leaving Certificate Arabic Interim Syllabus


    There's absolutely nothing controversial about the use of the Koran in learning the Arabic language, any more than there is anything controversial about the use of Shakespeare in learning the English language.


    The father's point here seems to be this:

    However, a Syrian father whose Christian daughter is due to sit the exam says the requirement is unfair for students and discriminatory.

    “She, as a Christian, has never studied the Koran,” said Marwan, who asked that his surname not be used.


    It's meant to test the student's knowledge of the Arabic language, not their knowledge of the Islamic religion. That's what the religious education syllabus is for.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,640 ✭✭✭✭ meeeeh


    TheChizler wrote: »
    Interestingly the Bible is included in part of the Latin LC curriculum, I think as an option.

    https://www.education.ie/en/Schools-Colleges/Information/Curriculum-and-Syllabus/Senior-Cycle-/Syllabuses-and-Guidelines/lc_latin_sy.pdf
    I went to school in another country. We had old Testament in literature. We also mentioned some other religious works, we had Greek literature, we did Romans and so on. I still resent having to read Dante's Divine Comedy but we also did Zola, Tolstoy, Comte, Goethe, Joyce... Bible like anything else was considered part of literal history and was discussed and analized as such. The school was completely secular.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,770 ✭✭✭ The Randy Riverbeast


    It would depend on the way it was studied. No idea what the course involves but if they were taking passages and studying them in terms of how it is written using the language rather than what Allah wanted then I dont see how it can be discrimination. If she is attending the class then they have probably studied the required parts. Probably better to avoid religious texts in schools though. A christian complaining about being discriminated within the Irish school system is a bit odd.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 752 ✭✭✭ Lurkio


    seamus wrote: »
    I don't think the Koran is going to be winning many literary awards either.
    ................

    It's a very important text in terms of classical Arabic, which is why they used it, presumably.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭ recedite


    The State Examinations Commission recruits teachers for the roles of examiners:
    Yes, but which teachers? Your average Irish teacher is not going to be competent to correct a LC Arabic paper.
    There are only a couple of schools in Ireland which regularly use Arabic in the classroom, and they are all under Islamic control, and closely associated with mosques.
    So if teachers from those schools are correcting the paper, how objective are they likely to be when assessing a critique of the Koran that has been written by a kuffar?
    F is for fail, and also for fatwa.


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,128 ✭✭✭✭ One eyed Jack


    recedite wrote: »
    Yes, but which teachers? Your average Irish teacher is not going to be competent to correct a LC Arabic paper.
    There are only a couple of schools in Ireland which regularly use Arabic in the classroom, and they are all under Islamic control, and closely associated with mosques.
    So if teachers from those schools are correcting the paper, how objective are they likely to be when assessing a critique of the Koran that has been written by a kuffar?
    F is for fail, and also for fatwa.


    I would imagine that's why the SEC interviews candidates to determine whether they are suitable for the role of examining the students work in an impartial way, the same as they would have candidates who would be able to examine english, french, german, etc, in an impartial way.

    Candidates are not being asked for a critique of the Koran, they are being examined on their comprehension of the Arabic language in which the Koran is written.

    F is also for FUD.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 752 ✭✭✭ Lurkio


    recedite wrote: »
    Yes, but which teachers? Your average Irish teacher is not going to be competent to correct a LC Arabic paper.
    There are only a couple of schools in Ireland which regularly use Arabic in the classroom, and they are all under Islamic control, and closely associated with mosques.
    So if teachers from those schools are correcting the paper, how objective are they likely to be when assessing a critique of the Koran that has been written by a kuffar?
    F is for fail, and also for fatwa.

    You seem to be operating under the notion that this is (a) a theology test and (b) that muslims correspond to some crude stereotype. While it is regrettable that a religious text is used in the context it is, its quite understandable why this is case given the relationship of classical Arabic and the Koran. You are searching for jihadis and extremists in what is a merely an awkward combination of language and religion.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭ recedite


    Lurkio wrote: »
    You seem to be operating under the notion that this is (a) a theology test and (b) that muslims correspond to some crude stereotype. ..
    And you have no basis whatsoever for saying that.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,913 ✭✭✭ Absolam


    recedite wrote: »
    And you have no basis whatsoever for saying that.
    Ahem. The basis for the below statements is.... ?
    recedite wrote: »
    This is what happens when religious authorities are allowed to get involved in setting state exams and curricula.
    recedite wrote: »
    If the text is considered by some (eg the examiner!) to be perfect, and the word of god, then it is difficult or impossible to make an objective study or an objective critique of it.
    recedite wrote: »
    So if teachers from those schools are correcting the paper, how objective are they likely to be when assessing a critique of the Koran that has been written by a kuffar?


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,790 ✭✭✭ goose2005


    Worth remembering that we have Hebrew Studies on the Leaving Cert where all the prescribed texts are from the Tenakh and Mishnah.

    https://curriculumonline.ie/getmedia/7c6e16cb-4582-4836-b329-89e3e5f0f1c6/SCSEC19_Hebrew_syllabus_eng.pdf


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 752 ✭✭✭ Lurkio


    recedite wrote: »
    And you have no basis whatsoever for saying that.

