Antisemitism largely eliminated from textbooks in Saudi Arabia

Antisemitism has been largely eliminated from Saudi textbooks according to The Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se) annual report on education in Saudi Arabia.

The report found that content portraying Jews as disobedient and teachings of antisemitic tropes such as Jewish wealth were removed from the Saudi curriculum.

Saudi Arabia has seen a trend of improvement in removing antisemitism from its curriculum in recent years, IMPACT-se said.

According to the institute, Qur’an verses describing Jews being turned into monkeys were removed, as was the antisemitic myth that one of the goals of Zionism is a “global Jewish government.”

In addition, Qur’an verses prohibiting friendships with Jews and Christians and condemning homosexuality have all been removed in the past three years.

However, some problematic content remains, IMPACT-se says.

According to the report, Israeli is still omitted from maps shown in textbooks and Zionism is still described as “racist.”

Saudi students are falsely taught that  “Zionists” deliberately tried to burn down Al-Aqsa Mosque in 1969, a lie that was removed from Qatar’s curriculum.

Overall, IMPACT-se has seen a “continuation of the clear trajectory of improvement” in the Saudi school curriculum, IMPACT-se CEO Marcus Sheff said.

“reaching for international standards of tolerance in school education will prepare Saudi children and those in other countries that use Saudi textbooks with the skills to positively interact with the different cultures and worldviews,” Sheff said. “Particularly Jews, who were greatly demonized before the reforms.”


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