Prejudicial Social Studies: pro-Islamic/anti-Christian bias

Madeline Brooks

Here is a breakdown of the preferential treatment that Islam is getting in textbook for our kiddies. In Texas, where the problem is acute, a proposal has been made to correct this situation. This posting is long.

Proposed Texas State Board of Education Resolution on Democratic Values in Social Studies Textbooks

 

Presented by Randy Rives on 7.23.10

 

WHEREAS pro-Islamic/anti-Christian bias has tainted some past Texas Social Studies textbooks, such as:

 

• Only devoting 120 student text lines to Christian beliefs, practices, and holy writings but devoting 248 (more than twice as many) to those of Islam.

 

• Dwelling for 27 student text lines on Crusaders’ massacre of Muslims at Jerusalem in 1099 yet censoring Muslims’ massacres of Christians there in 1244 and at Antioch in 1268. This implies that Christians are brutal and that Muslim loss of life is significant but Islamic cruelty and Christian deaths are not significant (see documentation in Appendix I-A).

 

• In another instance, 82 student text lines were allotted to Christian beliefs, practices, and holy writings but 159 (almost twice as many) were allotted to Islam. Crusaders’ massacres of European Jews were described yet the Muslim Tamerlane’s massacre of perhaps 90,000 coreligionists at Baghdad in 1401 was ignored. Also ignored was the massacre of perhaps 100,000 Indian POWs at Delhi in 1398. The medieval Christians were thrice charged with sexism and the Church was said to have “laid the foundations for anti-Semitism” (see documentation in Appendix I-B).

 

• In a third instance, 139 student text lines were spent on Christian beliefs, practices, and holy writings but a 176 text lines were spent on Islam. These Islamic text lines claimed that Islam “brought untold wealth to thousands and a better life to millions,” while stating that “because of [Europeans’ Christian] religious zeal … many peoples died and many civilizations were destroyed.” This text also contrasted “the Muslim concern for cleanliness” with Swedes in Russia who were “the filthiest of God’s creatures” (see documentation in Appendix I-C); and,

 

WHEREAS pro-Islamic/anti-Christian half-truths, selective disinformation, and false editorial stereotypes still roil some Social Studies textbooks nationwide, to wit:

 

• Patterns of pejoratives towards Christians and superlatives toward Muslims, calling Crusaders aggressors, “violent attackers,” or “invaders” while euphemizing Muslim conquest of Christian lands as “migrations” by “empire builders” (see documentation in Appendix II);

 

• Politically-correct whitewashes of Islamic culture and stigmas on Christian civilization, indicting the latter for the same practices (e.g., sexism, slavery, persecution of out-groups) that they treat nonjudgmental, minimize, sugarcoat, or censor in the former (see documentation in Appendix II);

 

• Sanitized definitions of “jihad” that exclude religious intolerance or military aggression against non-Muslims, even though Islamic sources often include these among proper meanings of the term, which undergirds current worldwide Muslim terrorism (see documentation in Appendix II); and,

 

WHEREAS more such discrimination is possible as influential Middle Eastern investors buy into the U.S. public school textbook oligopoly, which they are now doing (see documentation in Appendix III); and,

 

WHEREAS Texas’ elected State Board of Education (SBOE) is a principal democratic check and balance on otherwise often-unresponsive editors and -unaccountable authors, and the SBOE is the premiere venue for Texans’ to effectively exercise the constitutional right of petition to redress curricular grievances; and,

 

WHEREAS diverse reviewers have repeatedly documented gross pro-Islamic/anti-Christian distortions in the Social Studies texts and the Social Studies TEKS cannot provide relief from these distortions because the TEKS lays out what a course should cover but not what a course should avoid; and,

 

WHEREAS under the Texas Education Code §28.002(h)&(i), the SBOE must enforce “the basic democratic values of our state and national heritage” that chronic partiality to one of the world’s great religions, and animus against another, flout democratic values and the letter and spirit of this rule; and,

 

WHEREAS under the Texas Administrative Code §66.66(c) (4) provides that, “Instructional materials may be rejected for content that clearly conflicts with the stated purpose of the Texas Education Code, §28.002(h); therefore be it

 

RESOLVED that the SBOE will reject future prejudicial Social Studies submissions that so offend Texas law.

 

Appendix I-A

 

WORLD HISTORY: Patterns of Interaction (McDougal, 1999), approved for Texas high schools from 1999 to 2003, devoted 120 student text lines to Christian beliefs, practices, and holy writings, less than half its 248 on Islamic beliefs, practices, and holy writings; and dwelled for 27 student text lines on Crusaders’ massacre of Muslims at Jerusalem in 1099 while censoring Muslims’ massacres of Christians there in 1244 and at Antioch in 1268.

