What they are teaching kids in school these days
As I do every Friday, I had lunch with Clean's family (now "my" family). Let me re-phrase to accommodate my Kuwaiti dad who tells me to say this, 'I had lunch with my Kuwaiti family....'
I have more frank/open discussions about religion within the family than anywhere else. No one's feathers get ruffled. No one gets offended. It is genuine curiosity on both sides. I hear a lot about Islam (not all of it true as it is often relayed through YouTube videos made by well-intentioned people who interpret it to their perception); generally from the younger brothers in the family. Dad always steps in and corrects them (and then shouts at them for believing stuff that they've heard on the internet). I love that man.
Anyhow, I was sitting with the girls and one was doing her English homework so she asked me to help (along with one of the older sisters who speaks English well). The subject was geriatrics and one of the questions (from a Kuwaiti public school) was, "Why do you think there are no geriatric homes in Kuwait?" and the "appropriate" answer (as listed on their form) was "because Islam teaches Muslims to honor their mother and father."
While that is very true, so do most religions of the world - including the Western world where the Bible says the same thing. Does it mean that Christians (or Jews or others) don't honor their parents?
My opinion is that Kuwait will have more geriatric homes in the future - and that it has nothing to do with religion. It has to do with a working culture.
Even 10-15 years ago in Kuwait, mothers stayed at home to take care of their children. Now, most couples both work and the children are left in the care of nannies (or if they can afford it - day care centers). I don't know of any Kuwaiti families personally that have elder family members living at home (I'm talking really elder - like over 80). I don't know because the parents have either passed away or are younger than 80. Western countries also have common geriatric illness such as alzheimer's. While I don't know the statistics of alzheimer's cases in Kuwait, I suspect that if it is a Western problem, it will soon become a Kuwait problem. Diets in Kuwait are turning to fast-food; industrialization, pollution.... whatever the cause of an increase in cases may be. How will an untrained, uneducated maid handle an aging alzheimer's patient? How will a working couple?
It isn't a matter of religion; it is a matter of the best care for the parent. I do know many people in the States - friends - who have had to make heart-wrenching decisions to put their parents in geriatric homes because they could no longer care for them at home. These friends are God-fearing people who love and respect their family members. They worried for their parent's safety and well-being. It is never an easy decision and I am sure that it comes after much prayer.
I don't think that it is "appropriate" for any school to imply that their is a lack of compassion by any other religion in their duty to their parents. If anything, schools here should be teaching comparitive religion; showing the similarities to Islam; not creating misunderstanding.