However, an American academic who specializes in Iran and Islam, and a former Iranian teacher said they believe the textbooks are a reflection of Iran's history and its deep suspicions of the West, not an effort to turn students into terrorists. The books emphasize the teachings of the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and repeatedly refer to the United States as the "Great Satan" and to Israel as "the regime that occupies Jerusalem," said the study by the Israel-based Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace.
Omid, who fled Iran and wrote "Living in Hell," an autobiography about her experiences there, urged changes to textbooks in Iran and elsewhere in the Middle East. "I am an Iranian, a practicing Muslim woman, who sees it as her responsibility to stand up to hard-line Muslims who use Islam to brainwash children of that faith, in particular Iranian children, who the Iranian government is turning into ticking bombs," she said.
Omid, who lives in Canada, spoke at a news conference in London on Wednesday with study author Aron Groiss, director of research at the Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace. Calls to Iranian officials for comment were not immediately answered.
The study analyzed 95 textbooks and 20 teacher's guides used at Iran's state-run schools. Groiss said the curriculum "reflects Iran's belligerent intentions which should sound the alarm to anyone who is committed to peace and stability in the world."The study noted, however, that Western culture "is not rejected in principle" in the books and that the attitude to other religions is generally "not hostile." The books include discussion sections on respecting other religions and don't say people should be forced to convert to Islam.
Textbooks used in Iranian elementary schools included stories and poems that hailed martyrs such as those who died in the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, Groiss said. Another picture book for 10-year-olds provides a basic acquaintance with weaponry, explosives and military tactics, he said.
The study quotes one passage from a book for 10th graders as saying: "During the eight years of Holy Defense (the Iran-Iraq war), more than 500,000 school students were sent to the fronts. 36,000 martyrs, thousands of missing-in-action, invalids and liberated (prisoners of war) of this sacrificing section were offered to the Islamic Revolution."A passage from a book for eighth graders says God gives "eternal Paradise to anyone who becomes a martyr in the cause of God. He considers martyrdom a great victory."
The United States is referred to as the "Great Satan," the "World Devourer" and the "Arrogant One" in the books, and Israel is shown on maps as "Occupied Palestine."
The study is the latest to call for textbook reform in the Islamic world. Such efforts are under way or planned in Egypt, Jordan and Kuwait to remove slurs against non-Muslims or promotions of extremism and terrorism. Israeli textbooks have undergone revisions since the 1990s to remove anti-Arab bias and present a more balanced account of Palestinian views and aspirations.A fellow named David England responds to these characterizations of Islam on Jihad Watch:
Ms. Shireen T. Hunter is a specialist in misunderstanding. Her thesis or claim that "In some ways, they simply reflect the deep distrust of Third World countries about the policies and motivations of the great powers, which they see as neocolonialist" gets an "F." As if the religious rulers of Iran do not hang people in public and send weapons to Iraq and Lebanon and elsewhere about the globe in the colonialization by Iranian Islam of the Middle East. Moreover, I suspect that the professors who taught her to spin this crap in her doctoral thesis and later on as a respected member of the Academy of Dhimmi also deserve Fs as well and to be thrown out of Academia for gross incompetence and gross ignorance.
Iran was "de- colonialized" from England after World War II and was very little affected over the last 1000 year history by the United Kingdom during its Islamic period. England shares little of Iran's values or culture.
She also has apparently never read the Khomeini (may God find a suitable punishment for the man) who is sickeningly clear in his 1981 speech to celebrate the birth of Mohammed (may God find a suitable punishment) about his motivation and the motivation of the current nation of Iran that the Mullahs set up:
"The real Day of God is the day that Amir al mo’menin drew his sword and slaughtered all the khavarej and killed them from the first to the last. The Days of God are when Allah, the gracious, the almighty, causes an earthquake. It is when He slaps on the face. It is when he causes a hurricane. He whips this people to become humans. If the Amir al mo’menin wanted to be tolerant, he would not have drawn his sword killing 700 people in one go In our prisons we have more of the same kind of people who are corrupt. If we do not kill them, each one of them that gets out, will become a murderer! They don’t become humans. Why do you Mullahs only go after the ordinances of prayer and fasting? Why do you only read the Quranic verses of mercy and do not read the verses of killing? Quran says; kill, imprison!
"Why are you only clinging to the part that talks about mercy? Mercy is against God. Mehrab means the place of war, the place of fighting. Out of the mehrabs, wars should proceed, Just as all the wars of Islam used to proceeded out of the mehrabs. The prophet has [had] sword to kill people...
"Our [Holy] Imams were quite military men. All of them were warriors. They used to wield swords; they used to kill people. We need a Khalifa who would chop hands, cut throat, stone people. In the same way that the messenger of God used to chop hands, cut throats, and stone people. In the same way that he massacred the Jews of Bani Qurayza because they were a bunch of discontent people. If the Prophet used to order to burn a house or exterminate a tribe that was justice. The lives of people must be secured through punishment. Because, the protection of the masses lies beneath these very punitive executions. With just a few years of imprisonment things aren't rectified. You must put aside these childish sentimentalism. We believe that the accused essentially does not have to be tried. He or she must just be killed. Only their identity is to be established and then they should be killed."
"One American family has an impact on the natural environment 40 times more than an Indian family, and 100 times more than a Kenyan family."The author of such riveting masterpieces is Ayatollah Khomeini, and echoed by adherants in the mosques and headlines all across the globe. A religion of death and misery landing straight on the backs of the children. Here are a few excerpts from some Iranian textbooks:
"Exalted God orders the Believers in many verses in the Holy Koran to fight the Jihad in the cause of God and kill the oppressors. He gives the glad tidings of forgiveness and eternal Paradise to anyone who becomes a martyr in the cause of God. He considers martyrdom a great victory."
"The birth of one baby in the United States of America puts 100 times more pressure on the Earth's resources, and on the natural environment, than the birth of a baby in Bangladesh. Because the living of one American individual is linked to the consumption of more food and clothing, the possession of a private car, more communication and transportation, and the generation of more refuse and pollution, while the lifestyle in Bangladesh is such that it does not require great quantities of mineral resources and energy.
"O Muslims of all countries of the world! Since under the foreigners’ dominance gradual death has been inflicted on you, you should overcome the fear of death and make use of the existence of the passionate and the martyrdom-seeking youths, who are ready to smash the borders of unbelief. Do not think of keeping the status quo. Rather, think of escape from captivity, of deliverance from slavery, and of attack against the enemies of Islam. Glory and life are in fighting, and the first step of fighting is [the existence of] will. After that, there is the decision that you forbid yourselves to [submit to] the supremacy of world unbelief and polytheism, especially America."
So instead of working hard in building up nations, including Muslim lands and peoples, the Mullahs prefer to destroy the planet in the greatest threat to planetary life in written human history.