 

SE 40, bottom right par., lines 1-3 and 6-9 / 7 lines on Christian beliefs and practices

 

SE 138, lower left, “Religious and Ethical Systems,” lines 9-12/ 4 lines on Christian beliefs

 

SE 153, par. 5, lines 2-8/ 7 lines on Jesus Christ’s work and teachings

 

SE 154, par. 1, lines 3-10/ 8 lines on Jesus Christ’s teachings, including a 5-line quote from Luke’s Gospel

 

SE 154, par. 3/ 6 lines on Christian beliefs

 

SE 155, par. 3, lines 6-10/ 5 lines on Christian beliefs, including a 2-line quote by Paul

 

SE 156, par. 1, lines 2-7/ 6 lines on Christian beliefs and practices

 

SE 157, par. 3, line 5 – par. 4/ 10 lines on Christian beliefs

 

SE 201, par. 1, lines 3-4/ 2 lines on Christian beliefs

 

SE 230, top left, “Religious and Ethical Systems,” line 1/ 1 line on Islamic beliefs

 

SE 234, par. 4, line 4 – par. 5/ 11 lines on Islamic beliefs, including a 3-line quote from the Koran

 

SE 235, “SPOTLIGHT ON,” par. 2, lines 1-6/ 6 lines on Islamic beliefs

 

SE 236 – SE 237, par. 4, line 6/ 87 lines on Islamic beliefs and practices, including a 3-line quote from the Koran

 

SE 236, left margin, picture caption/ 13 lines on Islamic beliefs and practices

 

SE 236, right margin, picture caption/ 9 lines on Islamic beliefs and practices

 

SE 237, right box, “Daily Life” / 23 lines on Islamic beliefs and practices

 

SE 243, par. 1/ 12 lines on Islamic beliefs and practices, including 3 lines of quotes from the Koran

 

SE 243, par. 3, lines 8-11/ 4-line quote from Mohammed

 

SE 246, “A VOICE FROM THE PAST”/ 8-line quote from Islamic religious literature

 

SE 246, par. 6, lines 3-5/ 3 lines on Islamic beliefs

 

SE 248, bottom right box, “Religion,” lines 1-7/ 7 lines on Islamic beliefs

 

SE 254, top par., lines 4-7/ 4 lines on Christian beliefs

 

SE 254, right par., “Ritual”/ 8 lines on Christian beliefs and practices

 

SE 254, bottom, “The Cross” / 3 lines on Christian beliefs

 

SE 255, top and middle par. / 26 lines on Christian beliefs and practices

 

SE 255, bottom right, “A Cross of Palms”/ 5 lines on Christian beliefs and practices

 

SE 258, top par., lines 4-9/ 6 lines on Islamic beliefs and practices

 

SE 258, right par., “Celebration” / 14 lines on Islamic beliefs and practices

 

SE 258, bottom right, “Crescent Moon” / 5 lines on Islamic beliefs

 

SE 259, par. 1-2/ 17 lines on Islamic beliefs and practices

 

SE 259, bottom left, “Prayer Rug” / 5 lines on Islamic beliefs

 

SE 264, chart, col. 2, “Christianity,” lines 2 and 7-24/ 19 lines on Christian beliefs and practices

 

SE 264, chart, col. 4, “Islam,” lines 2 and 6-21/ 17 lines on Islamic beliefs and practices

 

SE 347, center col., “William of Tyre”/ 27 lines on Crusaders’ massacre of Muslims at Jerusalem in 1099, nothing on Muslim massacres of Christians there in 1244 and at Antioch in 1268

 

Appendix I-B

 

In WORLD HISTORY: Connections to Today (Prentice, 1999), approved for Texas high schools from 1999 to 2003, Christian beliefs, practices, and holy writings received 82 student text lines of coverage, just over half of Islam’s 159. Three passages charged medieval Christianity with sexism; one said the Church “laid the foundations for anti-Semitism.” It described Crusaders’ massacres of European Jews but not the Muslim Tamerlane’s massacre of perhaps 90,000 fellow Muslims at Baghdad in 1401 and of perhaps 100,000 Indian POWs at Delhi in 1398.

 

 

SE 144, col. 2, par. 5, line 4 – SE 145, col. 1, par. 5
SE 145, picture caption, lines 1-6
SE 145, col. 1, par. 6, lines 2-7

66 lines on Christian beliefs and teachings, including 7 lines from the Sermon on the Mount; reference to Jesus’ miracles, resurrection, and ascension; indirect reference to incarnation; eternal life to believers in Jesus.

