A worldview is a set of claims that purport to be based on ultimate reality.

Saudis Renege On Reform

Posted by ssbg on May 21, 2006


After 9/11, the Saudis publicly acknowledged that their education system promoted radicalism in Islam and indoctrinated hatred among their children from the earliest days of their schooling. The Saudis promised to reform their system, spending millions of dollars on expensive advertising campaigns in the US to paint themselves as friends to America and the West and promoting an image of reform and moderation. President Bush held hands (in the Arabic tradition) with a Saudi prince in order to help promote that image of friendship.

Did they actually reform that system? According to the Washington Post, nothing changed in the slightest:

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").

Instead of reviewing the texts of translations provided by the Saudi government, the Post and Freedom House received books smuggled out of the actual schools by Shi'ite, Sunni, and discontented Wahhabis. The books came through the Institute for Gulf Affairs, a think tank focusing on democratization in the Middle East. It demonstrates that the Saudis still plan on using obfuscation and misdirection in order to avoid responsibility for creating and maintaining the Islamist hatred that has inflamed the region and killed thousands of people around the world.

How else can one explain these passages from their educational curriculum?

  • "Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words (Islam, hellfire): Every religion other than ______________ is false. Whoever dies outside of Islam enters ____________." (1st grade)
  • "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." (5th 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." (8th grade)
  • "Jihad in the path of God — which consists of battling against unbelief, oppression, injustice, and those who perpetrate it — is the summit of Islam. This religion arose through jihad and through jihad was its banner raised high. It is one of the noblest acts, which brings one closer to God, and one of the most magnificent acts of obedience to God." (12th grade)
  • The Saudis intend on teaching hatred, bigotry, and religious intolerance to its children. With this kind of indoctrination in its schools — as well as in its academies in other nations, including the US — it is no wonder that so many of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudis and that Saudis continue to take part in Islamist efforts around the world. The House of Saud has long been split between pro-Western and anti-Western factions, but these textbooks reveal that the anti-Western faction appears ascendant where it counts.If the Saudis do not cease their brainwashing of children in an effort to transform them into bigots and worse, the US and other Western nations should take steps to close their academies within our borders. They can raise their children to commit suicide and murder, but we should bar them from doing the same to our own children. When they quit teaching the next generation to hate us, then we may consider them our friends, but it's impossible to embrace them while they corrupt their children against us.
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