Saudi school textbooks teach hatred of Jews, Christians and gay men and say beating women is ‘necessary’, despite the kingdom boasting it is ‘modernizing’, report claims

Wednesday, November 21, 2018
By Paul Martin

Researchers reviewed textbooks for academic year 2018-2019 in Saudi Arabia
One passage says beating women is ‘permitted when necessary’, analysts claim
Other extracts ‘promote incitement to hatred of Jews, Christians and gays’
The report was drawn up by US-based group, the Anti-Defamation League

21 November 2018

Saudi Arabian school textbooks are teaching hatred of Jews, Christians and gay men – despite the kingdom boasting it is ‘modernising’, a report has claimed.

The country’s curriculum also contains a passage saying that beating women is ‘permitted when necessary’, according to the US-based Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

It comes despite Saudi Arabia’s pledge to modernise under Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, with radical changes including lifting a ban on women driving and allowing them to watch sport in national stadiums.

Researchers at the Jewish non-governmental organisation, say they found that they ‘promote incitement to hatred or violence against Jews, Christians, women, and homosexual men’.

The school textbooks it has analysed have a ‘significant international footprint’ and have been used in countries in Africa, Europe, and other parts of Asia, they said.

ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said: ‘The United States must hold its ally Saudi Arabia to a higher standard.

‘The US cannot look the other way while Saudi Arabia features anti-Semitic hate speech year after year in the educational material it gives to its children.’

The findings were published in a report called ‘Teaching Hate and Violence: Problematic Passages from Saudi State Textbooks for the 2018–19 School Year’.

David Andrew Weinberg, ADL’s Washington Director for International Affairs and the author of the report, added: ‘Saudi Arabia has made some undeniably significant social and religious reforms in recent years, but such steps have yet to address the hate-filled invective against Jews, Christians and others that is being taught to the next generation of Saudis.’

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