Iran schools call for Israel’s ‘eradication,’ consider US ‘satanic enemy’: Study

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Iran’s education system calls for the “eradication” of Israel, considers the US a “satanic enemy,” and depicts foreigners as “irredeemable,” according to a recent study of Iranian textbooks and school curricula.

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The study by the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se), published last month, found that the Iranian curricula call for a “total war against Israel until it is completely eradicated.”

“The existence of Israel blocks Iranian efforts to hegemonize the region. Israel’s destruction is presented both as an ideal, and as a realistic goal. The destruction of Israel is portrayed as a step toward the salvation of the world,” according to the report, which analysed over 100 textbooks from the 2021-2022 academic year.

Iranian textbooks described the US as “Satanic, an enemy of the Prophets, and the Quran,” the report found.

Students are taught to distrust “foreigners” and the curriculum is “rife with anti-‘foreigner’ rhetoric,” according to the report.

“There is a through-thread in Iranian textbooks that instils in students a sense of paranoia when it comes to “foreigners” … The curriculum is rife with anti-“foreigner” rhetoric. Students are assigned an exercise in which they must strategize ways to counter the foreigner’s plans to overthrow Islam.”

Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution is “taught as a model for all countries,” and “Arab governments are portrayed as illegitimate,” the report said.

One textbook – “History of Contemporary Iran,” Grade 11 – included praise for the Muslim Brotherhood and its founder Hassan al-Banna, the report found.

The textbook described al-Banna as one of the top “theorists of the new era and the current wave of Islamic Awakening,” along with Iran’s former Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini.

Al-Banna “rejected Western civilization and acted within the framework of Islamic principles and reviving the Quran and the Sunnah. The Muslim Brotherhood is undoubtedly the most original intellectual movement in the Islamic Awakening of the Sunnis in the current era,” page 251 of the textbook reads.

The report also found that a “core racial nationalistic-Iranian identity is fostered within the curriculum.”

“Iranians are portrayed as having Aryan roots. Nazi atrocities are often downplayed, while their achievements are praised,” the report said.

The Holocaust was ignored, according to the report.

“The Iranian curriculum does not include teaching in any language other than Persian, regardless of the fact that around half of the populations’ mother-tongue is not Persian,” the report said.

“Discrimination against minority languages and cultures remains prevalent in the curriculum … Cultural diversity is recognized, but solely on a folkloristic level.”

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