A social studies textbook within an American school promotes racism and religious intolerance according to United Arab Emirates officials.
More than 100 textbooks used within the sixth-grade of an "upscale American school in Abu Dhabi" have been confiscated by the Ministry of Education reports the Khaleej Times. The book ‘World Cultures’ published by Silver Burdett Ginn is accused of presenting Islam and Muslim countries in an unfavorable light while glorifying Israel. The text allegedly references the Middle East as "one of the most dangerously explosive areas in the world and the Muslim conquest of India as the most bloodiest in the world history," according to the article.
The Khaleej Times provides an excerpt from the book that reads, "Israel is one of a few democracies in North Africa and the Middle East today. Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Morocco are all kingdoms; the country of Syria has sponsored terrorism by giving aid to radicals in the Palestine Liberation Organisation, known as the PLO."
Juma Salami, Assistant Undersecretary to Foreign Private Education tells the top English daily newspaper in Dubai that the book has "a racist tone," and "is insulting to the country’s religion and culture." Salami says, "By incorporating the book in the syllabus, the schools have failed to show respect to the religious sentiments of the host country. …We will delve into the details of the text and will take appropriate action, including circulating the name of the publisher among all people concerned. The book will be withdrawn from the syllabus, for sure."
The Khaleej Times says it contacted the school where the books were confiscated and its director said they had been using the ‘World Cultures’ textbook for a couple of years without any problems.