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.