BBC: Anti-Semitic Saudi textbooks in use in UK
LONDON – Saudi textbooks containing anti-Semitic and homophobic material are being used in British classrooms, a BBC documentary said Monday.
The BBC's "Panorama" program found the books were used for weekend education programs to teach the Saudi national curriculum to about 5,000 Muslim children in Britain.
The show, to be aired Monday, said the books include claims that some Jews were transformed into pigs and apes and teach that the penalty for sodomy is execution. The books also contain text and pictures showing the correct way to chop off the hands and feet of thieves, the show said.
"I think we all recognize that any expression of homophobia and prejudice like that is totally inappropriate when it comes to educating young people," Education Secretary Michael Gove told the BBC.
"I'm clear that we cannot have anti-Semitic material of any kind being used in English schools," he said.
About 5,000 Muslim students aged six to 18 attend the weekend programs across the country, the BBC said.
Part-time weekend schools are not inspected by authorities, but Gove said officials are looking into how to register and inspect them in the future.