NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED500608
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 39
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Saudi Arabia's Curriculum of Intolerance with Excerpts from Saudi Ministry of Education Textbooks for Islamic Studies
Shea, Nina; Al-Ahmed, Ali
Center for Religious Freedom
After September 11, 2001, complaints were voiced around the world, including by the U.S. government, that Saudi Arabian schools demonize the West and the "other." Senior Saudi government spokesmen also acknowledged this as a problem, and have repeatedly pledged that reform is underway or completed. This report was written in response to concerns over whether adequate reforms have been implemented in the Saudi government's educational system. Findings contradict Saudi Arabia's public claims that it has removed material encouraging intolerance from its educational texts. Given the closed nature of the Saudi regime, Freedom House was unable to conduct a comprehensive review of all textbooks and curriculum used in the country. It is not possible to say precisely how these textbooks are used on a day-to-day basis. The fact that the Ministry of Education continues to publish the books described in this report, and that they were provided to the Institute for Gulf Affairs researchers by families of children and others associated with the schools, however, was judged sufficient to make them worthy of study and discussion. As demonstrated by excerpts from the dozen current Islamic studies textbooks analyzed in this report, the Saudi public school religious curriculum continues to propagate an ideology of hate toward the "unbeliever," (Christians, Jews, Shiites, Sufis, Sunni Muslims who do not follow Wahhabi doctrine, Hindus, atheists and others). This ideology is introduced in a religion textbook in the first grade and reinforced and developed in following years of the public education system, culminating in the twelfth grade, where a text instructs students that it is a religious obligation to wage militant jihad against infidels in order to "spread the faith." Information about the Islamic Saudi Academy is appended. (Contains 136 endnotes.) [For "Appendix A, Excerpts from Saudi Ministry of Education Textbooks for Islamic Studies: Arabic with English Translation," see ED500519. This document was developed by the Center for Religious Freedom of Freedom House and the Institute for Gulf Affairs. The Center for Religious Freedom joined Hudson Institute in January 2007.]
Center for Religious Freedom. Available from Hudson Institute. 1015 15th Street NW 6th Floor, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-974-2400; Fax: 202-974-2410; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, Milwaukee, WI.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Saudi Arabia; United States