The Yemeni government condemned on Tuesday Houthi militias forcing school students in Sanaa and other areas under the group’s control to chant an Iran-inspired allegiance oath instead of the national anthem.
Such a move, according to the Yemeni government, is perceived as a threat to national values.
The government condemnation followed a host of Iran-styled sectarian rituals and festivals being held in Sanaa to commemorate Ashura, a holiday celebrated mostly by Muslim Shiites.
On the occasion, Houthi leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi pledged allegiance to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in a broadcast speech. Similarly, members of Iran’s Lebanon-based Hezbollah proxy heard a speech from their group’s leader echoing the same pledge to Khamenei.
The Yemeni Minister of Education, in an official statement, said he “deplores Houthi militias imposing the so-called Wilayat Al-Faqih oath in the morning queue in schools located in areas controlled by militias.”
The minister also emphasized the need to reject such procedures enforced by Houthi militias to stoke sectarianism in the war-ailed nation.
Imposing such measures, according to the minister, suggests that Houthis have abandoned all sovereign values and are working towards establishing an Iran-affiliate force on free Arab land.
Sanaa-based sources reported that Houthis were holding intensive meetings with school principals and managers to establish their loyalty and devotion to the insurgency.
It is worth noting that the Houthis’ sectarian and intellectual reach affects about 8,000 schools which now will be forced to adopt the newfangled allegiance oath instead of the Republican national anthem.
In Saada, a Houthi stronghold, the oath has been chanted in schools for years now. Houthis plan to expand Iran-inspired ideology and practices to other areas under their control, such as Sanaa.
Since storming Sanaa in 2014, Houthi coupists have been working to dismantle and replace the country’s education system by modifying the curriculum.
To achieve that, sectarian ideology that reveres the group's existence and its Houthi leader was instilled to schools.