Using Terrorist Imagery to Teach Immunology? A Real-World Example

Remember stories about the textbooks that the U.S. had sent to Afghani school children in the 1980s, with math examples: "If Hussain and Hassan have 10 bullets and shoot five Russian soldiers, how many bullets do they have left?" The thought of children learning math that way was disturbing, much more so given the fact that the textbooks had been developed here in the U.S. of A.   Just learned of a medical school textbook that includes the language of war and propoganda to teach students how the human immune system works.  It's being used in leading medical schools across the country, and likely being used to train other health professionals in pharma as well.  Here's the offending excerpt:

"The fact that battle cytokines such as TNF trigger the migration of DCs to a lymph node also makes perfect sense. After all, you want DCs to travel and present antigen only if a battle is on.

When our Defense Department reacts to a threat to our national security, it follows the 'principle of proportional response.' For instance, if Iranian terrorists were to fire on one of our embassies, we wouldn't start dropping atom bombs on Iran. No, we would respond in a way that was more appropriate to such a limited threat. Likewise, it is important that the magnitude of an immune response be in proportion to the seriousness of the attack." -- Sompayrac, Lauren. How the Immune System Works. 2nd ed. Malden: Blackwell Publishing, Inc. 2003. pp 48-49

Medical student Maziar Shirazi found this book on his immunology/microbiology class syllabus and petitioned The Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey to substitute a different textbook edition without the offending passage. As he writes,"There was absolutely no need to associate a particular nationality with terrorism to make a point about cytokines and antigen presenting cells," he writes.  A letter to the publisher has not yet brought any response. The author meant no harm, and was likely trying to make the examples more vivid, yet betrayed how deepy ingrained some media messages are becoming.  To read more, click here.

Where were the "political correctness police" when they were needed, at the publishing company when the book was in its first draft?