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Saudi Arabia: Textbooks

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL11766, tabled on 26 November 2018

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the Anti-Defamation League, Teaching Hate and Violence: Problematic Passages from Saudi State Textbooks for the 2018–19 School Year, published on 20 November, and in particular the highlighting of school text books in Saudi Arabia that promote hatred against Jews, Christians, women, other Muslim sects and homosexual men; and what representations they are making to the government of Saudi Arabia about this issue.

Answered on

10 December 2018

Saudi Arabia remains a Foreign and Commonwealth Office human rights priority country, particularly because of the use of the death penalty, women's rights and restrictions on freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of religion and belief. We raise our concerns with the Saudi Arabian authorities using a range of ministerial and diplomatic channels of communication, including our Ambassador, the Embassy team and the European Union in Riyadh. A major component of Saudi Arabia’s V2030 is educational reform. As the Saudi Minister of Education recently commented this will take a number of years. In March we signed an MOU that will enable a partnership in developing educational curricula. Our bilateral relationship means we can engage constructively in a way that is sensitive to a country’s culture and history.