U.S. Religious Freedom Commission: Saudi Textbooks Refer to Christians and Jews as 'Infidels'

By Michael W. Chapman | May 20, 2021 | 2:12pm EDT
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

(CNS News) -- In its section on global anti-Semitism, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom's (USCIRF) annual report discloses that Saudi Arabia's textbooks, although much improved, still discuss Jewish "treachery" and refer to Christians and Jews as "infidels."

Overall, in 2020, "far-right (including neo-Nazis), far-left, and Islamist extremists increasingly threatened Jewish communities in Europe, reads the report

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(Getty Images)

"Textbooks in countries whose governments profess Islam as an official religion continued to contain antisemitic content," said the USCIRF. "Iran’s textbooks portrayed Jews as 'conspirational' and referenced 'Jewish gold hoarders and capitalists.'" 

"Saudi Arabia’s textbooks, while significantly improved from previous years, still discussed Jewish 'treachery' and referred to Christians and Jews alike as 'infidels,'" states the report. 

In Germany, an investigation found that 29 officers in the security forces had shared "images of Hitler  and violent neo-Nazi propaganda in multiple group chats," according to the USCIRF. The officers were suspended.

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(Getty Images)

Also, the "chief of German domestic intelligence acknowledged that nearly all popular Islamist organizations that are active in Germany include antisemitism as a part of their ideology."

In Scandinavia, the "Nordic Resistance Movement harassed Jews in 20 cities ... during the week leading up to Yom Kippur," the report reveals. 

For Britain, the commission noted that "the British Labour Party had failed to respond sufficiently to far-left antisemitism within the party, including Holocaust denial and Rothschild conspiracy theories posted by party members on social media in previous years."

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Although ritually slaughtered meats are part of many Jews' diets, "the Court of Justice of the European Union (EU) ruled in December [2020] that 'member countries may ban the practice of ritual slaughter in order to promote animal welfare,'" according to the report

"Jews faced physical attacks and threats of violence at places of worship and in public throughout the year," said the commission. "In Germany, a man with a shovel badly injured a Jewish student leaving a synagogue in Hamburg on Sukkot. Likewise, a man wielding an ax entered a synagogue compound in Ukraine, though security guards stopped him before he entered the building. Assailants attacked Jewish families in Argentina and France as well as a Brazilian man wearing a kippah."

Anti-Semitism was prevalent in Poland's presidential election, said the commission, and there "were multiple instances reported of Jews being refused service due to their faith, Jewish professionals enduring antisemitic stereotypes in their places of work, and even a police request for a list of all Jews living in a Ukrainian city."

 

"Jewish cemeteries were frequent targets for acts of vandalism, including spray-painted Nazi rhetoric and imagery, smashed headstones, and stolen property," according to the report.  "A spate of such attacks occurred in Greece in the fall and winter, and cemeteries in at least eight other countries around the world suffered similar circumstances."

On the positive side, the USCIRF reported that anti-Semitic incidents in France fell 50% in 2020 when compared with 2019. Also, numerous countries "announced Holocaust and antisemitism awareness education programs, millions of dollars in security funding, and comprehensive strategies for combating antisemitism," said the commission. 

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