Antisemitism in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabian media often attacks Jews in books, news articles, and mosques with what some describe as anti-Semitic satire. Saudi Arabian government officials and state religious leaders often promote the idea that Jews are conspiring to take over the entire world; as proof of their claims, they publish and frequently cite The Protocols of the Elders of Zion as factual.[1][2]

Antisemitism in public administrationEdit

Barring people with either Israeli passports or Israeli stamps in their passport from visiting Saudi Arabia, has been a long-established practice.[3] When in February 2004, Saudi Arabia started issuing visas to non-Muslims for the first time, in order to attract more foreign visitors, the website of the Saudi Arabian Supreme Commission for Tourism initially stated that Jews would not be granted tourist visas to enter the country.[4][5] The discriminatory stipulation was widely reported and drew strong criticism, renewing the notion of Saudi Arabia being a "backward country".[3] Subsequently, the Saudi embassy in the U.S. distanced itself from the statement, apologizing for posting "erroneous information", which was later removed.[6][7]

Members of religions other than Islam, including Jews, are not permitted to practice their religion publicly in Saudi Arabia; according to the U.S. State Department,[8] religious freedom "does not exist" in Saudi Arabia. Islam is the official religion of Saudi Arabia, and the tenets of that religion are enforced by law.[9]

Antisemitism in school textbooksEdit

Saudi textbooks vilify Jews (and Christians and non-Wahhabi Muslims): according to the 21 May 2006 issue of The Washington Post, Saudi textbooks claimed by them to have been "sanitized" of antisemitism still call Jews apes (and Christians swine); demand that students avoid and not befriend Jews; claim that Jews worship the devil; and encourage Muslims to engage in jihad to vanquish Jews.[10]

The Center for Religious Freedom of Freedom House analyzed a set of Saudi Ministry of Education textbooks in Islamic studies courses for elementary and secondary school students. The researchers found statements promoting hatred of Christians, Jews, "polytheists" and other "unbelievers," including non-Wahhabi Muslims. The fictitious Protocols of the Elders of Zion was being taught as historical fact. The texts described Jews and Christians as enemies of Muslims, and the clash between them was described as an ongoing fight that will end in victory over the Jews. Jews were blamed for virtually all the "subversion" and wars of the modern world.[11] A "38-page overview" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-09-25. (371 KB) of Saudi Arabia's curriculum has been released to the press by the Hudson Institute.

Antisemitism in Saudi mediaEdit

Saudi Arabian media often attacks Jews in books, news articles, and mosques with what some describe as anti-Semitic satire. Saudi Arabian government officials and state religious leaders often promote the idea that Jews are conspiring to take over the entire world; as proof of their claims they publish and frequently cite The Protocols of the Elders of Zion as factual.[1][2]

One Saudi Arabian government newspaper suggested that hatred of all Jews is justifiable. "Why are they (the Jews) hated by all the people which hosted them, such as Iraq and Egypt thousands years ago, and Germany, Spain, France and the UK, up to the days they gained of power over the capital and the press, in order to rewrite the history?"[12]

Even during the height of the Saudi crackdown on extremism in 2004, a Saudi IQRA TV "man on the street" segment on feelings toward Jews, was entirely antagonistic. Interviewees described Jews as "our eternal enemies", "murderous", "the enemies of Allah and His Prophet," "murderers of prophets," "the filthiest people on the face of this earth", etc.[13][14]

In 2001, Arab Radio and Television of Saudi Arabia produced a 30-part television miniseries entitled "Horseman Without a Horse", a dramatization of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.[15] One Saudi Arabian government newspaper suggested that hatred of all Jews is justifiable.[16]

Antisemitism in religious circlesEdit

Antisemitism is common within religious circles. Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, the imam of the Grand mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, has been described as an antisemite[17][18] for publicly praying to God to 'terminate' the Jews.[19]

