We’ve written about it before (History textbooks promoting Islam) and we’ve got so many links on the issue of Islam in U.S. schools and textbooks that we may have to do a link dump and let readers sort through it all.
The key takeaway is this: if you have kids in school – take the time to know what they are studying, being taught, and discussing in class. If you don’t have kids in school, be aware anyway and if you have concerns present them to your local and national elected officials. You can be sure the Islamists are not only influencing textbook makers, they are working at and funding textbook decision makers, and there may be Islamists or Islamist sympathizers on your school board. The latest on textbooks below.
What Johnny Needs to Learn about Islam
Texas, Florida, and California revise their textbook standards.
by Stephen Schwartz
12/07/2009, Volume 015, Issue 12
Eight years after the atrocities of 9/11, Americans need to know what public school textbooks are teaching about Islam, radical Islam, and terrorism. The big three textbook states–those that set standards for content because publishers aim to capture their large sales, California, Texas, and Florida–are currently preparing for new textbooks, to be introduced in 2010-13. These books are likely to shape the content of public instruction for several years to come. At this point in a complex process of drafting and adopting “standards,” then “frameworks,” and finally texts, with time for public comment and revision at each stage, the outlook in both Texas and Florida seems quite encouraging, while California’s effort appears regrettably stuck in a pre-9/11 mindset.
In the past, American textbooks were prone to two great pitfalls: Either they dealt with Islam superficially or they presented it in the manner preferred and promoted by well-funded defenders of Islamic extremism. A hallmark of that latter view is an emphasis on the unity of Islam, which is portrayed as simple, monolithic, and benign. The wide range of belief and practice between Sunni, Shia, and Sufi Islam, to name only the best-known variations, is downplayed, and the problems of Islam, especially violent jihad, are simply left out. Some of the current efforts at revising textbooks successfully avoid these mistakes.
California’s Department of Education, by contrast, seems to have made no progress. One senses an effort in the wake of the terrorist attacks to present Islam as utterly harmless.
The proposed California framework includes clearly objectionable elements. Students would be instructed, for example, that “Islamic law . . . rejected the older Arabian view of women as ‘family property,’ declaring that all women and men are entitled to respect and moral self-governance.” This statement ignores the oppressed condition of women in many Muslim societies, exemplified by Saudi Arabia.
Read it all. Don’t be fooled by any supposed good news either, pay attention to what your kids are being “taught”.