Controversy stirs anew over Saudi textbooks with Obama set to visit
March 25th, 2014
08:55 PM ET

Controversy stirs anew over Saudi textbooks with Obama set to visit

President Barack Obama's trip to Saudi Arabia this week comes amid accusations the State Department has hidden the results of a study that concludes textbooks in the Kingdom remain rife with Islamic extremism.

Since the September 11, 2001, attacks, successive U.S. administrations have attempted to curb Saudi indoctrination of students through hateful extremist material in its textbooks.

In addition to teaching the material to its own students, Saudi Arabia runs academies in about 20 countries, which use some of the same texts.

The Kingdom has repeatedly claimed that it has revised its textbooks.

In 2005, the Saudi government took out a full-page ad in the New Republic to boast of its success at "having modernized our school curricula to better prepare our children for the challenges of tomorrow."

But the Foundation for Defense of Democracies said on Tuesday the secret study finds Saudi textbooks still "create a climate that fosters exclusivity, intolerance, and calls to violence that put religious and ethnic minorities at risk."

Citing sources familiar with it, the Washington-based think tank said the Obama administration decided not to publish the study when it was completed in late 2012 because offensive material dehumanizing Jews and Christians included in the textbooks would portray the Saudis in a negative light.

"The State Department is in possession of a uniquely exhaustive set of recent findings about incitement in Saudi Arabia's education system, findings that it has declined to release for public consumption," the report said.

The study is the product of a reported $500,000 State Department contract with the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy.

On its website, ICRD says the project was commissioned to "assist in the ongoing effort by Saudi Arabia to remove discriminatory content from its public school curriculums and to evaluate its global impact in other Muslim-majority countries."

Current and former U.S. officials said the study paints a mixed picture of Saudi textbooks.

While it notes some progress by Saudis in making reforms and removing some of the most hateful language, the study still found areas for improvement.

"We know there's more work to be done," State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said.

Ali Ahmed, a Saudi scholar who runs the Washington-based Institute for Gulf Affairs, has been studying Saudi textbooks since before the 9/11 attacks.

Ahmed said that in meetings with State Department officials over the years, he has found a consistent reluctance to put pressure on the Saudi royal family about the problem.

"I wrote papers and offered advice. I provided them with the textbooks showing evidence that the Saudis have not done anything," he said, adding that several officials warned him his campaign could damage U.S.-Saudi relations.

"The U.S. confronts China and Russia about human rights, but I don't know why they can't tell the Saudis to clean up their act on this issue," he said. "The U.S. is not a small country like Panama with no tools to force change. So either they are not serious or their policy is a failure here. If the U.S. wanted to bring some pressure, they can. They have not tried."

Harf said the United States has consistently and publicly encouraged Saudi Arabia to institute educational and textbook reforms, but disputed the notion that the State Department had ever planned to publish the study.

"It was intended to drive and inform the work of the State Department as we work with the Saudi government to push them to reform their textbooks," Harf said. "We obviously continue to push our partners to reform, and we believe with the Saudis that it's most effective to do this directly, with them, between our governments, and not publicly, and we do want to keep working with them to see if they can reform their curriculum more."

David Andrew Weinberg, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies who wrote the study, said Saudi teachings of intolerance should be on the agenda when Obama visits the Kingdom this week.

"The hate speech so rampant in Saudi textbooks should be publicly addressed by the President while in Riyadh," Weinberg said. "Doing so would put hardliners on notice that even at this low point in U.S.-Saudi relations, the President will not shy away from affirming pluralistic American values and seeking reforms in the name of our national security."

soundoff (275 Responses)
  1. trực tiep bong da

    It's a pity you don't have a donate button! I'd without a doubt donate
    to this fantastic blog! I guess for now i'll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
    I look forward to brand new updates and will talk about this blog with my Facebook group.
    Talk soon!

    May 11, 2021 at 11:08 pm | Reply
  2. tysovatyle

    Thanks for your personal marvelous posting!
    I seriously enjoyed reading it, you happen to be a great author.I
    will always bookmark your blog and definitely will come back sometime soon. I want to encourage that you
    continue your great writing, have a nice afternoon!

