Interesting article in The New York Times:
A British network of more than 40 part-time Islamic schools and clubs with 5,000 students has been teaching from a Saudi Arabian government curriculum that contains anti-Semitic and homophobic views, including a textbook that asks children to list the “reprehensible” qualities of Jews, according to a BBC documentary broadcast on Monday.
One of the textbooks, according to the BBC program, prescribed execution as the penalty for gay sex, and outlined differing viewpoints as to whether death should be by stoning, immolation by fire or throwing offenders off a cliff. Another set out the punishments prescribed by Shariah law for theft, including amputation of hands and feet. A BBC video accompanying an article on the program’s Web site showed a textbook illustration of a hand and a foot marked to show where amputations should be made.
What a lovely little curriculum. The Saudi’s say the teachings have been “taken out of their historical context.” And exactly what context would such bile be acceptable?
As long as Saudi Arabia — ostensibly an American ally — continues to promote intolerance and export hate in the name of religion, the country will be a well-spring of worldwide terrorism.
1) There was an excellent article by Nicolai Ouroussoff in the New York Times about the forces of moderation vs. extremism in the Middle East, which are playing out in the spectacular new art museums scheduled to open in Qatar and Abu Dhabi.
2) The Association of British Muslims slammed the United Nation’s General Assembly for nixing a provision that protected LGBT people from torture and extrajudicial killings. This is a wonderful development and highlights that the problem is not with Islam, but toxic strains within the faith that pervert the religion and twist the Koran to justify evil. Here is what their excellent statement said:
On 16th November 2010, the United Nations’ General Assembly’s Third Committee voted to amend a previous resolution of the General Assembly that had outlawed extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.
This resolution is reviewed every two years, and in 2008 it had been amended to mention specifically those killings that take place because of the sexual orientation of the victims. The 16th November vote removed that special mention.
The Association of British Muslims views this decision with considerable concern. It is the duty of the UN’s Human Rights Committee to uphold the rule of law, so it should vigorously oppose any extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions by whatever party and for whatever reasons.
It should also act to preserve the human rights of all vulnerable communities. Removing this clause at this time will send quite the wrong signal to those regimes that indulge in these barbaric practices, implying as it does that United Nations is no longer concerned at the maltreatment of people because of their sexual orientation or considers it to be a lesser matter.
Referring to the Nazis, Paster Martin Niemoller once wrote, ‘First they came…’. Have we not learned anything since the tragedies of World War 2? Niemoller started out by saying, ‘First they came for the communist’s, and I did not speak out, because I was not a communist’ Then, the socialists, trade unionists, Jews and other groups until finally he writes, ‘Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak out for me’.
The Committee vote is to be ratified in December. The Association of British Muslims calls on member states of the General Assembly not to endorse the decision of its Third Committee, and to reinstate the deleted clause.”
3) A new film, “The Anatomy of Hate”, looks quite interesting.