The official textbook, which is published by the Saudi Ministry of Education, dictates to 5th graders that the “resurrection” day will be obvious due to a series of signs, “the Hour will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews, and Muslims will kill the Jews.”
According to the U.S.-based advocacy group Human Rights Watch, Saudi Arabia’s curriculum relative to their religious studies courses “[contain] hateful and incendiary language toward religions and Islamic traditions that do not adhere to its interpretation of Sunni Islam.”
Human Rights Watch undertook a comprehensive review of school religion books published by the Saudi Education Ministry for the 2016-17 school year. The curriculum, titled al-tawhid, or “Monotheism,” comprises 45 textbooks and student workbooks for the primary, middle, and secondary education levels.
The September 11, 2001 jihadist attacks that killed some 3,000 Americans provoked public outrage at the incendiary language in Saudi schoolbooks after it became known that 15 of the 19 hijackers of 9/11 were Saudi citizens. Saudi officials promised at the time to expunge the abusive language from its curriculum. A decade and a half later, however, some of this insulting and dangerous content is still a part of Saudi texts, HRW declared.
In February 2017, Saudi’s education minister acknowledged the need for a “broader curriculum overhaul” but offered no specifics as to when if ever such an overhaul would take place.
“As early as first grade, students in Saudi schools are being taught hatred toward all those perceived to be of a different faith or school of thought,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “The lessons in hate are reinforced with each following year.