Education ministry correcting curricula by exposing Ottoman Empire’s real face

August 24, 2019

Saudi Gazette report

The Ministry of Education, represented by the Curriculum Department, has made modifications in some parts of the social studies and citizenship subjects pertaining to the historical aspect of the Ottoman Empire.

The curriculum contained information based on historical aspects that may not show the truth, as it mitigated the negative aspects of the Ottoman Empire, despite what it has done over the recent centuries toward the Arab and Islamic world, and almost what it did toward the countries in the Arabian Peninsula as well as its infringements toward the Two Holy Mosques.

The new curriculum of social education, prescribed for second grade of intermediate school, highlights real aspects of the Ottoman Empire based on reliable historical sources about its reality and crimes, and the negativities emerged, causing its collapse and winning of independence and renaissance of Arab countries, after it drained its resources and spread ignorance besides exploiting the status of the Two Holy Mosques.

Some of the crimes and positions of the Ottoman Empire in the Arabian Peninsula found a place in the curriculum and these include the following: “Fighting with the first and second Saudi states; supporting some local leaders against King Abdul Aziz; destroying Diriyah and surrounding towns; as well as many parts of Zahran and Asir, besides torturing Imam Abdullah Bin Saud, the last imam of the first Saudi state, and assassinating him after taking him to Istanbul.”

The curriculum also pointed at the harassment meted out to the people of Al-Ahsa and Asir, especially traders. These traders tried repeatedly to raise their complaint to the Ottoman Sultan, but he did not respond to them. The Ottomans perpetrated crimes of forcefully displacing the people of Madinah in order to recruit their children to support the Ottoman Empire and its ally Germany in World War I. Subsequently, some residents of Madinah were forced to flee to the Levant. The foodstuffs of Madinah were looted in order to be distributed among the Ottoman soldiers. The Prophetic artifacts and monuments were also looted and they are still found in Istanbul.

The curriculum also sheds light on the most prominent manifestations of Ottoman rule in the Arab countries in the following excerpt. “The Arab land that came under the subjugation of the Ottoman administrative regime were divided into at least 15 states and each state was administered by a governor. The regime also sought to impose many taxes on the population and agricultural crops as well as on land, goods and services with collecting money to serve the Ottoman state and its sultans without leaving any significant revenues for these states.”

The most prominent manifestations of Ottoman misrule are “political domination and sowing discord in order to prevent the Arabian Peninsula from being united”, transferring skilled craftsmen and builders from Egypt and the Levant to Istanbul, building fortresses and forts to protect the state soldiers and their states, and prevalence of instability and insecurity within these countries and along the pilgrimage routes.”

A chapter of social education for the fifth grade of elementary school talking about the Ottoman Empire has been removed. A number of historians have talked a lot about the crimes of the Ottoman Empire in Arab countries and its role in the colonization of some of them with looting their goods and spreading ignorance and underdevelopment in their regions.

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