Textbook biases for Islam are answered
New report 'painless way to make sure that kids are getting the truth'
Textbooks published in the United States have come up with some famously biased stunners on occasion. For example, what’s being taught from some of those books now includes:
- The Jewish Temple in Jerusalem contained “symbolically, the throne of their invisible God.”
- Jesus was a “Palestinian Jew” who grew up in Galilee amidst “militant Zealots.”
- It was “a few followers” of Jesus who “spread the story” about his resurrection.
- While Islamic Arab warriors “rarely imposed their religion by force,” Christian monks “by contrast,” were busy converting “peoples of Central and Eastern Europe.”
- Israel is to blame for terrorist attacks by Palestinians because they were “angered over the loss of their territory.”
- When the Jewish state of Israel was born in 1948, the nation and its neighbors “went to war.”
- It was because of the “loss of their territory to Israel” that “militant Palestinians responded with a policy of terrorist attacks.”
- “The Quran permitted fair, defensive warfare as jihad, or ‘struggle in the way of God’” and this was how Muhammad and his successors expanded their territory.
- And while Jesus is “believed” by followers to be the messiah, it’s a fact that “Gabriel continued to send revelations to Muhammad over 22 years.”
Now there’s an easy way to alert students – and teachers – to those mistakes and make sure the truth is included in a discussion on the subject.
It’s a new “Teacher’s Guide to Correcting Islam Bias in K-12 Public-School Textbooks” published by Citizens for National Security.
“K-12 textbooks that enhance Islam while demeaning Christianity, Judaism and the West in general are unacceptable,” said William Saxton, chairman of the CFNS and co-author of the guide.
“We believe that elementary and high-school students deserve truth and accuracy from their learning materials. Through this new teacher-friendly resource, we aim to continue shedding light on Islam and its relationship to other cultures and ethnicities that is currently very murky in school textbooks due to inaccuracy, misinformation and/or omission.”
The textbooks being targeted include the biggest names by the largest publishers, such as McDougal Littell, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw-Hill/Glencoe and others.
Titles in which corrections are needed are “People, Places, and Change,” “Communities, Long Ago and Today,” “The American Vision,” “The American Vision: Modern Times,” “Reconstruction to the Twenty-first Century,” “The Earth and Its People: A Global History” and many others.
“By combining in-depth commentary on textbook inaccuracies with easy-to-follow bullet-point summaries spotlighting not only Islam-tainted content but also omissions of fact, our handy supplemental guide gives teachers a hands-on solution that enables them to make real-time corrections right in the classroom,” said Saxton. “It’s a painless way to make sure that kids are getting the truth about Islam when they read these textbooks.”
The Teacher’s Guide, downloadable from the organization’s website, follows the group’s groundbreaking 2009 report by a volunteer task force that identified flawed language in 25 textbooks commonly used in Florida’s K-12 history and geography classes.
Since virtually the same texts are used across the nation, the report and the new guide offer national solutions.
Among the most common mistakes are incorrect portrayals of the biblical and 20th century origins of the state of Israel, and virtually total confusion over the use of the name “Palestine,” the organization reported.
In addition to correcting factual errors, said Saxton, the guide also points out “significant omissions of textbook content, which may be just as egregious as what gets into print. Avoiding any discussion of ‘jihad’ and ‘Shariah’ are examples.”
For instance, in the McDougal Littell “Modern World History: Patterns of Interaction” text, according to Saxton, “Houghton Mifflin removed the word ‘jihad’ as early as 2002.”
The report states, “‘Glencoe World History’ repeatedly and incorrectly uses the name Palestine for the kingdom of Israel. The term ‘Palestine’ was not actually used to describe the ancient land of Israel until over 1100 years after the events described in these passages. The use of the term ‘Palestine’ delegitimizes the modern state of Israel by denying the historical and legal claim of Israel to the land. Israel is the ancient Hebrew name for the land of Israel first mentioned in the Bible in the Book of Genesis 23 as the name of Jacob, translated as ‘God contended.’ ‘The Promised Land,’ as referenced on page 56, was certainly not referred to as Palestine. The Promised Land mentioned in the biblical books of Genesis and Exodus as promised by God, refers to Israel and only Israel. The earliest known reference to the name Israel in archaeological records is in the Merneptah stele, an Egyptian record of c. 1209 BC.”
There’s also the issue of Islamic history, with one book claiming, “Islamic society produced some women of great knowledge & power. … Reciting and memorizing the Quran was an important requirement in education.”
Actually, according to the report, “Women who succeeded in Islamic society did so in spite of repression, not because they were encouraged. These remarks imply that women have a reasonably good life and equal rights in Muslim countries, but facts about the status of women in the 21st century indicate that Muslim women are in virtual bondage.”
In McDougal Littell’s “Modern World History: Patterns of Interaction,” there is this: “Muhammad’s teachings, which are the revealed word of God…, are found in the holy book called the Quran. … According to the New Testament, Jesus of Nazareth was born around 6 to 4 B.C. According to Jesus’ followers, he rose from the dead.”
Said the report, “The declarative phrasing of the first quote creates the impression that Muhammad’s teaching from the Quran is factual. ‘Teachings which are the revealed word of God’ leaves no doubt that the writer wishes to create the impression that Muhammad’s teaching from the Quran is the absolute truth. The phrasing of the second quote qualifies the veracity of the Bible because the adverb ‘according’ appears to dismiss the authority of the Bible. In fact the Bible is at least 2000 years older than the Quran and prophecies regarding the coming of Christ were written at least 700 years before the birth of Christ. The reference to Muhammad’s teaching should properly say ‘According to Muhammad, author of the Quran, that book is the revealed word of God.’”
WND reported when the organization’s earlier report came out.
Then, Martin Mawyer, president of Christian Action Network, whose group worked with Citizens for National Security on the study and its distribution, said, “We found some very skeptical phrasing meant to cast doubt on the historical accuracy of the Bible.”
Mawyer said the finding was that students “aren’t being taught about the theological motivations behind radical Islam.”
“The impression students are given is that terrorists are misguided fighters against Western imperialism and aggression, who are only wrong in their approach,” he said. “It was amazing how many times the word ‘Palestine’ was used, making it sound like Israel was built on top of a conquered country.”
A text said, “Many important ideas taught in Europe in the Middle Ages came from scholars who followed a religion called Islam. Islam started in the Middle East and spread to parts of Europe, including Spain. People in the Islamic world had been exploring scientific ideas. Students in European universities began to study those ideas, too. They learned new things about medicine and the stars.”
Ryan Mauro, founder of WorldThreats.com and the national security adviser for CAN, told WND that he’s convinced 99 percent of students today are not taught that America’s first encounter with the violence of Islam was when the Barbary pirates attacked U.S. shipping efforts in the early 1800s.
WND previously reported when the issue was raised by members of the public in the state’s Sarasota County School District.
There, the complaints referenced “World History: Patterns of Interaction,” published by Holt McDougal.
The book was approved by the Florida Department of Education for use in public schools and adopted by the school board for use from 2006 through the 2011-2012 school year.
“It promotes Eastern and Middle Eastern cultures, promotes Islam as a religion, promotes socialism and fails to address world history in a historically accurate manner,” the members of the public explained.
Even earlier, WND reported experts said American students are not getting a realistic picture of radical Islam, and textbook publishers are promoting the religion in public schools.
Gilbert T. Sewall, director of the American Textbook Council, a group that reviews history books, told Fox News the texts are sugarcoating Islamic extremism.
“Key subjects like jihad, Islamic law, the status of women are whitewashed,” Sewall said.
In a two-year project concluding in a report authored by Sewall, the American Textbook Council reviewed five junior-high and five high-school world and American history texts, concluding:
Many political and religious groups try to use the textbook process to their advantage, but the deficiencies in Islam-related lessons are uniquely disturbing. History textbooks present an incomplete and conflicted view of Islam that misrepresents its foundations and challenges to international security.http://www.wnd.com/2012/03/textbook-bia ... -answered/