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This is a Saudi textbook. (After the intolerance was removed.)

By Nina Shea (Freedom House)

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Washington Post: 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.

In 2004, a Saudi royal study group recognized the need for reform in the kingdom’s religious studies curriculum after finding that it “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.

However, a review of a sample of official Saudi textbooks for Islamic studies used during the current academic year reveals that, an ideology of hatred toward Christians and Jews and Muslims continues to remain in this area of the public school system. They teach a dualistic vision, dividing the world into true believers of Islam (the “monotheists”) and unbelievers (the “polytheists” and “infidels”).

This indoctrination which begins in a first-grade text is expanded each year, culminating in a 12th-grade text instructing students that their religious obligation includes waging jihad against the infidel to “spread the faith.”

Saudi Arabia also distributes its religion texts worldwide to numerous Islamic schools and madrassas that it does not directly operate. Saudi Arabia is trying to assert itself as the world’s authoritative voice on Islam — a sort of “Vatican” for Islam, as stated by several Saudi officials. As the report of the commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks observed, “Even in affluent countries, Saudi-funded Wahhabi schools are often the only Islamic schools” available.

The passages below are few examples of the texts drawn up by [email protected] from the curriculum distributed by the Saudi Embassy.

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.”

TWELFTH 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.”