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 New Report Finds Systematic Discrimination and Intolerance in Iran's Textbooks

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New Report Finds Systematic Discrimination and Intolerance in Iran's Textbooks Vide
PostSubject: New Report Finds Systematic Discrimination and Intolerance in Iran's Textbooks   New Report Finds Systematic Discrimination and Intolerance in Iran's Textbooks Icon_minitimeTue Apr 01, 2008 7:29 am

The government of Iran is teaching the country’s children to discriminate against women and minorities, to view non-Muslims with suspicion and contempt, and to perpetuate the regime’s theocratic ideology, Freedom House said in a new report released today.

According to the report, “Discrimination and Intolerance in Iran’s Textbooks,” prejudice is deeply ingrained in the textbooks that make up the core of Iran’s school curriculum. Part of the regime’s deliberate effort to instill specific values in school children, Iran’s textbooks systematically denigrate the importance of women as individuals, neglect minority groups, propagate Shi’ite egocentrism, and encourage hostility toward non-Muslim countries.

“The discrimination and intolerance that appear consistently throughout Iran’s textbooks are neither accidental nor sporadic,” said Dr. Saeed Paivandi, professor of sociology at the Paris-8 University and the report’s principal author. “Simply put, the government uses the textbooks as a key element of its indoctrination process, and the values propagated there shape the way the next generation of Iranian citizens will view the outside world.”

The textbooks stress the dichotomy between Iran and its declared enemies and promote antagonism toward the non-Muslim world, extending beyond the United States and Israel to include Europe and Russia. They describe the country’s political order as ‘sacred’ and warn that criticism of the regime constitutes opposition to divine will.

“Based on the content of these textbooks, it’s not surprising that Shi’a conservatives handily won Iran’s elections this past weekend,” said Jennifer Windsor, executive director of Freedom House. “The country’s textbooks pervasively instill the Islamist Republic’s ideology, based on fundamentalist religious doctrine, in their readers—and with it, a docility and aversion to protest.”

“Discrimination and Intolerance in Iran’s Textbooks” is based on a detailed assessment of 95 compulsory school textbooks published in 2006 and 2007 and covering the sciences, humanities, and religious subjects from Grades 1 - 11. The analysis was conducted by a team of native Farsi speakers led by Dr. Paivandi, a well-known expert on Iran’s education system. The assessment included a statistical analysis of 3,115 textbook images, a content analysis of 412 lessons in the Farsi textbooks in all grades, and a qualitative analysis of the 95 textbooks to evaluate all forms of discrimination.

Iran ranks Not Free in Freedom in the World 2008. The country received a 6 (on a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 as the lowest) for political rights, and a 6 for civil liberties.

For more information on Iran, visit:

Freedom House, an independent nongovernmental organization that supports the expansion of freedom in the world, has been monitoring political rights and civil liberties in Iran since 1972.

http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=70&release=635
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New Report Finds Systematic Discrimination and Intolerance in Iran's Textbooks

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