Let’s join in the condemnation. The Saudis promised to reform their reactionary religious education, but it’s still credibly reported to be full of jihadist bigotry. Hat tips: Eric Muller via Michael Froomkin.
The eighth-grade textbook includes this remarkable claim about Jews:
Despite this, they espouse falsehood through idol-worship, soothsaying, and sorcery.
A serious question: where did the mullahs get this weird accusation, as absurd as the blood libel, though I suppose less destructive? As far as I can see, it’s not in the Koran, which accuses the Jews of various offences – usury, treachery, disobedience to God, rejection of the prophets, of Isa and of Mohammed – which have some stretched connection to seventh-century experience. But sorcery? Is this freshly made up, or derived distantly from mediaeval Christian anti-semitism, like Bashir Assad’s nonsensical charge that the Jews betrayed Jesus. (Judas = the archetypal Jew.)
It’s as easy to over- as under-estimate one’s enemies. On this showing the Wahhabi clerics who control Saudi schools aren’t learned fanatics, like Ayatollah Khomeini, just bigoted peasants.