Revised Textbooks at Saudi Islamic Academy in Virginia Still Show Intolerance

[ Matthew Barakat] AP/Washington Post - The Islamic Saudi Academy in Alexandria, Va., with close ties to the Saudi government, has revised its religious textbooks in an effort to end criticism that the school fosters hatred and intolerance. Yet enough sensitive material remains to fuel critics who claim the books show intolerance toward those who do not follow strict interpretations of Islam. In the new books, words like "infidel" have been replaced with more neutral words like "non-Muslim." However, Ali al-Ahmed, director of the Institute for Gulf Affairs in Washington, said that the core ideology - a puritanical strain of Islam known as Wahhabism that is dominant within Saudi Arabia - remains intact. One chapter deals extensively with sorcery, for instance, while another warns Muslims to be careful in accepting party and wedding invitations from non-Muslims.

2009-03-13 06:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive