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With extreme sadness, on the death of Mohamad Thaqif Amin Mohd Gaddafi, I wrote these two notes on my Facebook page.

ALFATIHAH
he just wanted to
live to be a good man
and to grow up loving life
- ar

MALAYSIA: THIS NATION
must go on a long soul searching trip
for the future of our children
especially when it comes to education
and religious extremism
there is no point taking pride in becoming
the TOOTHPICK CYBER CAPITAL of the FOREST-CITY WORLD
when our schools are turning into
concentration camps for religious instruction? - ar

Days before the young boy died, I wrote these:

“Dear Allah, please open my parents’ hearts to allow me to transfer to another school because I cannot stand it any more. Please, Allah, make my wishes come true.” from the boy, Mohamad Thaqif’s diary.

What is the value of these kinds of tahfiz schools when the human mind is structured to value thinking rather than merely regurgitating information they are not using meaningfully? Don't these religious school implementers read theories of human intelligence, philosophies of education, constructivism and critical approaches to teaching, and the writings of the liberal philosophers of education?

Yes, have them memorise, memorise, and memorise and make them only proud of that - don’t ask them to analyse, analyse, analyse and synthesise and have them form their own opinion, because thinking is a dangerous and subversive act to those forcing them to memorise. This is how IS operates and how Boko Haram works.

Don’t these educators in the religious schools read any of the methods of effective teaching and effective learning? Or at least understand that you cannot force children to love learning by having them wake up at 3am, lose sleep, and when they cannot learn effectively, you allegedly beat them up?...

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