Saudi Arabia is not the only Sunni region of the Middle East where hatred and violence toward others are taught in the classrooms. Here is the update on what began in the 1960s in Gaza. It appears that the Fatah government (yes, the Fatah government that America calls “moderate,” not Hamas) of the Palestinian Authority (PA) is expanding its hate curriculum. It has issued textbooks that not only cultivate hate against the Jewish people but also against the United States.
They are bolstering their position of animosity by rewriting history. In February 2007, the organization Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) came out with an extensive report on textbooks issued by the Palestinian Authority to be used in Gaza and the West Bank. Itamar Marcus and Barbara Cook of PMW conducted a study that focused on schoolbooks issued by the Palestinian Authority and written by its Palestinian Curriculum Department (PCD).
The PCD is comprised of educators who are selected by the Fatah Movement of the Palestinian Liberation Organization. In their report, “From Nationalist Battle to Religious Conflict: New Twelfth-grade Palestinian Textbooks Present ‘A World Without Israel,’” Marcus and Cook examined eight books assigned by the Palestinian School System in 2006 that literally present a world without Israel. From 2000 to 2005, the Palestinian Authority was criticized for its textbooks’ theme of the destruction of Israel. Under pressure from world opinion, the PA promised to remove its radical and intolerant content toward Israel and the Jews from its textbooks.
Not surprisingly, the report found that the new and “reformed” 2006 books still contained language that portrayed Israel and the West as enemies of Islam
that must be destroyed. The textbooks also deny Israel’s right to exist and literally erase Israel from all geography maps. On maps of the Middle East Israel is now labeled “Palestine” and defined as dawla, the Arabic word for state.63 This attempt to inculcate their youth with the notion that Israel does not exist as a state, is also illustrated in other ways.
Textbooks routinely eradicate any mention of the Holocaust or of Jews. Without any mention of the Jewish people and Hitler’s final solution, the texts refer to the territorial impact of World War II, and Hitler’s views on racism.
The texts also allude to the fact that there will never be peace with Israel (the occupier), and Israel’s annihilation will be the only way for the Palestinian people to people and as human rights abusers.
The United States is labeled in a derogatory way as an economic provider of Israel, without any mention of how much monetary support, in the millions of dollars, that is given to the PA by the United States government. In addition, the texts Contemporary Problems and History of the Arabs and the World in the 20th Century call suicide bombers in Iraq who have murdered the U.S. and British soldiers “brave resisters.” In fact, suicide bombers are described as revered and the textbooks define acts of “resistance” as “acts of most glorious heroism and sacrifice.
The concepts of jihad shahada, death for Allah, are continually mentioned in the Palestinian curriculum.
Jihad is even emphasized in grammar exercises! One twelfth-grade textbook underlines the importance of a shahid (martyr) in Islam and a believer’s role in sacrificing his own life on earth for Allah’s eternal love. The textbook Islamic Education emphasizes that martyrs are with their god, and are filled with happiness and the benevolence that Allah gave them. The verse from the Koran used to support this point reads: “Even if we do not sense these lives, and we do not know their truthfulness, and therefore [the Koran] forbade us to refer to them as ‘dead.’” The following verse is an example of what is used to indoctrinate school-aged children into the ideology of martyrdom.
It appears in the 2002 edition of Reading and Text Part II, for the eighth grade: “O heroes…do not talk yourselves into a fight. Your enemies seek life while you seek death. These drops of blood that gush from your bodies will be transformed tomorrow into blazing red meteors that will fall down upon the heads of your enemies.
If you think the eighth grade is pretty young, then textbook indoctrination has nothing on the PA’s efforts via television. The use of television is a relatively new method to communicate shahada to its young viewers but Hamas has extended its reach to its infant population.
In May of 2007, Al-Aqsa, a Hamas-affiliated television station, launched a new children’s television show aimed at indoctrinating Palestinian youth into an Islamic ideology of violence, murder, and hatred for Israel and the United States. The main character is a Mickey Mouse look-alike named Farfur, who directs children to pray until there is “world leadership under Islamic rule.” Farfur also encouraged children to fight Israel, which is defined as “the oppressive invading Zionist occupiers.” June 29, 2007, was Farfur’s last day on camera. After world pressure and wide publicity about the hateful character, Hamas decided to terminate him.
The glory of dying for Islam was emphasized in the final episode as Farfur was beaten to death by an Israeli and instantly became a martyr for Allah and his people,68 thus further reinforcing the hatred Palestinian children have for Israel. The Hamas-led Palestinian Authority has created an environment for its youth to feel good about the idea of prematurely and violently ending their life for a future in the afterlife.
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