    May 11, 2021 at 11:06 pm | Reply
  3. truc tiep bong da hom nay

    Good web site you have here.. It's hard to find high-quality writing like yours these days.
    I seriously appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

    May 11, 2021 at 10:54 pm | Reply
  4. trực tiếp bóng đá bong da truc tiep truc tiep bong đá xem truc tiep bong da truc tiep bong da hom nay

    We're a group of volunteers and opening a brand new scheme in our community.
    Your web site offered us with helpful info to work on. You have performed a formidable
    activity and our whole group shall be thankful to you.

    May 11, 2021 at 9:46 pm | Reply
  5. link truc tiep bong da

    Yesterday, while I was at work, my cousin stole my
    iPad and tested to see if it can survive a thirty foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation.
    My iPad is now broken and she has 83 views. I know this is completely off topic but I had to share it with
    someone!

    May 11, 2021 at 9:39 pm | Reply
  6. transfer news barcelona

    The swing is an accessory do exercises. Go with multiple sets of low to medium reps. Don't be afraid to employ a La Liga some real weight and go with sets of four. These do best following a large movement like deadlifts.Whether it is a basketball pick, or football or another sport pick, you should be conservative. Terrific game of Football is really a national regular activity. Football betting is heavily on such basis as various indicators.{But, let's clear typical up.protein is actually simply food in liquid outline.

    https://liverpoolwin365.com/2021/04/22/liverpool-khong-can-luis-suarez/

    May 11, 2021 at 6:02 pm | Reply
  7. shpock liverpool

    The swing is an accessory process. Go with multiple sets of low to medium reps. You shouldn't be afraid in order to Premier League some real weight and go with sets of 4. These do best following a whopping movement like deadlifts.Whether it is a basketball pick, or football or another sport pick, you always be conservative. Purchase the game of Football is really a national regular activity. Football betting is heavily based on various factors.{But, let's clear typical up.protein is merely food in liquid means.

    https://realmadrid24.football/phuong-an-chan-chelsea-o-tran-luot-ve-cua-real/

    May 11, 2021 at 5:49 pm | Reply
  8. tt bong da hom nay

    It's in fact very difficult in this full of activity life
    to listen news on TV, therefore I simply use internet for
    that reason, and obtain the latest news.

    May 11, 2021 at 5:02 pm | Reply
  9. tin bong ro

    Great post.

    May 11, 2021 at 4:56 pm | Reply
  10. xem bóng trực tiếp hôm nay

    What a information of un-ambiguity and preserveness of valuable knowledge regarding
    unexpected feelings.

    May 11, 2021 at 4:55 pm | Reply
  11. trục tiếp bóng đá

    Ahaa, its pleasant dialogue regarding this paragraph at this place at this weblog, I have read all that, so at this time
    me also commenting at this place.

    May 11, 2021 at 4:48 pm | Reply
  12. bd truc tiep hom nay

    whoah this weblog is magnificent i really like reading
    your articles. Stay up the good work! You recognize, a lot of
    individuals are hunting around for this information, you could aid them greatly.

    May 11, 2021 at 1:46 pm | Reply
  13. xem bóng đá trực tiếp hôm nay

    I'm amazed, I have to admit. Rarely do I encounter a blog that's both equally educative and interesting, and let me tell you,
    you've hit the nail on the head. The problem is something which not enough folks are speaking intelligently about.
    I am very happy that I found this in my search for something relating to this.

    May 11, 2021 at 12:14 pm | Reply
  14. truc tiep bong đá

    This website truly has all of the information I needed concerning this subject and didn't know who to ask.

    May 11, 2021 at 9:50 am | Reply
  15.  trưc tiếp bóng đá

    You should take part in a contest for one of the most useful sites on the web.
    I will recommend this web site!

