Bahrain schools ordered by King to remove lessons teaching about Israel, normalisation deals

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Bahrain Prime Minister and Crown Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa attends the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, more commonly known as COP27, at the Sharm El Sheikh International Convention Centre, in Egypt’s Red Sea resort of Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt on November 07, 2022 [Royal Court of Saudi Arabia – Anadolu Agency]

Bahrain’s educational institutions have been ordered by King Salman Al Khalifa not to implement any changes to the curriculum that are “not compatible with Bahrain’s national values designed to protect religion and its core pillars.”

According to Alarabiya News, the announcement came on Tuesday following issues raised by critics regarding the inclusion of Israel and changes to the maps of the contested Israeli-Palestinian territories.

A statement from the government, shared online, said, “His Royal Highness ordered the Minister of Education to ensure educational curricula adhere to Islamic teachings, in line with the National Action Charter and the Constitution.”

“His Royal Highness reiterated that the Islamic religion is inviolable and should be respected and protected at all costs,” it added.

The amendment made to subjects in primary schools included a lesson on the normalisation of ties between the Gulf State and Israel and removal of lessons on the Jews, reported BBC Arabic.

The changes provoked preachers and scholars, issuing statements calling on the Ministry of Education to reconsider the amendments, which resulted in the order from the Crown Prince to suspend lessons teaching about Israel and the normalisation deals.

Bahrain and Israel signed a normalisation of a US-brokered Abraham Accords deal in Washington in September 2020 and, since then, they have exchanged diplomats and signed agreements in security and commerce.

However, Manama’s normalisation with Israel has proven to be widely unpopular by Bahrain’s citizens who have routinely held rallies against the 2020 decision.

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