Why is Saudi Arabia Re-Writing the History of the Ottoman Empire?

Published August 26th, 2019 - 12:38 GMT
(Photo taken from History.com)
(Photo taken from History.com)



The Saudi Ministry of Education has recently announced some modifications in parts of the social studies and citizenship subjects including the subjects addressing the Ottoman Empire and its historical events.

In accordance with the planned modifications, the curriculum contained information based on historical aspects related to the Ottoman Empire will be modified.

In fact, the Ottoman Empire’s history in controlling most of the Middle East and Southern Europe by force, committing genocide against minorities and imposing religious laws by force despite many attempts from the nations to revolt.

However, the current curriculum shows the positive aspects of the Ottoman Empire and what had been done during that period of time and affected the Arab and Islamic world “positively” as claimed and called “caliphate”, the edited version will show the “truth” and call it the “Ottoman Occupation”.

According to the Saudi state-run news outlets, the new social education will show 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; including the crimes, its collapse and winning of independence, together with the renaissance of Arab countries, after it drained its resources and spread ignorance besides exploiting the status of the Two Holy Mosques.

The news has sparked massive controversy in Saudi Arabia and the Arab world, considered as part of the claimed reforms made by the current de-facto power of the Kingdom, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, aka MBS.

Translation: A great step from the Ministry of Education in uprooting what the Muslim Brotherhood had planted in our curriculum, and clarify the crimes of the Ottoman Empire towards Saudi Arabia and the Arabian Peninsula. Yet, more important is those with hidden agendas who will finish giving the lesson [in schools] and then praise the Caliphate.”

Between supporters of the new modifications and the opponents who criticized Saudi Arabia’s attempt to “falsify” the history, opinions were split.

Translation: “The new curriculum in Saudi Arabia: Counterfeiting of the Islamic history and civilization, faking reality about the Jews and replacing them with an imaginary enemy, which is the Ottoman Empire.”

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