The Yemeni Scholars Association has unveiled an attempt by Ansar Allah (Houthis) to change the educational curricula to one with a “sectarian” background.
“The Houthi group has continued to carry out its sectarian plans to poison the minds of school students with racist and sectarian ideas that have deepened the intellectual and cultural gap and produced a generation of sectarianism,” the association said in a statement.
The association warned against passing what it described as “deviant militia ideas to make radical changes to the faith of the Yemeni Muslim population and its national identity, after controlling the educational institutions and appointing dozens of people in important administrative positions in the coup government’s Ministry of Education.”
The statement drew attention to “the gravity of the Houthi militias’ continuous attempts to transfer shipments of Iranian books that contradict the texts of the Quran, the Sunna and the unanimous ideals of the nation. These books call for the ethnic Twelver doctrine, which is rejected in Yemen, and contribute to the spread of strife and sectarian division among the people of Yemen.”
The statement called on the legitimate government to communicate with international organizations that finance the printing of sectarian curricula, which have been changed, to stop these attempts. It also requested the government to declare its readiness to provide the approved school curriculum for all schools.
The statement said: “After the revolution of 26 September, 1962, God granted the people of Yemen a group of scientists, thinkers and educators concerned with the creation of curricula and educational activities. This group has invested a great effort to develop a curriculum for Yemeni schools that reflect the Islamic faith and the genuine Arab belonging of the Yemeni people, which created in a unified generation in its identity and belonging.”
The statement added:
We have recently seen an attack on and targeting of these curricula on the part of Houthis and those who support them in the attack on those curricula. Houthis did not only destroy and blow up schools, disrupt universities and educational institutions and dragged students into the war that demolished the state and the Yemeni society, but also their sectarian schemes have poisoned the minds of school students with strange racist and sectarian ideas that serve their sectarian project in Yemen and the region. They aim to deepen the cultural and intellectual gap that they have recently created in Yemen and they also aim to produce a generation influenced by sectarian and regional ideas that are based on the Twelver doctrine.
The statement said that the Houthi group tried earlier this year to introduce changes to the contents of curricula of government schools that correspond to the religious views of sectarianism embraced by the Houthi group, in preparation for the printing of a new modified curriculum which will be distributed to schools in areas under the control of the coup government.
The militants of Ansar Allah (Houthis) and supporters of former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh have controlled Sanaa since 21 September, 2014.
The Saudi-led Arab coalition has failed since March 2015 to restore the internationally recognized government of President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi to the capital Sanaa.