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Saudi school 'teaching anti-Semitism'

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Saudi school 'teaching anti-Semitism'
The street where the school is located in Vienna's 3rd district. Photo: Peter Gugerell
15:29 CET+01:00
Vienna’s Saudi School - a private school for Islamic immigrants from Saudi Arabia and the Middle East - is under review by the city council after allegations that it is teaching conspiracy theories and anti-Semitism.

A reporter from News magazine got hold of a copy of a school history textbook which is said to contain "a smorgasbord of conspiracy theories and incitement against Jews, Israelis and divergent trends in Islam".

News commissioned a translation of the book from Arabic - which has sentences like “the Freemasons were a secret, subversive Jewish organization, which aimed to secure Jewish control of the world".

The school has now been asked to provide certified German translations of all its teaching materials by the end of the year.

The Saudi School is run by the Saudi government and is not a religious institution. All lessons are taught in Arabic and follow the Saudi curriculum. However, the school must still comply with statutes set by the Austrian Education Ministry, and anti-semitism and incitement is against Austrian law.

The ministry could withdraw the school’s educational status if it identifies serious teaching problems or a lack of responsible leadership - meaning the students would have to be home schooled or attend another school.

Recently the Islamic Austrian International School in Vienna was inspected after media reports that some extremely conservative parents objected to their children attending music classes. The review concluded that the school was doing a good job of following the Austrian curriculum.

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