Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Teaching Terror

by Nina Shea from National Review

Saudi officials continue to aver that the educational curriculum has been reformed, just as they have ever since 9/11. In what has become an annual ritual, the State Department takes Saudi avowals on faith, giving assurances of Saudi educational reform, though (in spite of many requests to do so) it has not yet, independently and comprehensively, reviewed the educational texts. And, of course, this year is no different. On September 14, the State Department's religious-freedom ambassador stated: "[I]n the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah called for increased religious tolerance, and the government took steps to remove intolerant references toward other religious groups from educational materials." While the State Department's assessment is possibly technically accurate, the Saudi state curriculum continues to require a complete overhaul. It does not help Saudi reformers - or American security - to gloss over this fact.

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