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I Don't Trust The Saudis- Their Textbooks

Special thanks to Always on Watch for this May 21, 2006 article from the Washington Post.
This is a Saudi textbook. (After the intolerance was removed.)

By Nina Shea
Sunday, May 21, 2006; B01

Saudi Arabia's public schools have long been cited for demonizing the West as well as Christians, Jews and other "unbelievers." But after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 -- in which 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis -- that was all supposed to change.

A 2004 Saudi royal study group recognized the need for reform after finding that the kingdom's religious studies curriculum "encourages violence toward others, and misguides the pupils into believing that in order to safeguard their own religion, they must violently repress and even physically eliminate the 'other.' " Since then, the Saudi government has claimed repeatedly that it has revised its educational texts.

Prince Turki al-Faisal, the Saudi ambassador to the United States, has worked aggressively to spread this message. "The kingdom has reviewed all of its education practices and materials, and has removed any element that is inconsistent with the needs of a modern education," he said on a recent speaking tour to several U.S. cities. "Not only have we eliminated what might be perceived as intolerance from old textbooks that were in our system, we have implemented a comprehensive internal revision and modernization plan." The Saudi government even took out a full-page ad in the New Republic last December to tout its success at "having modernized our school curricula to better prepare our children for the challenges of tomorrow." A year ago, an embassy spokesman declared: "We have reviewed our educational curriculums. We have removed materials that are inciteful or intolerant towards people of other faiths." The embassy is also distributing a 74-page review on curriculum reform to show that the textbooks have been moderated.

The problem is: These claims are not true.

A review of a sample of official Saudi textbooks for Islamic studies used during the current academic year reveals that, despite the Saudi government's statements to the contrary, an ideology of hatred toward Christians and Jews and Muslims who do not follow Wahhabi doctrine remains in this area of the public school system. The texts teach a dualistic vision, dividing the world into true believers of Islam (the "monotheists") and unbelievers (the "polytheists" and "infidels")."

And now let me share some of what they found in the schoolbooks.

FIRST GRADE

" Every religion other than Islam is false."

"Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words (Islam, hellfire): Every religion other than ______________ is false. Whoever dies outside of Islam enters ____________."

FOURTH GRADE

"True belief means . . . that you hate the polytheists and infidels but do not treat them unjustly."

FIFTH GRADE

"Whoever obeys the Prophet and accepts the oneness of God cannot maintain a loyal friendship with those who oppose God and His Prophet, even if they are his closest relatives."

"It is forbidden for a Muslim to be a loyal friend to someone who does not believe in God and His Prophet, or someone who fights the religion of Islam."

"A Muslim, even if he lives far away, is your brother in religion. Someone who opposes God, even if he is your brother by family tie, is your enemy in religion."

SIXTH GRADE

"Just as Muslims were successful in the past when they came together in a sincere endeavor to evict the Christian crusaders from Palestine, so will the Arabs and Muslims emerge victorious, God willing, against the Jews and their allies if they stand together and fight a true jihad for God, for this is within God's power."

EIGHTH GRADE

"As cited in Ibn Abbas: The apes are Jews, the people of the Sabbath; while the swine are the Christians, the infidels of the communion of Jesus."

"God told His Prophet, Muhammad, about the Jews, who learned from parts of God's book [the Torah and the Gospels] that God alone is worthy of worship. Despite this, they espouse falsehood through idol-worship, soothsaying, and sorcery. In doing so, they obey the devil. They prefer the people of falsehood to the people of the truth out of envy and hostility. This earns them condemnation and is a warning to us not to do as they did."

"They are the Jews, whom God has cursed and with whom He is so angry that He will never again be satisfied [with them]."

"Some of the people of the Sabbath were punished by being turned into apes and swine. Some of them were made to worship the devil, and not God, through consecration, sacrifice, prayer, appeals for help, and other types of worship. Some of the Jews worship the devil. Likewise, some members of this nation worship the devil, and not God."

"Activity: The student writes a composition on the danger of imitating the infidels."

NINTH GRADE

"The clash between this [Muslim] community (umma) and the Jews and Christians has endured, and it will continue as long as God wills."

"It is part of God's wisdom that the struggle between the Muslim and the Jews should continue until the hour [of judgment]."

"Muslims will triumph because they are right. He who is right is always victorious, even if most people are against him."

That is just part of what they found in the textbooks. With friends like these who needs enemies.

Comments

AS said…
This is an outrage! It offends me more that they lie. Just say like Iran...you us, don't pretend you have tolerance. Let the world see them for the bigots they really are.
AS said…
the word does not want to be posted funny thing I put in twice hmmmmm.
JJ said…
Thank goodness they "removed the intolerance"- wonder how it read before!
bornfool said…
Good thing they "revised" their text books. Now I can truly see Islam is a religion of Peace.
Richmond said…
Holy crap! Heavy emphasis on the "crap" part. How is islam considered to be a peaceful religion again?
Always On Watch said…
I live in the D.C. area.

What's amazing to me right now is how little attention the WaPo article got. So far, only two letters to the editor have appeared in the WaPo. But maybe a rebuttal will appear in the Saturday or Sunday edition.

The one politician who has been most on top of the matter of ISA is Senator Schumer of NY.

Oh, and thanks for posting this.
Always On Watch said…
Here is some info on textbooks in Malaysia.
Jack Steiner said…
JB,

I only hope that more people become aware of this, but the power of oil discourages me. Never underestimate the power of the dark side.

RR,

Funny, isn't it.

BF,

I hesitate to tar everyone with the same brush, but without more public denunciation it is tough.

Richmond,

They really make it tough to see otherwise.

Z,

Power to the people.

AOW,

Thanks.