School text book 'advocates anti-semitism'

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The Independent Online

A text book taught in some weekend schools in the UK asks children to list the "reprehensible" qualities of the Jews, an investigation has discovered.

Around 5,000 Muslim school children are taught from text books which claim that some Jews were transformed into pigs and apes, the penalty for sodomy is execution and teach the correct ways to chop off the hands and feet of thieves, according to Panorama.

A spokesman for the programme said the pupils, aged six to 18, attend a network of more than 40 weekend schools across the UK which offer to teach the Saudi national curriculum to Muslim children.

Investigators found one book for children as young as six which asks them what happens to someone who dies who is not a believer in Islam. The correct answer is "hellfire".

They also found a text for pupils aged 15 which teaches about Sharia law and its punishments. It reads: "For thieves their hands will be cut off for a first offence, and their foot for a subsequent offence."

Programme makers said there are accompanying diagrams showing children where the cuts must be made.

Other texts for the 15-year-old pupils also claim that Zionists want to establish world domination for Jews, a spokesman said.

Education Secretary Michael Gove told Panorama the sentiments of anti-Semitism and homophobia are "inappropriate" when it comes to educating young people.

Mr Gove said: "That's exactly the sort of sentiment that I think has absolutely no place in English education or in public life in Britain.

"I think we all recognise that any expression of homophobia and prejudice like that is totally inappropriate when it comes to educating young people."

Mr Gove continued: "Saudi Arabia is a sovereign country. I have no desire or wish to intervene in the decisions that the Saudi government makes in its own education system.

"But I'm clear that we cannot have anti-Semitic material of any kind being used in English schools.

"Ofsted are doing some work in this area. They'll be reporting to me shortly about how we can ensure that part-time provision is better registered and better inspected in the future."

At present, part-time weekend schools are not inspected by Ofsted.

:: British Schools Muslim Rules: Panorama will be aired tonight at 8.30pm on BBC1.

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