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    The Nation is running a good a..., 2002-11-20 02:00:00 | Main | Light in the pants: For the c..., 2002-11-20 02:00:00

    From 1984 to 1994 the US government was shipping textbooks to Afghanistan that contained violence Islamist teachings as part of a US AID development program.

    That's pretty sick. Sick enough, I would say, at least. There's an article from April 2002 at emperors-clothes.com by emperors-clothes editor Jared Israel - a vice-chairman of the International Committee to Defend Slobodan Milosevic - who writes that the violent text of the books is still being used in new textbooks despite alterations to violent pictures, but doesn't mention the WP reporting that:

      "Earlier this year [the US decided to] reprint the old books, but decided to purge the violent references."

    which leaves the question open as to whether they purged only the violent images or if they removed the violent text as well, or that

      "UNICEF is left with 500,000 copies of the old "militarized" books, a $200,000 investment that it has decided to destroy, according to U.N. officials."

    But all that is mearly leaving out inconvenient details compared to the quote he uses to argue that the US is continuing to publish the textbooks with the exact same text. The author asks "What does a non-fundamentalist Afghan educator think about the new schoolbooks?" and uses the following quote:

      "'The pictures [in] the texts are horrendous to school students, but the texts are even much worse,' said Ahmad Fahim Hakim, an Afghan educator..."

    If you read the WP article it's made quite clear that Hakim is referring to old copies of the textbooks that are still circulating in Afghanistan [he confirmed this by email]. Israel is working a bit outside the context of the original report when he uses this as evidence that "the United States government is right now shipping into Afghanistan millions of Islamic Fundamentalist schoolbooks", as Hakim wasn't talking about the new text books at all. That is to say, were we to speculate in the same fashion: it's a bold faced lie.


:: posted by buermann @ 2002-11-20 02:00:00 CST | link





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