A Tale of two Saudis
Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz on Saturday called on the UN to adopt a resolution condemning blasphemy, AFP reported.
“I demand a UN resolution that condemns any country or group that insults religions and prophets,” he reportedly said. “It is our duty and that of every Muslim to protect Islam and defend the prophets.”
The Saudi King is the latest Islamic leader to call for a ban on blasphemy following the release last month of the US-made Innocence of Muslims film, which triggered a wave of deadly anti-American violence across the Islamic world.
Abdullah also stressed the important of the “unity of the Islamic nation…to face the nation’s enemies”.
Despite promises to reform their textbooks, the Saudi education system continues to indoctrinate children with hatred and incitement. Seven current and former heads of major publishing houses address the critical importance of words.
As current and former heads of major American publishing houses, we know the value of words. They inform actions and shape the world views of all, especially children. We are writing to express our profound disappointment that the Saudi government continues to print textbooks inciting hatred and violence against religious minorities.
A ninth-grade textbook published by the Ministry of Education states, “The Jews and the Christians are enemies of the believers, and they cannot approve of Muslims.” An eighth-grade textbook says, “The Apes are the people of the Sabbath, the Jews; and the Swine are the infidels of the communion of Jesus, the Christians.” These are just two examples of a long list of hate-filled passages.
Children who are indoctrinated with such hatred are susceptible to engage in bigotry and even violence. Hate speech is the precursor to genocide. First you get to hate and then you kill. This makes peaceful coexistence difficult, if not impossible.
Despite repeated promises to reform Saudi textbooks, the most recent books remain full of bigotry and intolerance. We call on Saudi Arabia to immediately stop distributing and printing children’s textbooks that incite hatred of others.
The juxtaposition of these two news articles whilst real is, I should admit, fortuitous.
Initially I must confess I was going to write a moderately comprehensive editorial, but “on more mature reflection” (as they say) I realised two things:-
(1) These news items/stories “speak for themselves”.
(2)The readership here isn’t stupid: you can “connect the dots” just as well as I and form your own conclusions.
I shall be interested to read the comments to see whether your conclusions match (or exceed) mine.
Short URL: http://www.archive2012.faithfreedom.org/?p=43748