Salafist Egyptian MP assails teaching English as foreign plot

A Salafist (ultra-conservative) Egyptian lawmaker has lashed out at Egyptian government for expanding the teaching of the English language in the schools, calling it a foreign plot

Cairo: A Salafist (ultra-conservative) Egyptian lawmaker has lashed out at Egyptian government for expanding the teaching of the English language in the schools, calling it a foreign plot.

“The aim of teaching English is to change the culture of our children since their early years,” Mohammad Al Kurdi, an MP belonging to the Salafist Al Nour Party, told the parliament in a televised session.

He was commenting on an Egyptian-US cooperation agreement to improve elementary education.

“This agreement seeks to start teaching the English language in the second grade, instead of the fourth grade as is the case now, in governmental schools,” he said.

"There is no other nation that makes a foreign language the main language of teaching in its schools. May be the only subject that is not taught in English now [in Egypt] is religion.”

Al Nour controls 26 per cent of the newly-elected Egyptian parliament where Islamists hold more than two-thirds of the seats.

Nader Bakar, the spokesman for Al Nour, dismissed Al Kurdi’s argument as superficial, and “not based on the Sharia [Islamic law] or science”.

“The comment made by Al Kurdi was inappropriate too. It does not represent the party’s view. We have referred him to a probe,” added Bakar on his Twitter account on Tuesday.

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