 

SE 146, col. 1, par. 1, lines 6-17/ 12 lines on Christian beliefs, including a 6-line quote from St. Paul

 

SE 255, picture caption, lines 2-3/ 2 lines on Muslim beliefs

 

SE 256, col. 1, par. 1, lines 6-13/ 8-line quote from Mohammed

 

SE 256, col. 2, par. 2, lines 2-4/ 3 lines on Muslim beliefs

 

SE 256, col. 2, par. 4, line 4 – SE 257, col. 1, par. 1/ 22 lines on Muslim beliefs, including a 7-line quote from the Koran

 

SE 257, col. 1, par. 3, lines 2-4/ 3 lines on Muslim beliefs

 

SE 257, picture caption, lines 6-8/ 3 lines on Muslim practices

 

SE 257, col. 2, par. 1 – SE 258, col. 2, par. 2, line 10/ 76 lines on Muslim beliefs and practices

 

SE 258, col. 2, par. 4 – SE 260, col. 1, line 3/ 21 lines on Muslim beliefs and practices

 

SE 259, chart, row 5, “Christianity” / 4 lines on Christian beliefs

 

SE 259, chart, row 6, “Islam”/ 6 lines on Muslim beliefs

 

SE 262, col. 2, par. 1, lines 4-7/ 4 lines on Muslim beliefs and practices

 

SE 268, col. 1, lines 1-11/ 11 lines on Muslim beliefs

 

SE 197, col. 1, par. 3/ Medieval church entertained a dualistic stereotype of women as especially weak and sin prone, yet purer and higher in spirit.

 

SE 197, col. 1, par. 4, lines 3-6/ Medieval church followed “a double standard” of justice, punishing women more severely.

 

SE 199, col. 1, par. 4/ Late medieval church increasingly restricted women’s’ rise to prominence.

 

SE 200, col. 2, par. 1, lines 5-8/ Medieval church “laid the foundations for anti-Semitism” by blaming Jews for Jesus’ death.

 

SE 222, col. 1, par. 2, lines 6-8/ Crusaders massacred some European Jews.

 

SE 266, col. 1, par. 1/ Brief discussion of the Muslim Tamerlane, no mention of his massacres at Delhi and Baghdad

 

Appendix I-C

 

WORLD HISTORY: The Human Odyssey (West, 1999), approved for Texas high schools from 1999 to 2003, devoted 176 student text lines to Islamic beliefs, practices, and holy writings but only 139 to Christian beliefs, practices, and holy writings. It said that Islam “brought untold wealth to thousands and a better life to millions,” but that “because of [Europeans’ Christian] religious zeal … many peoples died and many civilizations were destroyed” in the 1500s. It contrasted “the Muslim concern with cleanliness” with the Swedish Rus, who were “the filthiest of God’s creatures.”

 

 

SE 181, col. 2, par. 3, line 5 – SE 182, bottom section, col. 2, line 7/ 19 lines on Christian beliefs, including 10 lines of quotes by Jesus in the Gospels

 

SE 182 – SE 183, “The Sermon on the Mount” / 67 lines on Christian beliefs and practices, including a 53-line quote from the Sermon on the Mount

 

SE 183, bottom section, col. 1, lines 1-3/ 3 lines on Christian beliefs, including a 2-line quote by Jesus

 

SE183, bottom section, col. 2, lines 5-9 / 5 lines on Christian beliefs

 

SE 184, col. 1, par. 1, lines 4-13 / 10 lines on Christian beliefs

 

SE 185, col. 1, par. 1, lines 6-7 and 9-13 / 7 lines on Christian beliefs and practices

 

SE 185, col. 2, lines 2-8 / 7 lines on Christian beliefs

 

SE 185, col. 2, line 13 – par. 1, line 5 / 12 lines on Christian beliefs and practices

 

SE 185, col. 2, par. 2 / 9 lines on Christian beliefs and practices, including a 3-line quote from Paul

 

SE 224, col. 1, line 28 – col. 2, line 2 / 12-line quote from the Koran

 

SE 226, col. 2, par. 1, line 5 – SE 227, col. 1, line 4 / 14 lines on Islamic beliefs

 

SE 227, col. 2, par. 2, lines 9-14/ 6 lines on Islamic beliefs

 

SE 228 – SE 230, col. 1 / 49 lines on Islamic beliefs and practices

 

SE 228, top, picture caption/ 4 lines on Islamic beliefs and practices

 

SE 228, bottom, picture caption, lines 1-5/ 5 lines on Islamic practices

 

SE 229, top, picture caption, lines 1-2 / 2 lines on Islamic practices

 

SE 229, col. 1 / 23 lines on Islamic beliefs and practices

 

SE 230, col.2, par.1, lines 3-7 / 5 lines on Islamic beliefs

 

SE 239, col. 2, par. 1 / 9 lines on Islamic beliefs and practices

 

SE 244 / 47 lines on Islamic beliefs and practices, including a 40-line quote from the Koran

 

SE 249, col. 2, par. 2, lines 6-7 / “… Islam also brought untold wealth to thousands and a better life to millions.”