    May 11, 2021 at 7:24 am | Reply
  16. Herman Horvers

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a online game where you can do anything you want. sl is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these sl websites and blogs

    http://myvedana.blogspot.com/2007/04/fading1.html?m=0

    May 11, 2021 at 6:53 am | Reply
  17. glass flower bowl

    However, be apt to choose a website that is honest. Cat condo I pick Bama beeing the best out of them all. Plus, it really helps build focus and mental toughness weed grinder prices{The buzzing activities in the football fan gift shops go equal to a new high during the football world cup. Examine the comfort quotient of t-shirts while choosing one from. This really is where most go horribly wrong.|The other, shoot to your box that is 80 of your best box height.

    https://pilotdiarystore.com/

    May 11, 2021 at 4:06 am | Reply
  18. trực tiếp bóng đá hôm nay

    This site was... how do I say it? Relevant!!
    Finally I have found something that helped me. Thank you!

    May 11, 2021 at 1:31 am | Reply
  19. truc tiep nba

    Excellent site you have got here.. It's hard to find excellent writing like yours these days.
    I seriously appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

    May 11, 2021 at 12:14 am | Reply
  20. nba playoff

    Hey just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few
    of the images aren't loading correctly. I'm not sure why but I think its a linking
    issue. I've tried it in two different internet browsers and
    both show the same results.

    May 10, 2021 at 10:52 pm | Reply
  21. kết quả bóng đá anh

    An impressive share! I've just forwarded this onto a co-worker who had been conducting a little research on this.

    And he actually bought me dinner simply because I stumbled upon it for him...
    lol. So let me reword this.... Thanks for the meal!!
    But yeah, thanx for spending the time to talk about
    this subject here on your internet site.

    May 10, 2021 at 10:34 pm | Reply
  22. Lbsofiple

    cialis 200 mg no prescription http://ucialisdas.com/ buy brand cialis online

    May 10, 2021 at 8:27 pm | Reply
  23. la liga 2015 table

    The swing is an accessory do exercises. Go with multiple sets of low to medium reps. Don't be afraid employ Juventus vs AC Milan some real weight and go with sets of four years old. These do best following huge movement like deadlifts.Whether it is a basketball pick, or football or another sport pick, you end up being conservative. Your individual game of Football is really a national hobby. Football betting is heavily based on various facts.{But, let's clear typical up.protein is really food in liquid means.

    https://boxticker.info/2021/04/27/97/

    May 10, 2021 at 7:46 pm | Reply
  24. ban thang tivi

    Thanks for some other informative site. Where else
    may just I am getting that kind of information written in such an ideal method?

    I've a venture that I'm just now operating on, and I've been at the look out for such information.

    May 10, 2021 at 6:53 pm | Reply
  25. juventus 2018/19 kit

    The swing is an accessory process. Go with multiple sets of low to medium reps. You shouldn't be afraid to use CR7 some real weight and go with sets of four years old. These do best following a heavy movement like deadlifts.Whether it is a basketball pick, or football or another sport pick, you end up being conservative. The cost game of Football can be a national regular past time. Football betting is heavily on such basis as various elements.{But, let's clear typical up.protein basically food in liquid build.

    https://realmadrid24.football/__trashed/

    May 10, 2021 at 3:14 pm | Reply
  26. judi slot

    After checking out a few of the blog posts on your blog, I
    seriously like your technique of writing a blog. I book marked it to my bookmark
    website list and will be checking back in the near future.

    Please check out my website as well and let me know how you feel.

    May 10, 2021 at 5:14 am | Reply
  27. xem truc tiep Today tv 

    Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my
    newest twitter updates. I've been looking for a plug-in like this for quite
    some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this.
    Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog
    and I look forward to your new updates.

    May 10, 2021 at 4:19 am | Reply
  28. читайте подробнее на сайте

    выбираем подержанное машины из штатов
    и запада

    May 10, 2021 at 12:18 am | Reply
  29. xem bóng đá trực tiếp bình luận tiếng việt

    I've been exploring for a little for any high-quality articles or blog posts
    on this sort of space . Exploring in Yahoo I finally stumbled
    upon this web site. Reading this information So i am happy to express that I've a very good uncanny feeling I found out just what I needed.
    I most surely will make certain to don?t fail to remember
    this site and give it a look on a constant basis.

    May 9, 2021 at 1:57 pm | Reply
  30. xem bóng đá trực tiếp hôm nay

    This paragraph is genuinely a nice one it helps new net users, who are wishing in favor of
    blogging.

    May 9, 2021 at 1:23 pm | Reply
  31. i xem trực tiếp bóng đá việt nam

    Very descriptive blog, I loved that bit. Will there be a part 2?

