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Posted at 3:51 PM ET, 09/15/2010

Texas considers how Islam is portrayed in textbooks

By Valerie Strauss

The Texas Board of Education gave final approval to its social studies standards a few weeks ago, seeming to put an end to the huge controversy that erupted when critics accused religious fundamentalists of rewriting American history. Now it is taking up a new issue: How students should learn about Islam.

According to the Dallas Morning News, next week the state board will consider a resolution warning publishers not to push a pro-Islamic, anti-Christian viewpoint in world history textbooks.

That makes sense; textbooks shouldn’t advance any particular religious viewpoint. But there’s more to it, and one wonders why the board is doing this now after spending more than a year reviewing social studies standards.

It can’t, surely, have anything to do with the recent news that has inflamed religious tensions, including the proposed construction of a mosque and Islamic community center near Ground Zero in New York and a Florida pastor who was threatening to burn the Koran.

A preliminary draft of the resolution cites examples in past world history books that aren’t used any more in Texas schools that devote more lines of text to Islamic beliefs and practices than to Christian beliefs and practices, the Morning News report.

According to the newspaper: “The resolution states that pro-Islamic, anti-Christian half-truths, selective disinformation and false editorial stereotypes ‘still roil’ some social studies textbooks nationwide, including ‘sanitized’ definitions of ‘jihad’ that exclude religious intolerance or military aggression against non-Muslims ... which undergirds worldwide Muslim terrorism."

...and...

“The measure cites some books that dwelled on the Christian Crusaders' massacre of Muslims in Jerusalem in 1099, while censoring Muslim massacres of Christians there in 1244 and at Antioch in 1268 – ‘implying that Christian brutality and Muslim loss of life are significant, but Islamic cruelty and Christian deaths are not.’

...and...

“The resolution concludes with the warning to publishers that the ‘State Board of Education will look to reject future prejudicial social studies submissions that continue to offend Texas law with respect to treatment of the world’s major religious groups by significant inequalities of coverage space-wise and by demonizing or lionizing one or more of them over others.’"

Kathy Miller of the Texas Freedom Network, a religious freedom group, said that none of the textbooks cited by sponsors of the resolution are being used in Texas schools and that the claims are superficial and misleading.

"This is another example of board members putting politics ahead of just educating our kids," said Kathy Miller of the Texas Freedom Network. "Once again, without consulting any real experts, the board’s politicians are manufacturing a bogus controversy."

Here’s the whole story.

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By Valerie Strauss  | September 15, 2010; 3:51 PM ET
Categories:  History  | Tags:  social studies standards, texas and islam, texas and social studies, texas and standards, texas board of education, texas islam rule, texas school board  
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Comments

Will there be any books on the Perry Doctrine-Secession!!!???

Posted by: kaem000 | September 15, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

The Texas Board of Education: The gift that just keeps on giving.

No evolution
No sex education
White/Christian-only historical propaganda

No wonder Texans are shocked when they leave the Lone Star State and everyone treats them like a bunch of morons. After all, they gave us Delay, Rove and Bush.

Posted by: thebobbob | September 15, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

thebobbob-


They also gave us Bill Moyers, Molly Ivins, and Walter Cronkite and a slew of wealthy, well-educated philanthropists. If you spent any time there, you would find plenty of people who are not morons.

(Bush is not a real Texan. He's a product of the East coast establishment--all hat and no cattle.)

The kind of thinking among members of the Texas Board of Education in common throughout the country. The big problem here is that Texas has such a big textbook market that its preferences tends to influence the books that other states use.

If other states are so strongly opposed to what Texas is doing, they should combine forces to create a big enough market segment to counteract Texas. My guess is that they don't because they don't object that much to the content.

Posted by: aed3 | September 15, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

thebobbob-


They also gave us Bill Moyers, Molly Ivins, and Walter Cronkite and a slew of wealthy, well-educated philanthropists. If you spent any time there, you would find plenty of people who are not morons.

(Bush is not a real Texan. He's a product of the East coast establishment--all hat and no cattle.)

The kind of thinking among members of the Texas Board of Education in common throughout the country. The big problem here is that Texas has such a big textbook market that its preferences tends to influence the books that other states use.

If other states are so strongly opposed to what Texas is doing, they should combine forces to create a big enough market segment to counteract Texas. My guess is that they don't because they don't object that much to the content.

Posted by: aed3 | September 15, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse


The psychos in the Texas Board of Education have no knowledge of education, especially that of history. The Christian Crusader conquest of Jerusalem in 1099 was an important turning point that still has effects more than 900 years later. Jerusalem in 1244 and Antioch in 1268 were not turning points in history.

Most people don't know anything of the wars of Sparta other than the heroic defense of the 300 at Thermopylae that kept the hordes of Asia from sweeping Europe. Do we need to "balance" that with the many unjust wars of Sparta? Only when those wars represent some special turning point in history.

The "balance" for the Christian conquest of Jerusalem is the attempted Ottoman conquest of Vienna in 1688 - another turning point in history. Let the Texas school board document for me that history books don't mention Vienna in 1688 and I will support their insistence that it be included.

Otherwise, they should butt out. Thank God that the terms of two of these idiots responsible for the resolution are set to expire next year and they will be replaced.

Maybe they can sandwich the inevitable repeal of this resolution somewhere in between the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes and the repeal of sections of the Weimar Republic constitution by the nazis:

Order of the Reich President for the Protection of People and State

On the basis of Article 48 paragraph 2 of the Constitution of the German Reich, the following is ordered in defense against Communist state-endangering acts of violence:

Articles 114, 115, 117, 118, 123, 124 and 153 of the Constitution of the German Reich are suspended until further notice. It is therefore permissible to restrict the rights of personal freedom, freedom of opinion, including the freedom of the press, the freedom to organize and assemble, the privacy of postal, telegraphic and telephonic communications, and warrants for house searches, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed.

Posted by: bloggersvilleusa | September 15, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

It's about time that Americans are becoming concerned about the pro-Moslem brainwashing that is taking place in our high schools. Americans need to understand that Islam is based on Sharia law which provides for the legal subordination of non-Moslems to Moslems, and of women to men. Sharia law provides the death penalty for apostasy, blasphemy, homosexuality and a host of other sin/crimes. The most popular manual of Sharia law defines jihad this way: "Jihad means to make war on non-Muslims." Do you think that our kids are learning any of this?

Posted by: Montedoro | September 16, 2010 2:17 AM | Report abuse

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