Spain has financed publication of a school textbook it says is unlike any other in the European Union - a primer for Muslim first-graders to learn about Islam, but do so in Spanish as a way to integrate better into society, officials said Wednesday.
A first run of 15,000 copies of the book "Discovering Islam" have been printed as part of the pioneering project, said Jose Manuel Lopez, managing director of the Pluralism and Harmony Foundation, which is part of the Justice Ministry. The ministry oversees religious issues.
The book, written by a Spanish Muslim leader, was exhibited at the Frankfurt book fair this month and drew keen interest from people in other European countries. The same thing happened when it was formally unveiled in Spain on Tuesday, as representatives of the governments of Germany, France and Italy attended the ceremony, Lopez said.
"Europe has 40 million Muslims and governments don't know what to do to assimilate them," Lopez said in an interview. "This book is a hint."