    May 9, 2021 at 11:37 am | Reply
  32. Jebgreext

    online pharmacy ed https://pharmacylo.com/ Cordarone

    May 9, 2021 at 9:07 am | Reply
  33. Fmrfreext

    cialis 60 mg https://cialisee.com/ – cialis 20 mg for sale cialis 20mg no prescription

    May 9, 2021 at 9:02 am | Reply
  34. trưc tiêp bong đá

    you are really a just right webmaster. The site loading pace is amazing.
    It seems that you're doing any distinctive trick.
    Furthermore, The contents are masterwork. you have performed a
    excellent job in this subject!

    May 9, 2021 at 7:29 am | Reply
  35. truc tiep c1

    Hey! Would you mind if I share your blog with my facebook group?

    There's a lot of folks that I think would really
    enjoy your content. Please let me know. Cheers

    May 9, 2021 at 1:59 am | Reply
  36. truc tiep nba

    Hello, all the time i used to check blog posts here early in the break of day, since i love
    to find out more and more.

    May 8, 2021 at 11:53 pm | Reply
  37. Anooreext

    viagra for 25 year old http://llviagra.com/ – online apotheke viagra 100mg why do people take viagra

    May 8, 2021 at 10:16 pm | Reply
  38. nba live mobile

    My spouse and I stumbled over here from a different website and thought I might check things out.
    I like what I see so now i'm following you. Look forward to going over your web page repeatedly.

    May 8, 2021 at 8:53 pm | Reply
  39. xem bongda tructiep

    Hello every one, here every person is sharing these familiarity, therefore it's nice to read this webpage, and I used to visit this
    web site daily.

    May 8, 2021 at 7:39 pm | Reply
  40. truc tiep bd

    I am sure this paragraph has touched all the internet viewers,
    its really really fastidious post on building up new webpage.

    May 8, 2021 at 6:45 pm | Reply
  41. truc tiep bong da hom nay

    If some one wishes expert view concerning running a blog then i recommend him/her to pay a quick visit this webpage,
    Keep up the pleasant work.

    May 8, 2021 at 3:14 pm | Reply
  42. 독골사거리역 퍼스트뷰

    Hey! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you I really enjoy reading your blog posts.
    Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that go over the same topics?
    Thanks for your time!

    May 8, 2021 at 10:54 am | Reply
  43. BbshVelm

    viagra 100mg https://loxviagra.com/ – flomax and viagra free viagra samples free shipping

    May 8, 2021 at 10:33 am | Reply
  44. tt bong da hom nay

    I really like what you guys are up too. This kind of clever work and
    coverage! Keep up the great works guys I've incorporated you
    guys to my own blogroll.

    May 8, 2021 at 8:58 am | Reply
  45. truc tiep bong da anh trưc tiep bong da trực tiếp bóng đá tiếng việt xem bong da truc tiep hom nay trục tiep bóng đa

    It's the best time to make a few plans for the longer term and
    it's time to be happy. I have learn this post and if I could I want
    to counsel you few attention-grabbing issues or advice.

    Maybe you can write next articles referring to this article.
    I desire to read more things approximately it!

    May 8, 2021 at 8:00 am | Reply
  46.  Bóng đá xem bong da tieng viet

    When some one searches for his essential thing, thus he/she desires to be available
    that in detail, therefore that thing is maintained over here.

    May 8, 2021 at 7:54 am | Reply
  47. poker idn

    Why visitors still make use of to read news papers when in this technological globe all is
    presented on web?

    May 8, 2021 at 6:53 am | Reply
  48. trưc tiêp bong da trục tiếp bóng đá đá bóng trực tiếp live bóng đá trưc tiêp bông da

    Keep this going please, great job!

    May 8, 2021 at 4:39 am | Reply
  49. xem truc tuyen bong da

    My brother recommended I might like this website. He was totally right.

    This post truly made my day. You cann't imagine just how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

    May 8, 2021 at 2:48 am | Reply
  50. the do tv

    Inspiring story there. What happened after? Good luck!

    May 7, 2021 at 10:42 pm | Reply
1 2 3

Leave a Reply to Charley


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.