Afghan Schoolbooks Delete US, Taliban History

Taliban atrocities, US invasion get little or no treatment
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 18, 2012 2:17 PM CDT
Afghan Schoolbooks Delete Wars From History
In this Thursday, July 5, 2012 photo, an Afghan student writes a question during their mid-year school examinations at the Mirbachakot high school on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan.   (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq)

Soon, students in Afghanistan won't know much about the Taliban or the US-led invasion—and Afghan officials don't seem to mind. New history books purposely exclude or minimize such horrors, apparently to bring cohesion to a war-torn society, the BBC reports. "My responsibility is to bring unity not disunity in the country," says Education Minister Farooq Wardak. "I am not going to encourage a divisive education agenda."

But critics say officials are trying to win over the Taliban by whitewashing their crimes before US and NATO troops leave the country. Others argue there is never an excuse for ignorance: "If students will not learn about past violence, how will they avoid it in future?" asks a high school teacher. Among the events that get little or no treatment: deadly coups of the 1970s, the USSR's 1979 invasion, excesses by the secret police, and Taliban atrocities against women. (More Afghanistan stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.