Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Friday, November 19, 2010

Warning: Textbooks with Pro-Islam Bias

The Texas State Board of Education recently adopted a resolution that warns publishers against printing textbooks infused with anti-Christian, pro-Islamic bias. The resolution was approved 7-6 by the board as a caution against creeping Middle Eastern influence on American textbook publishers. The resolution declares that "pro-Islamic/ anti-Christian half-truths, selective disinformation, and false stereotypes" have been inserted in some social studies textbooks. Pages of footnotes document the "patterns of pejoratives toward Christians and superlatives toward Muslims." Some of the textbooks describe Christians as "Crusaders aggressors, 'violent attackers,' or 'invaders' while euphemizing Muslim conquest of Christian lands as 'migrations' by 'empire builders.'"

Other complaints cited in the Texas resolution criticize disproportionate coverage of Islamic beliefs, practices and holy writings. Some textbooks devote twice as many lines to Islam as to Christianity and other world religions. One book claimed Islam "brought untold wealth to thousands and a better life to millions," while European Christian "religious zeal" caused many people to die and many civilizations to be destroyed. The Texas School Board resolution also expressed concern about "sanitized definitions of 'jihad'" that omit the religious intolerance and violence toward non-Muslims which are espoused by Muslim terrorists worldwide.

Parents and at least one board member provided examples from history books that their children are currently using in order to illustrate Muslim bias. The American Textbook Council, an independent research organization, supported the Texas School Board resolution by reporting that U.S. textbooks generally present a view of Islam "that misrepresents its foundations and challenges to international security."

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