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June 8, 2008

What is in Your Child’s History Textbook?

Filed under: research — historyaliveexposed @ 1:07 am
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Mr. Sewell, of the American Textbook Council has released a new report on how Islam is treated in American history textbooks[http://www.historytextbooks.org/islamreport.pdf]

According to the article “Mr. Haynes takes issue, however, with the tone of the report, which he says suggests Islam is an inherently violent religion. He has worked with groups, such as the Council on Islamic Education, that try to counter the image of Islam as an extremist religion”.

Since Mr. Haynes has worked with groups such as CAIR maybe someone should tell him what CAIR’s agenda in the U.S. is as voiced by Ibrahim Hooper spokesman for CAIR  who told the Minneapolis Star Tribune in a 1993 interview “I wouldn’t want to create the impression that I wouldn’t like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future.  But I’m not going to do anything violent to promote that. I’m going to do it through education.”

Also, the report is discussing the fact that history textbooks do not portray a complete picture of the history of Islam.  It is not suggesting Islam is an inherently violent religion.  The report is simply stating the need for historical fact.  The problem is not the tone of the report.  The problem is that Islam has been and is now practiced as “an extremist religion” by enough people who are motivated by Islam to have caused millions to be wounded and murdered.  Textbooks are not presenting a complete history. 

Updated: June 6, 2008

Review Criticizes Textbooks’ Take on Middle East, Islam


Middle and high school history textbooks generally paint a positive or benign picture of Islam that tends to clash with confrontational images students might see or read in the news, says a review by the American Textbook Council.Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader

Nearly seven years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, highlighted the need for Americans to learn more about the Middle East and Islam, there is more content on the subject, but publishers continue to fail in giving key topics careful and complete treatment, the review concludes. In some cases, they distort or censor information, according to the review of the 10 most commonly used texts that were adopted for use in California and available to schools nationwide.

“I’m still disturbed,” said Gilbert T. Sewall, the director and founder of the New York City-based council and the author of the report, who issued a similar review in 2003, just before the United States went to war with Iraq. The council was founded in 1989 to promote better-quality history texts.

The latest review covers new ground, such as the texts’ coverage of terrorism and contemporary issues in Islam. It was financed by the Searle Freedom Foundation, the Achelis Foundation, and the Stuart Family Foundation.

Students are still unlikely to get a full understanding of those issues as well as the historical context of the religion from the textbooks, the review finds.

“Deficiencies about Islam in textbooks copyrighted before 2001 persist [in newly published texts] and in some cases have grown worse,” the report says. “Instead of making corrections or adjusting contested facts, publishers and editors defend misinformation and content evasions against the record. Biases persist. Silences are profound and intentional.”

The review criticizes the texts, for example, for describing jihad, generally translated as holy war, as a sacred struggle for justice. Coverage of the Crusades, it says, paints Christians solely as “violent attackers” and Muslims as victims. Moreover, it says, students don’t learn about modern aggression among Muslim groups, such as between Sunni and Shia sects in Iraq.

Religious Cleansing

The review compares content in the secondary school texts with accounts by scholars in what it terms “authoritative histories” of Islam.

The earlier review created an uproar among commentators and conservative groups for what they saw as its documentation of a turn toward politically correct curricula. A backlash also erupted among advocacy groups and scholars of Islam, who charged that Mr. Sewall had presented a view of the religion that emphasized fundamentalism over the peaceful observance they said most Muslims adhere to.

Some experts say the report has value, but may unfairly single out Islam as a problem in textbooks.

“I think the ATC serves a very important function to highlight the deficiencies of our textbooks, … and in a way, this report underscores how difficult it is to get [the teaching of religion] right in textbooks,” said Charles C. Haynes, a senior scholar at the First Amendment Center of the Washington-based Freedom Forum.

Mr. Haynes, who has written a guide to teaching about religion in public schools, agrees that textbooks generally “airbrush the negative” out of teaching about Islam, but they do so in their treatment of other religions as well, he said.

“Overall, public school curricula and textbooks are unfailingly kind and positive regarding religion,” he said. “Part of it is an age-appropriateness problem, part of it is a lack of time, and part of it is a bending over backwards not to offend any religious group, big or small.”

Mr. Haynes takes issue, however, with the tone of the report, which he says suggests Islam is an inherently violent religion. He has worked with groups, such as the Council on Islamic Education, that try to counter the image of Islam as an extremist religion.

The review suggests that such groups have exerted too much influence on the textbook-adoption process, pressuring state review committees to incorporate “doctored” versions of history.

“All religious groups try to use the textbook process to their advantage, and publishers and editors are in the business of quieting groups of all kinds,” Mr. Sewall said. “But I argue that Islam-related bias stands out, and that textbooks are scrubbing the subject, … and students are getting a false picture of threats to the U.S. and the world.”

Vol. 27, Issue 41, Page 7 [http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2008/06/11/41islam.h27.html]

February 24, 2008

Do You Know What Your Children Are Learning?

Filed under: Islam,research — historyaliveexposed @ 4:20 am

This website will focus on Islamic influence in our American public schools through the use of public school history textbooks. This has been happening for the past twenty years. The following quote clearly outlines the agenda of radical Islamic organizations in the United States.

Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) spokesperson Ibrahim Hooper’s 1993 statement to the Minneapolis Star Tribune regarding the use of the American educational system as a means to preference and impose Shari’a law in the U.S., highlights the efforts of Islamic radicals to win the hearts and minds of the next generation.  Hooper said, I wouldn’t want to create the impression that I wouldn’t like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future.  But I’m not going to do anything violent to promote that. I’m going to do it through education.”

