NY Post: Confront the Saudis for teaching hate
“The Jews worship the devil,” the teachers tell 8th-graders. Later, in 10th-grade history class, students will learn that the Jews were responsible for the French Revolution and, of course, the Bolshevik Revolution.
These are mild examples of the blatantly untrue “information” systematically taught in schools across Saudi Arabia. It is no wonder anti-Semitism is still alive and well.
Every year, the Saudi education system breeds a new pool of extremists. Students are taught to hate Jews and Christians (as well as people of other religions) and encouraged to act violently against them. In a 9th-grade textbook on selected Hadiths, or sayings by the Prophet, students learn that “The [hour of judgment] will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them.” It says “there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.”
The Saudi curricula includes false lessons on historical events — such as the “fact” that Jews instigated World War I. An 8th grade Saudi textbook teaches students that Jews and Christians were “punished by being turned into apes and swine” for “losing their religion” during the pre-Islamic era.
These texts also instruct children that Muslims are engaged in an existential battle against both Jews and Christians in a never-ending global jihad — which is essentially the same line as al Qaeda.
And the Saudis export these textbooks for use around the world. They are mainstays in Saudi schools throughout Europe and, until recently, the United States.
For nearly nine years, the Institute for Gulf Affairs has issued reports and articles and lobbied Congress to push for Saudi education reform. Saudi officials have occasionally claimed to have addressed the problem, yet textbooks and lesson plans remain unchanged. The reluctance to address the hatemongering in the curriculum recalls Osama bin Laden’s complaint that the United States is trying to “change morals of the Muslims to become more tolerant.”
In 2003 and again in 2005, Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi ambassador to the US, reported that Saudi Arabia was making progress with removing hateful and incorrect teachings from Saudi textbooks. In 2005, Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former Saudi ambassador to the US, said he’d “look into these allegations.” But time and again, Saudi Arabia has made no changes or reforms.
Faisal bin Abdullah bin Mohammad, the Saudi minister of education, bears direct official responsibility for the content of these textbooks — and is now in the United States, traveling with King Abdullah and meeting with President Obama.
The Immigration and Neutrality Act explicitly empowers the US government to prevent the entrance into the United States of individuals responsible for acts of religious intolerance or violence. We should expel Faisal — and consider a broader ban on Saudi officials connected in any way to the schools — to pressure the Saudi government to finally stop its hatemongering.
Yes, Faisal bin Adbullah is the son-in-law and a close aide of Saudi King Abdullah; expelling him would be confrontational. But indoctrinating millions of young minds with hatred and violence against the West has bred whole generations of extremists — and still does. Our government should be confrontational about it.
Entry bans are a tried-and-true tactic. In 2005, the State Department denied a diplomatic visa to Naredra Modi, the chief minister in India’s Gujarat province, because of his involvement in religious riots in 2002 that claimed nearly 2,000 lives. The Saudi textbooks’ violent content easily meet the fomenting-religious-intolerance test of US law and thus warrant the revocation of Faisal bin Abdullah’s visa.
It’s no surprise that Saudi Arabia is the world’s most fertile exporter of suicide bombers and other terrorists: Its education system teaches hatred of the West. Expelling the Saudi education minister from the United States will send a strong message to the Saudi government that this has to change.
Adam Rozell and Joshua Haber are foreign-policy analysts at the Institute for Gulf Affairs, a think-tank in Washington, DC, focused on the Persian Gulf Arab countries.