Saudi School Textbooks Incite to Hatred and Violence
Publication: Family Security Matters
Date: January 23, 2009
Ahmed Al-Sarraf cited in Al-Qabas (June 2, 2007) some passages from a Kuwaiti school textbook taught at the first secondary grade. Here is an English translation of passages from the book, "Jurisprudence", page 38:
Who is, or who is not, punished in a Muslim society:
- A Muslim who kills an apostate or someone who commits adultery against an infidel is not punished.
- If a Muslim kills an infidel or a slave, he is not punished.
- If a Muslim man, father, or grandfather kills someone from his offspring, he is not punished.
I went through school textbooks taught in Saudi Arabia and Indonesia. Here is an English translation of some passages from these books.
A fourth grade textbook on Monotheism and Religion instructs students:
"Any other religion other than Islam is invalid (false)." (P. 29 )
"Hate (yakrah) the polytheists and the infidels" as a requirement of "true faith." (P. 86)
5th Grade. Book: Monotheism and Religion:
*"Every religion other than Islam is invalid." (P. 33)
*"It is not permitted to be a loyal to non-Muslims, and to those who oppose God and His Prophet." (P. 14)
*"Whoever obeys the Prophet and accepts the oneness of God cannot be loyal to those who oppose God and His Prophet, even if they are his closest relatives." (P. 71)
*"A Muslim, even if he lives far away, is your brother in religion. Someone who opposes God, even if he is your brother by family tie, is your enemy in religion." (P. 73)
*"Just as Muslims were successful in the past when they came together in a sincere endeavor to evict the Christian crusaders from Palestine, so will the Arabs and Muslims emerge victorious, God willing, against the Jews and their allies if they stand together and fight a true jihad for God, for this is within God's power." (P. 75)
*"Jews are the people of the Sabbath, whose young people God turned into apes, and whose old people God turned into swine to punish them." "As cited in Ibn Abbas: The apes are Jews, the keepers of the Sabbath; while the swine are the Christian infidels of the communion of Jesus." (P. 83)
*"The clash between our [Muslim] community (umma) and the Jews and Christians has endured, and it will continue as long as God wills. In this hadith, Muhammad gives us an example of the battle between the Muslims and the Jews." (P. 113)
*"Narrated by Abu Hurayrah: The Prophet said, the hour [of judgment] will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them. [It will not come] until the Jew hides behind rocks and trees. [It will not come] until the rocks or the trees say, 'O Muslim! O servant of God! There is a Jew behind me. Come and kill him.'." (P. 114)
*"Muslims will triumph because they are right. He who is right is always victorious, even if most people are against him." (P. 117)
"A woman who shows in public any part of her body except that of her eyes will be punished by hellfire by almighty Allah." (P. 194)
"The infidels have established Christian hospitals and clinics and send medics all over the world. As one of the Christianizers said, 'Where you find people, you find pain. And where there's pain, there's a need for a doctor. And where there's a need for a doctor, there's an appropriate opportunity for missionary activity [Christianization].'" (P. 163)
"The infidels have founded many schools and universities in the Muslim world at various educational levels. These include: the American Universities of Beirut and Cairo, the Jesuit University, Robert College in Istanbul, Gordon [Memorial] College in Khartoum, and others too numerous to mention. (P. 186)
Teach that after their death, non-Muslims will be sent to hell. (P. 30)
Quiz: Is it permissible to love the Jews and Christians? Of course no. Explain why. (P. 15)
*Command Muslims to "hate" Christians, Jews, polytheists and other "unbelievers," including non-devout Muslims." (P. 14)
*Teach that the Crusades never ended, and identify the American Universities in Beirut and in Cairo, other Western and Christian social service providers, media outlets, centers for academic studies of Orientalism, and campaigns for women's rights as part of the modern phase of the Crusades. (P. 15)
*Teach that "the Jews and the Christians are enemies of the [Muslim] believers" (P. 16) and that "the clash between the two realms "continues until the Day of Resurrection." (P. 18)
*Instruct students not to "greet," "befriend," "imitate," "show loyalty to," "be courteous to", or "respect" non-believers. (P. 24)
*Define jihad to include "wrestling with the infidels by calling them to the faith and battling against them," (P. 25) and assert that the spread of Islam through jihad is a "religious obligation." (P. 26) [the word qital, translated here as "battle," is derived from the verb qatala, "to kill," and is virtually never used metaphorically.]
