Moving the furniture

July 16, 2008

Not exactly a stunner:

This report compares the 2007-2008 textbooks that are currently posted on the website of the Saudi Ministry of Education with those analyzed in our 2006 study, and shows that the same violent and intolerant teachings against other religious believers noted in 2006 remain in the current texts.
 They assert that unbelievers, such as Christians, Jews, and Muslims who do not share Wahhabi beliefs and practices, are hated “enemies.” Global jihad as an “effort to wage war against the unbelievers” is also promoted in the Ministry’s textbooks: “In its general usage, ‘jihad’ is divided into the following categories: …Wrestling with the infidels by calling them to the faith and battling against them.” No argument is made here that such references to jihad mean only spiritual and defensive struggles.
Aren’t allies wonderful?  This analysis concludes that what the Saudis are doing amounts to “moving around the furniture, not cleaning the house.” That conclusion is significant because the Saudis, after negotiations with the U.s. “committed” to the removal of intolerant teachings ffrom all Saudi textbooks by, um, September of this year. Maybe the U.S. should have insisted on a timetable for the withdrawal.
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