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A new Islam-awareness campaign is being launched to tell parents and students that they simply shouldn’t believe the editorializing in the textbooks used in Florida’s schools.
Two organizations have worked together to produce a study on the controversy, and they are reporting that some of the nuggets that students in Florida’s schools can learn from their social studies textbooks include:
- 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.”
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.”
He said, “Citizens for National Security deserves to be applauded for the report, and we felt we were obliged to publish and distribute the report.”
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.”
Among the texts cited in the study were several by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, which did not respond to a WND request for comment. Other publishers cited included McDougal Littell, AGS, Fearon, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, Glencoe, Thomson Wadsworth and Prentice Hall.
The newly published report says textbooks in Florida, likely the third largest purchaser of textbooks in the nation behind Texas and California, favor Islam over Christianity and Judaism and “present an unfair view of history, particularly to the policies of the U.S. and Israel.”
The report identified 30 texts with examples of “bias” and questions about “accuracy,” and alleges students “are being given flawed information about the history of Islam, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Middle East and current conflicts.”
For example, one text states, “Women, as wives and mothers, have an honored position in Saudi society.” Another states, “The land now called Palestine consists of Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.”
Bill Saxton, chairman of Citizens for National Security, said, “Although agenda-based campaigns to shape textbook content have existed for some time, the past decade has seen particularly aggressive and intense overt and stealth efforts by proponents of Islam to inject their beliefs into K-12 classrooms via textbooks.”
Mawyer noted that while the sampling comes from texts used in Florida, the issue of pro-Islam bias has national ramifications.
“Florida is the third largest purchaser of textbooks in the United States with an estimated $267 million budget for instructional materials,” Saxton said. “Textbooks used in Florida become adopted curriculum standards for the entire country.”
The campaign to publicize the findings already has begun.
CAN reported it already has distributed the full report to 500 school superintendents around the country.
“We pray that the superintendents will be moved by the report and will make sure these flawed textbooks are not used in their school systems,” CAN said. “We also hope it’ll encourage them to be aware of how widespread these biases are and they, like you, will take a proactive stance to guard against them.”