According to an AP report released today, after years of criticism, Virginia's Islamic Saudi Academy has modified its religious textbooks so that they don't incite Jihad anymore. The textbooks were so bad that in 2001 two former students at this school were caught at the Israeli border planning to commit suicide bombings, and in 2005 a former valedictorian was convicted of plotting to assassinate President Bush.
Today's report tells us the following about the books:
Last year also was when the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom released a report saying the school's textbooks contained several troubling passages, including one saying it is permissible for Muslims to kill adulterers and converts from Islam and another saying "the Jews conspired against Islam and its people."
And a 2008 Washington Post article tells us a bit more about the commission's findings:
"We are very concerned, on a partial review of the Saudi Academy textbooks, [about] some passages that instruct that 'jihad' is 'the pinnacle of Islam,' that speak about impunity for murders of 'polytheists' or non-Wahhabis, that legitimize the murder of Muslim 'apostates' and that state the lives of only those non-Muslims living or working under Muslim rule are inviolable," Shea said.
"There are denunciations of specific religious groups as evil or enemies … and there is blatant anti-Semitism, blaming the Jews for even divisions within Islam," she said.
In addition to Jews, Bahais and Shiite and Sufi Muslims are among those denounced in some academy texts, according to reviews of the books.
The only reason this school has changed its textbooks is because they got caught. It's scary to think about how many other similar schools are operating in North America. And it's totally naive to think that just because they have new textbooks, these ideas will suddenly vanish from the curriculum.
But I guess at the end of the day, we as tolerant Westerners can't complain about this type of extremism, because anyways it's our fault and we deserve it.