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December 16, 2021 1:31 pm

School Textbooks in Kuwait Rife With Antisemitism, New ADL Report Reveals

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

Kuwait’s Emir, Sheikh Nawaf al Ahmed al Sabah. Photo: Reuters/Stephanie McGehee

School textbooks in Kuwait are rife with antisemitic tropes ranging from the ancient slander that Jews are inherently treacherous to the denial of the Holocaust, according to new research by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

The ADL analysis of Kuwaiti textbooks noted that Kuwait’s Emir, Nawaf Al Saba, who succeeded to the Gulf state’s throne in Sept. 2020, had called on the Kuwaiti nation to practice “adherence to the teachings of our tolerant religion, which urges us to unify ranks and spread kindness and compassion.”

However, the Kuwaiti ministry of education “is continuing to reuse state-published textbooks from past years that teach horrific antisemitism,” the ADL observed. “In addition, some lessons include ideas that are intolerant or confrontational toward Ahmadi Muslims, Baha’is, and Christians.”

One Islamic studies textbook for eighth-grade students set understanding “the enmity of the Jews toward Islam and the Muslims is old and deeply rooted” as a learning objective. The same book stated that “stirring up strife, breaking pacts, and malice are among the inherent characteristics of the Jews.”

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The teaching of modern history is similarly colored by antisemitism, according to the ADL.

“As the textbook moves into teaching about the modern era, it also baselessly scapegoats Jews by accusing them of perpetrating ‘the incident of burning the al-Aqsa Mosque in 1969,’ a notorious arson attack that was actually perpetrated by a Christian fundamentalist from Australia with mental illness named Denis Michael Rohan,” the report stated. “And it advocates a range of actions to ‘challenge the conspiracies of the Jews,’ including ‘boycotting their products.’ That line presumably is a reference to the Arab Economic Boycott or the global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Movement targeting Israel, and yet it unabashedly references ‘the Jews,’ not ‘Israelis’ or even ‘Zionists.'”

Another textbook depicted the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” — a fabrication concocted the Russian Tsar’s secret police in 1903 alleging a global Jewish conspiracy — as uncontested fact. “It proclaims that ‘anyone who follows the origins of Freemasonry and its true goals finds that it only existed to fight Islam and eliminate it due to its [i.e. Freemasonry’s] association with Judaism and Zionism, since this goal was drawn up in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ and has achieved such goals as toppling the Ottoman Empire, ‘obstructing the civilizational progress of Islamic societies,’ and ‘spreading atheism and pornography,’ the ADL report said.

The same textbook “presents as its role model for a Western academic Roger Garaudy, an infamous Holocaust denier,” the ADL pointed out. “It says that he ‘was known for his resistance to Zionism’ and “published around 70 books, including ‘The Founding Myths of Zionism,’ a book in which he defended the ‘Zionist Conspiracy’ theory, which believes that it [Zionism] fabricated what is known as the Jewish massacre ‘The Holocaust’ at the hands of the Nazis.”

The ADL argued that Kuwait’s “failure to implement successful peace and tolerance education reform over the past two decades should be a cautionary tale for American officials as well as Kuwait’s new ruler.”

The report concluded: “Tolerant principles and goals are wonderful to express, but their implementation cannot succeed if Kuwait’s Ministry of Education continues to publish textbooks that teach kids antisemitism.”

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