The BBC aired a Panorama episode, entitled A Question of Leadership, which reported that Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, the leading imam of the Masjid al-Haram located in the Islamic holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia,[20][21] referred to Jews as "the scum of the human race" and "offspring of apes and pigs". Al-Sudais further stated: "the worst [...] of the enemies of Islam are those [...] whom he [...] made monkeys and pigs, the aggressive Jews and oppressive Zionists and those that follow them [...] Monkeys and pigs and worshippers of false Gods who are the Jews and the Zionists." In another sermon, on 19 April 2002, he declared that Jews are "evil offspring, infidels, distorters of [others'] words, calf-worshippers, prophet-murderers, prophecy-deniers [...] the scum of the human race whom Allah cursed and turned into apes and pigs [...]"[22]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b CMIP report: The Jews in World History according to the Saudi textbooks Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine. The Danger of World Jewry, by Abdullah al-Tall, pp. 140–141 (Arabic). Hadith and Islamic Culture, Grade 10, (2001) pp. 103–104.
  2. ^ a b "Saudi Arabia's Curriculum of Intolerence" (PDF). Center for Religious Freedom of Freedom House. 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-07-24.
  3. ^ a b "Jews barred in Saudi tourist drive", BBC News, February 27, 2004.
  4. ^ "Visa requirements". Supreme Commission for Tourism. Archived from the original on February 6, 2004. Visas will not be issued for the following groups of people:
    * An Israeli passport holder or a passport that has an Israeli arrival/departure stamp.
    * Those who don't abide by the Saudi traditions concerning appearance and behaviors. Those under the influence of alcohol will not be permitted into the Kingdom.
    * There are certain regulations for pilgrims and you should contact the consulate for more information.
    * Jewish People
  5. ^ Official Saudi Arabia Tourism Website: No Jews Allowed. "Jewish People" May Not Receive Travel Visas Required To Travel Into The Kingdom Archived December 25, 2011, at the Wayback Machine by Congressman Anthony D. Weiner (D-Queens & Brooklyn) February 26, 2004
  6. ^ Morrison, James. "Saudis invite Jews.", The Washington Times, 1 March 2004. Retrieved 25 November 2010.
  7. ^ Whitaker, Brian. "Saudis deny anti-Jewish visa policy", The Guardian, 1 March 2004. Retrieved 25 November 2010.
  8. ^ United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. Countries of Particular Concern. Saudi Arabia Archived September 26, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "International Religious Freedom Report 2004". US Department of State.
  10. ^ Shea, Nina (21 May 2006). "This is a Saudi textbook. (After the intolerance was removed.)". The Washington Post. p. B01.
  11. ^ Press Release. Retrieved 2 June 2012.
  12. ^ Turki 'Abdallah as-Sudayri (April 15, 2002). "All of History is against them". Al-Riyadh, (Saudi government daily).
  13. ^ "MEMRI TV Project: Saudi IQRA TV Examines Public Attitudes toward Jews". MEMRI TV Project. September 29, 2004. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  14. ^ Bradley, John R. (2005). Saudi Arabia Exposed : Inside a Kingdom in Crisis. Palgrave. pp. 96–7.
  15. ^ "ADL Calls on Arab Leaders to Denounce Anti-Semitic Television Series", Anti-Defamation League, 10 December 2001. Retrieved 24 November 2010.
  16. ^ Al-Riyadh, Saudi government daily, 15 April 2002, Turki 'Abdallah as-Sudayri, All of History is against Them
  17. ^ "Canada – A Saudi Imam is Banned From Entering the Country". Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism. May 18, 2004. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-03-18. 1=The Canadian Government has decided to prevent the entry into the country Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, the Imam of the Great Mosque of Mecca, because of his preaching of hatred of the Jews.... The decision to ban the Imam's entry into Canada is part of the authorities' campaign against antisemitism, in the light of recent events in Toronto and Montreal, and against racist incitement in general.
  18. ^ "Canadian Embassy Denies Refusing Sheikh Al-Sudais Visa". May 20, 2004. Retrieved August 22, 2012. 1=The issue of Sheikh Al-Sudais' visit was raised during the question hour at the Canadian Parliament recently. A Canadian legislator, Jason Kenney, called on the government to block the entry of the Islamic scholar to Canada on the grounds that some of his sermons were anti-Semitic.
  19. ^ Jacobson, Susan (December 3, 2003). "Islamic Conference Speaker Draws Wrath". Retrieved August 22, 2012. 1=Some anti-hate groups are outraged that a Saudi cleric who called on God to "terminate" the Jews and urged Muslims to shun peace with Israel is the invited keynote speaker at an Islamic conference scheduled this month in Osceola County.
  20. ^ Sacranie, Iqbal; Abdul Bari, Muhammad; Kantharia, Mehboob; Siddiqui, Ghayasuddin (21 August 2005). "A Question of Leadership". Panorama (Interview). Interviewed by John Ware. London, England: BBC. Retrieved 30 March 2007.
  21. ^ Tom Gross, "Living in a Bubble: The BBC’s very own Mideast foreign policy"., National Review, 18 June 2004.
  22. ^ ""Jews In The Koran And Early Islamic Traditions"" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-12-01. Retrieved 2016-03-24. by Dr. Leah Kinberg. Lecture delivered in May 2003, Monash University, Melbourne, quoting "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2003-08-17. Retrieved 2016-03-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)