*Instruct that "the struggle between Muslims and Jews" will continue "until the hour [of judgment]" and that "Muslims will triumph because they are right" and "he who is right is always victorious." (P. 27)
*Cite a selective teaching of violence against Jews, while in the same lesson, ignoring the passages of the Quran and hadeeths [narratives of the life of the Prophet, Peace be upon Him, that counsel tolerance. (P. 28)
*Teach the Protocols of the Elders of Zion as historical fact and relate modern events to it. (P. 29)
*Discuss Jews in violent terms, blaming them for virtually all the "subversion" and wars of the modern world. (P. 30)
*"Give examples of false religions, like Judaism, Christianity, paganism, etc." (P. 66)
*"Explain that when someone dies outside of Islam, hellfire is his fate." (P. 67)
By the way, over 20 Saudi schools, each chaired by the local ambassador from Saudi Arabia, are located throughout the world, in Bonn, Berlin, Washington, Algiers, Ankara, Beijing, Djibouti, Islamabad, Istanbul, Jakarta, Karachi, Kuala Lumpur, London, Madrid, Moscow, Paris, Rabat, Rome, and Tunis.
In fact, you can find some of the above stuff in many school textbooks in all the Arab Gulf countries, Egypt, Kuwait, The United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Jordan. Fourteen-year-old boys' and girls' brains are stuffed with intolerance, animosity towards other religions and their followers.
Al Sarraf wonders, what is the point in devoting $150 million of Kuwaiti money to spend on disseminating tolerance and moderation in society when the foundation of society, the youth, are taught religious fanaticism and religio-centricism? Islam is a tolerant and moderate religion, but some zealous Muslims have hijacked it and are determined to interpret it their own way.
I disagree with Al Sarraf over the last point. Islam is partially tolerant and moderate. When you check out the Koran and Hadeeth (the prophet Muhammad's comments), you find out that Islam is also a violent faith. It preaches hatred and violence against non-Muslims and discriminates against women. (Check out "Is Islam a Violent Faith?").
What does all that imply in terms of the war on terror?
The war on Islamic terror will remain futile unless the free world forces Saudi Arabia and the other Arab oil countries on the Persian Gulf to remove hatred and violence from their school textbooks. The root causes of Islamic terror must be rooted out. This is not an internal issue and has nothing to do with freedom of speech. It impacts all of us and the world peace at large. The West must use all its leverage vis-à-vis these states to achieve this goal if it truly wants to gain the war on terror.
I'm also pretty sure that the more and more Muslims around the world who read the Koran thoroughly, many more of them would turn their back to Islam. According to a recent survey by Berlin University, 13% of male Muslims have read the Koran and among women it is only 7%.
Many Muslims around the globe, in particular non-Arabs, do not understand the Koran which is written in an old archaic Arabic. They learn about Islam from what their fanatic imams preach.
- FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Dr. Sami Alrabaa, an ex-Muslim, is a professor of Sociology and an Arab-Muslim culture specialist. Before moving to Germany he taught at Kuwait University, King Saud University, and Michigan State University.
Middle East Mired in a Culture of Hatred
Author: Dr. Sami Alrabaa
Publication: Islam Watch
Date: February 25, 2009
A Palestinian presenter at Hamas's Al-Aqsa Television asks a little girl on a program for kids, "What do you want to become when you grow up?
The girl replies, "I want to become a mujahida [fighter]. I want to liberate Palestine. I want to throw all the Jews out of beloved Palestine. But before I die and join the Palestinian martyrs in paradise, I want to kill as many Israelis as possible like Reem Riyashi."This is the kind of culture Hamas TV is spreading around amongst young Palestinians and other Arabs in the region. Hamas has its own satellite TV channel, radio station and newspapers and has used them to garner political support during its power struggle with Fatah.
