One of our English books when we were kids was the Junior English series by Haydn Richards. It often had excerpts from famous books for English exercises, and once during Grade 6 the book for that year had a few passages from the Treasure Island, and it contained that famous phrase, "Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum".
Our teacher, a certain Ms. Faiza Yasmeen, if I remember rightly, was mortified.
"Boys," she instructed the class. "Pick up your pencils."
We did so.
"Now cross out the word 'rum' there. Rum is a very bad drink. Rum is haraaaaaaaam in Islam. From now on, I want you all-" she looked sternly at us, "-to read this word as 'ORANGE JUICE'."
"Yes, miss." We all replied in monotone.
So for the rest of the term, the right answer to "what phrase did Long John Silver's parrot used to say?" was:
"Fifteen men on the dead man's chest--
...Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of orange juice!"
Of course such misguided attempts to protect our imaan did not stop there. Our science text books were notorious for having pictures of pigs. Oh, the horror! We were encouraged from an early age by The School to take a red pen and cross out every picture of a pig we see in our book, so as to affirm our oath of not eating pork. Me, being me, would cross the picture with a pencil, which could be erased later. I mean, why spoil a perfectly good book?
The fun intensified in Grade 10, during our O Levels Biology course. There was a rumor that the chapter on Human Reproduction had vivid diagrams. As soon as everyone got the books, all the students dove straight for page 180.
And they were bitterly disappointed.
There was a biological diagram of the process, including the "moment" (when two becomes one). Unfortunately for the students, Mr Gazali of the Bookstore had taken considerable pains to use a black marker to completely shade out the offensive material on the 40 or so textbooks. Not a square inch of the diagrams were visible, such was his diligent devotion to his job.
There were however five textbooks which did not have such shading. They all belonged to the Bangladeshis in our section, who being
At first I couldn't figure out why they wanted to borrow my textbook for a few minutes. Then one Arab student told me.
"Ah," I nodded. "You might wish to turn to page 184." Post birth topics, including breast feeding. And it had pictures! Wallahi! It was like striking gold.
All this was brought to my mind as I was reading this post of Suroor.
We cover up so much, yet we are so indecent.
We know, yet we are uneducated.
Islam wants us to learn, yet the Muslims want to be ignorant.
Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of orange juice!
Suroor on Sexual promiscuity amongst Muslims
Haleem on Sex Education in Bangladesh