Saudi Textbooks Teach Anti-Western Rhetoric, Washington-Based Reform Group Says

July 14, 2004

Source: The Guardian,11599,1260867,00.html

On July 14, 2004 The Guardian reported, "Saudi schoolchildren are being taught to disparage Christianity and Judaism in a textbook issued by the education ministry, a report said yesterday. The book forms part of the kingdom's revised curriculum - supposedly cleaned up after complaints that demonising the west had become endemic in Saudi schools. A lesson for six-year-olds reads: 'All religions other than Islam are false.' A note for teachers says they should 'ensure to explain' this point. The Saudi Institute, a Washington-based pro-reform group, said yesterday the book, Monotheism and Fiqh, contradicted the Koran. 'The Saudi contention that Judaism and Christianity are false religions is clearly refuted by the Koran,' it says in a report, quoting a verse...Last year the foreign minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, said there was 'no room in our schools for hatred, intolerance or for anti-western thinking.' Officials announced two pilot programmes to develop new teaching methods. But the Saudi Institute said yesterday there was no evidence the pilot programmes had taken place. The new curriculum, it said, had 'the same authors and the same ideas' as the old one, but in different language."