Back in 2007, Hamas's Al-Aqsa TV aired a weekly show featuring a Mickey Mouse look-alike who urged children to support armed resistance against Israel. The character was beaten to death in the show's final episode by a character portraying an Israeli. The Hamas media effort is bankrolled by its leader in exile, Khaled Mashaal, who sends suitcases of cash, filled with money from Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Syria, which are smuggled into Gaza through tunnels from Egypt.
Secular and moderate Palestinians are appalled by the extremist propaganda of Hamas TV. Iyad Barghouthi, the director of the Ramallah Human Rights Center, says Al-Aqsa TV is a disturbing milestone in the rise of Islamist forces. Hamas's practices are reminiscent of those of the Taliban, he said. Barghouthi told Der Spiegel on-line, "Al-Aqsa TV is not only encouraging violence, it is also spreading fanatic Islamism and racism."
Hamas defied widespread criticism among Palestinians for using a young mother as a suicide bomber and even published photographs of her and her two small children, posing with weapons. Reem Riyashi, 22, blew herself up in 2004 and killed four Israelis at a Gaza border crossing after faking a disability to bypass a security check.
The anti-Israel media landscape throughout the Arab world is no better. In particular, the Syrian, the Saudi, and the Egyptian media are hawkish and propagandistic. Fair and objective analysis and information are non-existent.
The Syrian Minister of Tourism, Saadalla Agha al-Qalaa, told the newspaper Tishreen: "The Zionists are spreading bad propaganda about Syria to prevent tourists from visiting our country." That is apparently the main reason why few tourists, especially Westerners, come to Syria to spend their holidays, rather than the bad services which the country offers tourists. When I was in Damascus in 2006, I watched how tourists had to wait at least an hour before their passports were processed at the airport police control. There are only two categories of hotels: either first class or no class at all.
The Ba'ath regime is not interested in tourism. Tourists could infect the local population with ideas about democracy and human rights. Tourists would also tell the Syrians another story about the "decadent" and "unfair" West.
When I visited the southwestern border of Syria with Israel several years ago, I told my companion, a member of the Ba'ath party, "Look how green the Israeli side of the Golan Heights is." He interrupted, "It is all propaganda. With the help of the Americans, the Israelis have made it green, just to show off." I countered, "Why don't you allow the locals who were displaced during the 1973 war to return to their homes and make this part of Syria also green?" He responded, "It's dangerous. The Israelis could attack us any time."
Not just the media blame Israel for all the problems the Arab world has. School text books in all Arab countries depict an aggressive image of Israel. The gist of this image goes like this: Israel is an alien limb in the heart of the Arab nation. Palestine must be liberated from the Zionists as Saladin liberated Jerusalem from the Crusaders.
The culture of hatred must stop. Western governments must pressure Arab countries to introduce genuine freedom of speech, i.e., free media. Arab journalists and writers who deliver balanced articles on the Arab-Israeli conflict are banned from publishing. Arab regimes are suspicious of these people and, more often than not, they are arbitrarily put behind bars and accused of spying for the arch enemy, Israel.
I am one of those who have tried to publish articles in the Arab press about the Arab-Israeli conflict telling readers that the image of Israel as presented in the belligerent Arab discourse is distorted and fabricated. I have also stressed that if the Arab countries were as democratic as Israel, the conflict would disappear, and Israelis and Arabs would live in peace, side by side. If Arabs were objectively informed, they would choose to coexist with their Israeli neighbors. Ethnic and religious minorities are integrated in Israeli society and enjoy the same political rights as Jews. Muslim and Christian Arabs, for example, sit in the Knesset and say whatever they want and a Muslim Arab is a cabinet minister.
My articles have never been published. Arabs are not allowed to know the truth.
Western governments have to re-educate, at least, their Arab allies, as the Allies did with the Germans after World War II. The war on terror does not make any sense unless the root causes of extremism are uprooted in the media and in the schools.