Tribe gets Arab textbook error removed

April 16, 2004 at 2:23 PM
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WASHINGTON, April 16 (UPI) -- An Indian tribe has forced distributors of an Arab studies guide for U.S. teachers to remove an inaccurate passage about Muslim explorers.

The book said Muslims preceded Christopher Columbus to North America and became Algonquin chiefs. Peter DiGangi, director of Canada's Algonquin Nation Secretariat in Quebec, called claims in the book, the "Arab World Studies Notebook," "preposterous" and "outlandish." He said nothing in the tribe's history supports them.

The 540-page book says the Muslim explorers married into the Algonquin tribe, resulting in 17th-century tribal chiefs named Abdul-Rahim and Abdallah Ibn Malik, the Washington Times said.

DiGangi said the guide's author and editor, Audrey Shabbas, and the Middle East Policy Council, a Washington advocacy group that promoted the curriculum to school districts in 155 U.S. cities, have been unresponsive to his concerns since November.

But, Shabbas said this week the passage was removed from subsequent copies and ways to notify 1,200 teachers were being studied.

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