Iranian School Textbooks ‘Brimming’ With Antisemitism and Glorification of Violence: ADL Report
As the Iranian regime marked the 42nd anniversary of the Islamist revolution of 1979 on Thursday, a new report by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) into antisemitism and the glorification of violence in Iranian school textbooks warned that Tehran’s stance is “as militant as ever.”
“From demonizing Jews in lessons about ancient history to glorifying antisemitic terrorists as recently as 2020, Tehran’s current curriculum is brimming with state-sponsored bigotry,” said David Weinberg — the ADL’s Washington director of international affairs and the author of the report, titled “Incitement: Antisemitism and Violence in Iran’s Current State Textbooks.”
Disturbing practices documented in the report include encouraging school students to chant the slogan “Death to Israel” and teaching that “Jews have conspired against Islam from its earliest days, forging Islamic scriptures and using warfare and even Freemasonry to achieve evil aims.”
One sociology textbook used in Iranian classrooms actively promotes the conspiracy theory that the western media is controlled by wealthy Zionists.
“The gathering of media power in the hand of wealth owners and Zionist associations not only makes the cultural identity of non-Western societies vulnerable but also is a clear contradiction to the democratic values of the Western world,” the book states.
A different textbook on religion quoted in the report urged students to be on the guard against fellow Muslims promoting peace with Israel.
“Recognize those who call themselves Muslim but cultivate friendship with the enemies of Islam, and do not be deceived by their plans. The way of these groups is such that they consider the enemies of Islam like the Zionists [as their] friend and some of the Muslims [as their] enemy,” said the book.
The ADL’s latest report on the Iranian education sector follows its 2020 investigation into schools run by Hezbollah — Iran’s Shia terrorist proxy in Lebanon — whose curriculum is similarly embedded in antisemitism and hatred of Israel.
“It is no secret that the Iranian regime continues to promote extremism and terrorism and feeds its people on a steady diet of antisemitic and anti-American propaganda,” Jonathan A. Greenblatt, the ADL’s CEO, said in a statement announcing the new report.
“Iran’s textbooks show how deeply ingrained this official campaign of incitement is within society, and how they are reaching impressionable young people with these xenophobic and dehumanizing messages as part of the formal teaching curriculum,” Greenblatt said.