Saudi Textbooks Incite Hate, Say Leaders in American Publishing
Advancing Human Rights Chairman Bob Bernstein and others, writing for the Daily Beast on October 17, 2012:
As current and former heads of major American publishing houses, we know the value of words. They inform actions and shape the world views of all, especially children. We are writing to express our profound disappointment that the Saudi government continues to print textbooks inciting hatred and violence against religious minorities.
A ninth-grade textbook published by the Ministry of Education states, “The Jews and the Christians are enemies of the believers, and they cannot approve of Muslims.” An eighth-grade textbook says, “The Apes are the people of the Sabbath, the Jews; and the Swine are the infidels of the communion of Jesus, the Christians.” These are just two examples of a long list of hate-filled passages.
Children who are indoctrinated with such hatred are susceptible to engage in bigotry and even violence. Hate speech is the precursor to genocide. First you get to hate and then you kill.
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Mr. Bernstein is chairman of Advancing Human Rights, founder of Human Rights Watch, and former chairman and CEO of Random House.
Harold Evans, author of The American Century, and Reuters editor-at-large.
Mr. Kirshbaum was CEO of Time Warner Book Group and is the publisher at Amazon.
Mr. Bellow is editorial director of Broadside Books (HarperCollins).
Mr. Hughes is former CEO of William Morrow and Company and Avon Books.
Mr. Schiffrin was director of publishing at Pantheon Books and is the founder of New Press.
Mr. Karp is publisher of Simon and Schuster.