The ABCs of Hatred

(New York Times) Thomas L. Friedman - In the latest terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia against foreigners, there were reports from the scene about how the Saudi militants tried to kill or capture only the non-Muslims, and let Muslims and Arabs go. Now where would the terrorists have learned such intolerance and discrimination? Answer: in the Saudi public school system and religious curriculum. The liberal Saudi Raid Qusti wrote recently in the Saudi English-language daily Arab News: "Have we helped create these monsters? Our education system, which does not stress tolerance of other faiths - let alone tolerance of followers of other Islamic schools of thought - is one thing that needs to be re-evaluated from top to bottom. Saudi culture itself and the fact the majority of us do not accept other lifestyles and impose our own on other people is another. And the fact that from the fourth to the 12th grade, we do not teach our children that there are other civilizations in the world and that we are part of the global community, and only stress the Islamic empires over and over, is also worth re-evaluating."

2004-06-03 00:00:00

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