Confiscated book was being taught for last 11 years

ABU DHABI — The sixth grade social studies text book World Cultures, confiscated by the Ministry of Education from an American school for containing biased material, had been part of the school syllabus for 11 years, it is learnt.

By Anjana Sankar

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Published: Thu 2 Mar 2006, 10:29 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 7:25 PM

Informed sources said that the book had been caught up in similar controversy in 1995. At that time the curriculum department at the ministry sanctioned it on condition that some pages and pictures that contradicted the private education rule be taken out.

"World Cultures was one of the five books that faced objection from the ministry. While three were banned, two books World Cultures and History of the World were sanctioned after the school agreed to comply with the rule," said the source.

The publisher also sent an apology and the school produced the same to the educational zone.

But when the ministry officials paid a surprise visit to the school, it was discovered that none of the controversial text and pictures that allegedly portrayed Muslims in a negative light had been deleted.

Juma Al Salami, Assistant Under-Secretary for Foreign Private Education, said that chapter 25 of the book running from page 599 to 614 contains a deluge of derogatory remarks against Islam and the Muslim world. For example, the Middle East has been dubbed 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, to mention a few.

The sub-chapters clubbed under the title North Africa and the Middle East also elaborate on the religion and lifestyle of Israel with pictures.

According to the source, the parents did not come to know about the book because students were not allowed to take the book home.

"There is a list of books that can be and cannot be taken home and World Cultures was strictly kept at school. This reveals that the school had complete knowledge of what was being taught to the students," said the source.

It was also learnt that World Cultures was not part of the list of books submitted by the school for approval. The ministry has also decided to boycott the publisher by circulating the name among all the educational zones so as to avoid future mistakes.

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