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November 20, 2018 3:54 pm

Despite Pledges of Change, Saudi Textbooks Still Rife With Antisemitism, New ADL Report Finds

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Saudi King Salman (R) and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Jan. 25, 2017. Photo: Reuters / Faisal Al Nasser.

Textbooks published by the Saudi government continue to be rife with antisemitism, a newly-published Anti-Defamation League (ADL) analysis found.

“The United States must hold its ally Saudi Arabia to a higher standard,” said ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said following the unveiling of the report, titled “Teaching Hate and Violence: Problematic Passages from Saudi State Textbooks for the 2018–19 School Year.”

“The US cannot look the other way while Saudi Arabia features antisemitic hate speech year after year in the educational material it gives to its children,” Greenblatt added.

The ADL said its study “analyzes new textbooks the kingdom released to its schools this fall, translating from the original Arabic dozens of troubling passages that clearly propagate incitement to hatred or violence against Jews, Christians, Shi’ite Muslims, women, homosexual men, and anybody who mocks or converts away from Islam.”

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“Because of Saudi Arabia’s status as custodian of Islam’s two holiest sites and its historic massive investment in religious proselytization abroad, the kingdom’s textbooks have a significant international footprint and have been used in countries in Africa, Europe, and other parts of Asia,” the ADL noted.

The Saudi regime, the ADL recalled, “assured the US government it would remove all intolerant passages from its textbooks by the start of the 2008 school year.”

But a decade later, the ADL said, “such pledges remain unfulfilled.”

“As recently as this September, Saudi officials falsely told US audiences that such incitement in its textbooks had long since been resolved,” the ADL pointed out.

The ADL’s Washington Director for International Affairs David Andrew Weinberg — who authored the report — stated, “If you go back to around the time of 9/11, virtually every group of people that was demonized in Saudi textbooks then is still demonized in the kingdom’s official textbooks today. 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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