Monday, December 21, 2020

  • Monday, December 21, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon
IMPACT-SE,  the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education, has released its report on the Saudi 2020-21 textbooks, and the changes from the antisemitic and anti-Zionist materials from before are significant.

Among the problematic examples removed for the 2020–2021 curriculum is an infamous Hadith which teaches students that a war between Jews and Muslims is inevitable in which Muslims will kill the Jews. Historically, this Hadith has considerably influenced antisemitic attitudes in the Muslim world so its removal from the 2020 Saudi textbooks is hugely significant.

Other examples removed include a text describing the nefarious means utilized by Zionist forces, such as money, women and drugs, lending to the common antisemitic trope. Another alleges that Jews have no religious-historical rights as they refused to accept Muhammad. An entire chapter focused on commentary and analysis about a verse from the Qu’ranic Surah al-Baqarah that also contained a warning against those “resembling the people of Moses” was also removed from the textbooks.

The Islamic idea of killing the Jews during the Day of Resurrection was removed as too was the glorification of violent Jihad: "Jihad in the way of Allah is the climax of Islam."

Much of the anti-Israel content that previously appeared in the textbooks has now been removed including Israel as plotting to expand its territory from the Nile to the Euphrates to secure "Greater Israel" (The 2019 version already omitted an addition to this description that had previously been included: "The global Jewish government, to control the entire world”). The description of Zionism as a racist movement was removed in one place, but still exists in another.A polemic delegitimizing Israel’s right to exist was also removed.  All of the above examples were part of a chapter titled “The Zionist Danger” that has now been entirely removed.

Moderation was found to be introduced and removed from the curriculum in a seemingly pendulum-like fashion however, the main direction in recent years points toward growing moderation, while serious problems persist. Problematic examples still remained in the 2020–2021 editions. 

These include conservative Islamic views that infidels will be punished on Resurrection Day; A Jewish boy converted to Islam by the Prophet is saved from hell; and Jews are demonized in an example showing the generosity of Muhamad.  In what appears to be an attempt to moderate terminology in the 2019 edition, the term "Jews and Christians" has been replaced by the generic "enemies of Islam" in some areas. ...Non-Qur'anic praise for martyrdom is still taught and there are still emphatic warnings against "polytheists,”  including a decontextualized and ambiguous story with antisemitic implications about “Jewish wrongdoers” who are described as monkeys. 

Israel is still not represented on maps and is still demonized in the curriculum in many ways.  Zionism is presented as a racist political movement (although one example of this had been removed), and  Jews as settlers, occupiers and aggressors. The First Intifada is praised as exposing Israel’s "falseness of democracy." Allusions to the "State of Israel" appearing in 2017 were replaced by the pejorative "Zionist" or "Zionist Enemy" in the 2019 and 2020 editions. 

Here is an example of blatant antisemitism that was removed: 

Here's a good example of how antisemitism was moderated but the section is still filled with lies:

The Goals of Zionism
The Zionist goals in the Arab East region aim at regional expansion in three successive stages:
A. The State of Israel in Palestine.
B. The Greater State of Israel in the Arab East region.
With the help of all the international powers, Zionism has succeeded in achieving the first stage, namely the establishment of the State of Israel in the years 1367–1387 H. / 1948–1967 on all the Palestinian lands.
Zionism continues to work hard in order to achieve the rest of its stage goals, which include the establishment the Greater State of Israel in the Arab East region, according to the claimed Divine Promise: from the Nile to the Euphrates.
However, the third stage was removed from the textbook: "The global Jewish government, to control the entire world”.

There are still plenty of problems. Zionism is defined as a racist European movement which aims to expel the people of Palestine and establish a Jewish state by force. Students are falsely taught that Israel deliberately tried to burn down the Al-Aqsa Mosque in 1969.

Yet the changes are remarkable and show a definite moderation in Saudi Arabia both towards Jews and towards Israel.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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