Council of American Islamic Relations’ founder and chairman publicly stated in 1998: “Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith but to become dominant. The Quaran should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth.”

One of the most egregious textbooks is History Alive! It’s published by the Teachers Curriculum Institute (TCI) and is affiliated with AWAIR and Audrey Shabaz. AWAIR’s Arab World Notebook is the primary Arab funded teacher-training program. TCI writes textbook entries and social studies curricula to meet standards in 20 states, including California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Speakers are provided from Islamic organizations to speak with students.

William J. Bennetta of The Textbook League describes how History Alive!, published by the Teacher’s Curriculum Institute, is not only historically inaccurate and purposely misleading; it teaches Islam as historical fact in order to teach the religion.

He also writes, “When the Supreme Court of the United States decided the case of Edwards v. Aguillard (in 1987), the Court declared that the Constitution of the United States enjoins public schools from delivering instruction that is “tailored to the principles or prohibitions of any religious sect or dogma.” [http://www.textbookleague.org/tci-az.htm#r30] Bennetta explains The Islamic Networks Group’s (ING) endorsement of not only TCI textbooks and supplementary educational material but also CIE and AWAIR:ING is a Muslim propaganda agency based in San Jose, California. On its Web site, on a page headlined “Tips for Teaching About Islam in the Context of Social Studies and World History” [note 12], ING recommends the publications of three organizations. The first of these is the Council on Islamic Education (CIE), the Muslim pressure group that I cited earlier in this report. The second is AWAIR: Arab World And Islamic Resources and School Services, a Muslim propaganda agency that seems to operate from Abiquiu, New Mexico. The third is TCI.”

“TCI is not the only schoolbook company that sells books which carry Muslim propaganda and serve as vehicles for Islamic indoctrination, yet TCI is the only schoolbook company whose products are endorsed by the ING. TCI evidently enjoys an especially close relationship with the ING (and perhaps with other Muslim agencies).”

The IGN website was connected to several Islamist websites including one in Madinah, Saudi Arabia. Its website is devoted to corrupting American history–and endorses TCI textbooks. ING provides Islamic outreach and has Islamic Speakers Bureaus in many States throughout the country. Gilbert Sewall, of the American Textbook Council: Islam and the Textbooks homepage with updates, American Textbook Council reviews History Alive!: “According to the History Alive! The Medieval World and Beyond front matter, the chief author-advisor on Islam is Ayad Al-Qazzaz, professor of sociology at California State University, Sacramento. Al Quazzaz is a Muslim apologist, a frequent speaker in Northern California school districts promoting Islam and Arab causes. Al-Qazzaz also co-wrote AWAIR’s Arab World Notebook. AWAIR stands for Arab World and Islamic Resources, an opaque, proselytizing “nonprofit organization” that conducts teacher workshops and sells supplementary materials to schools. History Alive! The Medieval World and Beyond‘s lessons titled “Jihad” and “Shari’ah: Islamic Law” are extracted below. These passages come from the student edition, copyright 2005, pages 101 through 103. They should put speculation to rest about what California’s seventh-grade students may learn about Islam. At the very least, the passages are incomplete. More precisely, they are dishonest. Neither passage explains the essentially religious nature of the subject. It ignores any challenge to international security and western-style law. The treatment is lyrical and loaded, echoing the language recommended by Islamist consultants.”

Please see link for textbook extractions and Sewell’s analysis: http://www.historytextbooks.org/islam.htm ]
Update- ck this link  for Sewell instead- http://www.meforum.org/559/islam-and-the-textbooks

As Lee Kaplan describes it for Front Page Magazine:

“The content of TCI’s book and resource material for its Modern Middle East curriculum unit is blatantly anti-Israeli. High school teachers are instructed to require class exercises” designed to pit some students in roles as advantaged Jews against other students as disadvantaged and unfairly treated Palestinian Arabs. The teachers, representing a world power, are instructed to intentionally and unfairly side against Arabs to suggest the existence of favoritism to Jews. The course material is quite shocking and clearly biased.

Furthermore, the TCI material turns Middle East history on its head. It does not present the history of Arab terrorism against Israel much less outline its extent over the last 55 years. The theme is constantly implied, stated and reiterated that Israel is a foreign entity that stole the Palestinians’ “country.” There is no mention that more than half of Israel’s population is indigenous to the area or victims of Arab pogroms. In fact, any Arab violence discussed at all is couched as being done in self-defense against Jewish persecution or “terrorism” against Arabs in the region. The same distortions are taught in Saudi and Palestinian schools where they help raise the next generation of Islamic terrorists and suicide bombers or their sympathizers. This is the same type of educational system in the Arab world that roils and intensifies the Middle East conflict. It works over there, so why not here?” http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/4197

“In addition, a comparison of lesson plans matches materials in Palestinian classrooms as outlined in reports by the Center For Monitoring the Impact of Peace (November 2001-2003).”

“Prentice-Hall’s passion for pushing this agenda may even extend to violating California state law according to one Santa Rosa attorney alarmed by what he saw in his children’s textbooks. A parent who asked to remain anonymous, he resides in Santa Rosa, California, and has been advocating such textbooks be banned from his local school district because they violate state laws against indoctrination. He has been divulging to the public what is going on in his children’s textbooks regarding CIE’s involvement with all the publishers in this situation. California state and federal laws through the U.S. Department of Education require that publishers like Prentice-Hall log all complaints against their textbooks and make such complaints available to the public and authorities. Prentice-Hall has yet to provide examples of complaints against their books. Click here to read the article [ http://frontpagemag.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID={3F8C053C-53D2-49CC-B393-85F4CD79A32B}}