Arab media is reporting that the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Education is attempting to purge Muslim Brotherhood from the country’s schools. According to a report in The Arab Weekly:
May 16, 2020 Riyadh –The Saudi ministry of education is pushing ahead with efforts to roll back Muslim Brotherhood influence in the country’s educational system. The authorities recently decided to remove teachers who persist in teaching extremist and intolerant ideas which are inherited from the previous school curricula dominated by Muslim Brotherhood thinking. Such ideas, they point out, run counter the current Saudi choice of cultural and religious values of openness and moderation.Saudi Minister of Education Hamad al-Sheikh granted regional education directors the power to “immediately remove school teaching personnel who commit intellectual breaches and assign them to administrative tasks outside schools on a temporary basis pending a decision on the case.” But some analysts described the move as coming too late. They noted that the ministry’s previous decision to remove books by Muslim Brotherhood ideologues from the curriculum did achieve its goals in light of the continued presence of teachers imbued with the Brotherhood’s extremist ideas, including an inclination to accuse others of apostasy and call for jihad against rulers. The ministry’s new decision does not provide for the dismissal of the pro-MB teachers from their jobs but only bans them from classrooms. The United Arab Emirates had long implemented similar measures to rid its educational system of extremist ideologies. In March 2018, the Ministry of Education decided to exclude some teachers in primary, middle, and high schools, in addition to members of the teaching staff in universities, on charges of “being influenced by the ideas of banned groups classified as terrorist, including the Muslim Brotherhood.”
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For many years, Saudi Arabia was a key supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood around the world, and the major Saudi religious organizations such as the Muslim World League and World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) were closely aligned with the Brotherhood. However, since the Arab Spring, the Kingdom appears to be cracking down on the country’s Islamists. In September 2017, the GMBDW reported that that Saudi cleric Salman Al-Awda has been arrested in what was widely described as a crackdown on Saudi Islamists.