Thousands of TikTok users gained an insight into Iranian children's textbooks on Thursday when user emizadeh uploaded a video showing her own book from childhood in Iran.
She first pointed out the many photographs glorifying the late Ayatollah Khomeini, first supreme leader of Iran, and the current and second supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, referring to them as "old demons." The two men are shown interacting with happy children and images of classrooms in the textbook have small portraits of the two leaders on the wall next to the chalkboard.
@emizadeh Fun fact: the first word I learned to read was « rain » (« baran »). I hope the next generations won’t grow up like that. And I hope the Revolution of 2022 will be mentioned in their history textbooks. #iran #iranrevolution2022 #kurdistan #mahsaamini #zhinaamini #jinaamini #freeiran #revolution ♬ Судно (Борис Рижий) - Molchat Doma
User emizadeh then writes "you can learn to be a good wife, while [your brother] plays with his friends." She shows images of women happily sewing while boys play soccer. This is followed by even more images of the two Iranian supreme leaders.
This is "normal"
Finally, the TikTok user points out that the textbooks she's showing in the video are not religious textbooks (even though they contain extensive religious imagery); rather, they are "just regular ones" for first graders learning how to read.
Schoolchildren in Iran recently took to protesting such material in school, ripping up textbooks and stomping on them. In particular, they ripped out pictures of the first supreme leader Ayatollah Khomeini. Girls also removed their headscarves in mass protest when officials from the Iranian Ministry of Education visited their schools.