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Study: Iran School Textbooks Breed Antisemitism and Militarize the Youth

A young boy reading a book in Qom, Iran.

Iranian state textbooks are filled with antisemitic and anti-American sentiments intended to incite hatred and prepare young people for war, according to a 2021 Anti-Defamation League (ADL) study.

“Based on ADL’s close assessment of Iranian high school, middle school, and elementary school textbooks, we have determined that Iran’s state curriculum for the academic year 2020-21 strenuously militarizes young people, indoctrinating them for war,” reads the ADL report, authored by ADL’s Washington Direct David Weinberg.

Iran has long been known for its hatred of Israel and the West, and this study confirms that “Death to Israel” and the idea that America is the central enemy to the Muslim world are common sentiments being taught to Iranian children.

Iranian state textbooks reveal a truth that the Iranian regime has long denied, that Iran’s animus for the state of Israel is closely intertwined with antisemitism.

“Iran’s government often insists that it is not antisemitic. However, the lessons about ancient history and religion that are currently printed in state textbooks display a blatantly hateful depiction of Jewish people,” the report states.

The study found that “incitement to hatred against Jews and Israel are extensively interspersed throughout multiple fields of curriculum…as are anti-imperialist messages inciting against America and other developed countries.”

Children are being taught that the economic sanctions placed on the government by the U.S. and Europe are not related to the Iran regime’s conduct but is intended as one of the West’s “inherently malicious schemes” targeting Islam.

The regime goes so far as to teach children that ISIS does not actually exist and that the idea was “a fabrication of America, Zionists, and Arab puppets,” bringing even further credence to the fact that Iran is the world’s top state sponsor, as it continually glorifies terrorist leaders.

The textbooks compare former president George Bush to “Cain, Abraha Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Hitler, [and] Saddam Hussein,” calling Bush, clumped in with the others, “companions of Satan.”

“The incoming Biden administration is poised to confront the myriad challenges posed by Iranian military and foreign policy. And of course, effective policy depends upon having a comprehensive understanding of the Iranian regime’s various activities, its ethos, and priorities,” reads the report.

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