Two online sources, one to the left of the political center and one to the right, are excited about incitement and intolerance in Saudi Arabian school textbooks. On Tuesday, the Daily Beast and the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies discussed a U.S. State Department sponsored textbook review that was completed in late 2012. The review is still being withheld from the public but, according to a March 25 Daily Beast article, the Saudi government achieved some reforms and there are still many areas that require improvement.
Where is the report?
The goal of the State Department project was to do the most comprehensive study of the Saudi Kingdom’s textbooks ever and to find out just how much intolerance and incitement was going on. Bearing in mind that Saudi textbooks are sent to Muslim schools in the U.S. and all over the world, the study was a very important matter.
In other words, the Saudi Kingdom has always supported Islamic extremism through school textbooks and the U.S. wanted to see some improvement. If there was (or was not) suitable cleanup, the study could go public. The cautious finding is that some progress was made, but not as much as there should have been.
To be clear about the release and to close out any scandal, a non-profit wrote the study and the State Department was never required to release the study report.The department has not released the full report to the public.
The report summarizes the importance of the project in relation to even more pressing problems that plague every president who must deal with the Saudi kingdom. Americans have percieved the fingers of Saudi Arabia in every pie since the 911 terrorist attacks. To find out that such inciting content is regularly taught in schools around the world adds insult to very real injury. The March 25 Defend Democracy PDF report said,
“The textbooks issue sits at the frontier of Saudi extremism and potential reform. Meanwhile, the State Department continues to go easy on Saudi Arabia because of structural incentives that undermine diplomacy no matter which party holds power in the White House.”
The issue of indoctrination through schoolbooks gets buried under regional security, oil trade and other long term issues that take center stage in our dealings with the middle East.
As result, many young Muslims came out of “schools” with little real education and no marketable skills except for passing on the worst of jihadist indoctrination.
Here are some of the more controversial things that are being taught from those free of cost Saudi textbooks.
“God will punish any Muslim who does not literally obey God just as God punished some Jews by turning them into pigs and monkeys.”
--- 8th grade textbook
"The Apes are the people of the Sabbath, the Jews; and the Swine are the infidels of the communion of Jesus, the Christians."
--- 8th grade textbook Source: Wikipedia
The term “Infidel” is also widely used in the textbooks as a slur for non Muslims or others who do not believe in a particular religious mythology or dogma.
The Saudi Kingdom is not the only nation to have a hate textbook controversy. According to a Feb. 8 Economist article, Israel and Palestine is also are caught up in a similar scandal.