    I believe I do.

    "There are only a couple of schools in Ireland which regularly use Arabic in the classroom, and they are all under Islamic control, and closely associated with mosques.
    So if teachers from those schools are correcting the paper, how objective are they likely to be when assessing a critique of the Koran that has been written by a kuffar?"


  • Registered Users Posts: 68,333 ✭✭✭✭ seamus


    goose2005 wrote: »
    Worth remembering that we have Hebrew Studies on the Leaving Cert where all the prescribed texts are from the Tenakh and Mishnah.

    https://curriculumonline.ie/getmedia/7c6e16cb-4582-4836-b329-89e3e5f0f1c6/SCSEC19_Hebrew_syllabus_eng.pdf
    Hebrew is slightly different, to be fair. It really only exists today because it remained in sporadic use by small enclaves of the Jewish clergy.

    So it would be next to impossible to study modern Hebrew without taking the older religious texts into account, since they form the bulk of the oldest texts available in that language.

    Arabic has been an everyday language for a lot longer than Hebrew, so should in theory have a lot more historical material that's not religious.

    I wonder what's on the Latin course? I would have thought Latin was equally dead except for the efforts of the Catholic church. Is the Latin bible on that curriculum?


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,640 ✭✭✭✭ meeeeh


    I don't know about here but Latin is studied by those doing medicine and veterinary medicine. It has nothing to do with church efforts. If you ignore the fact that medical terminology uses Latin, it is also important for the origin of words in most European languages. Ignorance and narrow mindedness on this thread surprises me a bit. I would think that limiting the literature only to inoffensive, non political, non religious limits the understanding of ourselves significantly.


  • Registered Users Posts: 68,333 ✭✭✭✭ seamus


    meeeeh wrote: »
    I don't know about here but Latin is studied by those doing medicine and veterinary medicine.
    Off topic a bit here, but really? I'm aware of the latin root of many european languages, and medical terminology in particular, but it would surprise me that it would be required study in a medical course? You don't need to study latin to get medical terminology.
    Ignorance and narrow mindedness on this thread surprises me a bit. I would think that limiting the literature only to inoffensive, non political, non religious limits the understanding of ourselves significantly.
    I don't think anyone has said that religious texts shouldn't be used for the study of language.

    The discussion is primarily around the topic of the Koran being required reading on a Leaving Cert Arabic course.

    It would be the equivalent of making the Bible required reading in an English course.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,640 ✭✭✭✭ meeeeh


    seamus wrote: »
    It would be the equivalent of making the Bible required reading in an English course.

    We had that in our literature. The Song of Solomon is one if historical texts if you do history of literature. Besides how for example would anyone understand Divine Comedy without basic knowledge of Biblical stories and of Greek and especially Roman Mythology. Or Wilde's Salome to name just two.


  • Registered Users Posts: 68,333 ✭✭✭✭ seamus


    meeeeh wrote: »
    We had that in our literature. The Song of Solomon is one if historical texts if you do history of literature. Besides how for example would anyone understand Divine Comedy without basic knowledge of Biblical stories and of Greek and especially Roman Mythology. Or Wilde's Salome to name just two.
    That's not the same thing though. Literature studies, classical studies and other historical sciences, have many many good reasons to review religious texts.

    But leaving cert language subjects are not literature studies. They will examine some texts that are important from the perspective of language formation - hence Shakespeare. But not necessarily texts with a cultural importance. Hence why we don't study the bible as part of the leaving cert english course.

    Another poster has suggested that the Koran is important from the perspective of the history of Arabic. Which is fine.

    But it's not ignorant or narrow-minded of people to question the necessity of studying a religious text for a topic which is not related to religion. Quite the opposite in fact.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭ recedite


    Lurkio wrote: »
    I believe I do.

    "There are only a couple of schools in Ireland which regularly use Arabic in the classroom, and they are all under Islamic control, and closely associated with mosques.
    So if teachers from those schools are correcting the paper, how objective are they likely to be when assessing a critique of the Koran that has been written by a kuffar?"
    That does not mean that
    (a) I think its a theology test
    or (b) I think that muslims correspond to some crude stereotype

    The fact is, they believe that the Koran is the work of a god.

    Supposing there was a mandatory test on the Harry Potter books in the LC English exam. Now JK Rowling may, or may not, be a very fine author.
    But as a student you are going to answer that question in a very different way if you think the exam has been set by somebody who believes its all true, its all perfectly written, and it was dictated to JK Rowling by an almighty god. Especially if that same person is the one who will be correcting your exam papers afterwards.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,640 ✭✭✭✭ meeeeh


    We had the Song of Salomon as part to of Slovene leaving cert type curriculum. We would do a sample of European major literature and some of the world texts. I am not familiar with Koran, I know we did some but it could be as part of history on Arabic State. School is strictly non religious, church isn't allowed even to rent classrooms for after school religion.


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