Saudi prince Khaled Al-Faysal, governor of 'Asir Region in Saudi Arabia was interviewed by Al-Arabiya TV and talked about the ideological extremism that took control over Saudi Arabia's educational system. The following are excerpts:
Prince Al-Faysal: This perverse ideology has spread all over Saudi Arabia, in the schools, the mosques, and everywhere. Today, we even have satellite channels preaching this extreme Takfir ideology. There are some summer campsA… I'll give you a simple, odd example: hospitals in Saudi Arabia. The common assumption is that hospitals take care of patients. This is the hospital's main purpose. Why then do hospitals have weekly lectures, called "guidance lectures?" Who do they want to guide at this hospital? Do they want the patient to come and hear the lecture? Or maybe they want the doctors and nurses to leave their work and come hear someone lecturing them. Additionally, what is the lecture about, who is the lecturer, who is responsible for this guidance?
Unfortunately, in our mosques and schools there are boys, aged 15-20, who give lectures as if they were religious scholars and even great scholars. In some cases, these boys who give lectures and call themselves preachers, insult and attack Saudi Arabia's greatest religious scholars.
What did we study at school? What we studied is entirely different from what our children and grandchildren are currently studying at school, even if the curriculum did not change significantly.
Examining this phenomenon, which spread among schools, universities, institutes, and colleges, has shown that the teachers are not satisfied with teaching the official written curriculum, authorized by the Ministry (of Education) and the state. He has other ideas, which he passes on just by being with these students in one classroom, behind closed doors, or by his being with them in summer camps, or so-called extracurricular activities.
There are people in our governmental apparatuses who pass these ideas on, support them, and help spread them. For example, there's a videotape now circulating in Saudi Arabia of a boy aged 10 or less (in a Saudi orphanage). He is asked, "Who is your role model?" and he answers - "Osama bin Laden". He is asked about his nationality and identity and he answers - "Islam". He is asked about his homeland and he answers – "The world". He is asked about Riyadh, the capital and he says "What is this capital?" He does not know that Riyadh is the capital of Saudi Arabia and he doesn't know there is a country named Saudi Arabia.
Host: You mean, nationality is being eradicated. Prince Al-Faysal:
Exactly, this boy holds these views in an orphanage under government supervision.