These two books seem to be almost universally taught in western universities....

Amazon.com: Alif Baa With Multimedia: Introduction to Arabic Letters and Sounds (Arabic Edition) (9781589015067): Kristen Brustad, Mahmoud Al-Batal, Abbas Al-Tonsi: Books

Amazon.com: Al-Kitaab fii Ta'allum al-'Arabiyya with DVDs: A Textbook for Beginning Arabic, Part One Second Edition (9781589011045): Kristen Brustad, Mahmoud Al-Batal, Abbas Al-Tonsi: Books

Does anyone know why they seem to be so highly rated?

Would they be the book to select if one wishes to teach Arabic to Westerners?