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Antigay Saudi Texts in British Schools

Antigay Saudi Texts in British Schools


Thousands of Muslim children in the U.K. are being taught the Saudi national curriculum with textbooks that contain homophobic and anti-Semitic lessons, according to a BBC documentary.

The BBC reports that, "BBC Panorama found that more than 40 Saudi Students' Schools and Clubs are teaching the official Saudi national curriculum to about 5,000 pupils."

While the Saudi government denied any official ties to the schools, the BBC reports that the Saudi government owns one London building where the textbooks were found, and that the Saudi embassy oversees the network of schools.

According to the BBC, "One of the textbooks asks children to list the 'reprehensible' qualities of Jewish people. A text for younger children asks what happens to someone who dies who is not a believer in Islam - the answer given in the textbook is 'hellfire.'

"Another text describes the punishment for gay sex as death and states a difference of opinion about whether it should be carried out by stoning, burning with fire or throwing the person over a cliff.

"In a book for 14-year-olds, Sharia law and its punishment for theft are explained, including detailed diagrams about how hands and feet of thieves are amputated."

The Saudi embassy said the materials were being taken out of context and often referred to historical descriptions. British education secretary Michael Gove said inspectors would look into the possibility of regulating after-hours schools and clubs, which do not fall within his office's mandate right now.

The BBC Panorama documentary "British Schools, Islamic Rules" will air Monday night.

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Julie Bolcer