Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince and Minister of Defense Mohammed bin Salman attends a signing ceremony between US President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (not pictured) at the Royal Court in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
WASHINGTON – Saudi Arabian textbooks continue to promote antisemitic conspiracy theories and violence against Jews, despite public statements from leadership in Riyadh claiming the kingdom will reform, according to a study released this week.
The paper, released by the Anti-Defamation League, found that high school textbooks continue to teach of Zionist ambitions for a “global Jewish government to control the entire world” and of false religious teachings calling for the murder of Jews.
Several passages highlighted in the report refer to sayings attributed in the Hadith to the Prophet Muhammad but not included in the Quran which have been adopted by religious extremists to justify violence. Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has vowed to police such interpretations.
But the ADL report suggests that their policing has, thus far, proven lackluster.
The head of the ADL, Jonathan Greenblatt, called for “greater scrutiny” of the textbooks by the Trump regime.
“The US cannot look the other way while Saudi Arabia features antisemitic hate speech year after year in the educational material it gives to its children,” Greenblatt said.
Members of Congress have long lobbied Saudi Arabia to revise its textbooks, a move they say will stem hate at its inception in young minds.
Responding to the report, a State Department official referred to comments from White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders last month in which she condemned antisemitism in all its forms.
“Antisemitism is a plague to humanity, and it is responsible for many of the worst horrors in human history. We all have a duty to confront antisemitism in all its forms, and everywhere and anywhere it appears,” Sanders said last month, in the aftermath of the synagogue shooting at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s Tree of Life Congregation. “The American people reject hatred, bigotry, prejudice and violence. We are a nation that believes in religious liberty, tolerance, and respect. And we are a people who cherish the dignity of every human life.”
The organization will host its third annual conference on combating hatred, called “Never Is Now,” in New York on December 3.
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