 

SE 366 – SE 367, col. 1 / Swedish Rus were “the filthiest of God’s creatures,” versus “the Muslim concern with cleanliness.”

 

SE 495, “SECTION REVIEW,” no. 5, lines 3-5 / “Because of [Europeans’ Christian] religious zeal … many native peoples died and many civilizations were destroyed” in the 1500s.

 

Appendix II

 

Gilbert Sewall’s Islam in the Classroom: What the Textbooks Tell Us (American Textbook Council, 2008)

 

identifies these problems in ten 2005-07 copyright middle and high school Social Studies textbooks. William Bennetta finds some of the same defects in the high school textbook World Cultures: A Global Mosaic (Prentice, 2001). Mr. Sewall chairs the American Textbook Council in New York City. Mr. Bennetta, a Californian, is president of The Textbook League and edits The Textbook Letter.

 

Appendix III

 

Independent.ie reported on July 28, 2009 that the Dubai royal family, through its investment vehicle Istithmar World Capital, was becoming “a major shareholder” in the Education Media and Publishing Group (EMPG), which controls Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Istithmar’s website states:

 

EMPG is a combination of Houghton Mifflin Riverdeep and Harcourt Education, two of the most successful and established educational book publishers in the United States, together forming the largest player in the K-12 publishing segment. Istithmar World made its first investment in the senior equity raised for the transaction that combined Houghton Mifflin and Riverdeep Group in December 2006, followed by an equity investment one year later for acquisition of Harcourt Education.

 

In 2008, Istithmar World partnered with EMPG to create EMPGI, a JV [joint venture] to pursue education opportunities in emerging markets. EMPGI aims to leverage on Istithmar World’s knowledge and relationships in emerging markets.

 

AOL’s Daily Finance added on November 30, 2009, that “EMPG … partnered in 2008 with Istithmar World Capital, a subsidiary of investment company DubaiWorld. The resulting $125 million joint venture, EMPG International, was intended ‘to bring the education publishing group’s products to developing markets.’ Istithmar ended up a major shareholder in EMPG last July … taking a 45% stake in the company in tandem with several other holding companies.”

 

===================================================================================

 

Q’s & A’s on the Rives Resolution

 

Q: Protesters from Florida to California have objected without ultimate success to chronic pro-Muslim/anti-Christian Social Studies textbook bias. Why will the Rives Resolution be any more effective?

 

A: Because unlike them, the Rives Resolution coordinates with a big state’s textbook adoption cycle whose market clout seriously impacts publishers’ sales. Also unlike Texas, California has never state-approved high school textbooks, plus it has now suspended all textbook approvals until 2016 and says it may not resume them for “close to a generation,” making Texas the de facto national principal voice of public school textbook

purchasers.

 

Q: Why is this Resolution not out of order? It reopens Social Studies course standards (the TEKS) just after the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) settled new Social Studies TEKS in May 2010.

 

A: The Rives Resolution differs from TEKS revisions. The TEKS are specific and tell what courses must include. This Resolution is general and tells what courses must avoid. The passage of the Rives Resolution immediately after approving the TEKS is logical and proper. It prohibits any pro-Muslim/anti-Christian bias without vainly trying to enumerate all its possible forms, sidestepping dangers in the technical legal principle Exclusio unius inclusio alterius (“Exclusion of one is inclusion of the other”), i.e., whatever is not explicitly forbidden is implicitly permitted.

 

Q: Why pass this Resolution now, when SBOE membership will differ when it votes on new Social Studies books?

 

A: All SBOE members swear to uphold Texas law. The same Texas Education Code (TEC) that binds them today will probably still apply then. Approving the Rives Resolution now gives editors early warning of the SBOE’s duty on this issue.

 

Q: How can the SBOE reject textbooks for undemocratic content? Texas Education Code (TEC) section 31.023(a) and (b) mentions only failure to cover at least half of course standards (the TEKS), failure to meet “applicable physical specifications,” and failure to correct factual errors, as lawful grounds for rejection.

 

A: Texas Education Code (TEC) section 31.023(a) and (b) does not exhaustively enumerate all the reasons why the SBOE must reject a textbook. It is a mistake to misinterpret this partial list of reasons for rejection as the definitive complete list, in isolation from the rest of the TEC. In fact the TEC elsewhere includes one other lawful cause for SBOE rejection of a textbook, namely, violation of TEC section 28.002(h) and (i), which states in pertinent part:

 

(h) … A primary purpose of the public school curriculum is to

prepare thoughtful, active citizens … with appreciation for the

basic democratic values of our state and national heritage.

 

(i) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules for the

implementation of this subchapter. …

 

 

This passage specifies a fourth reason for SBOE rejection of textbooks. It requires the SBOE to promote “basic democratic values,” and thus to reject textbooks which blatantly violate that mandate. The Rives Resolution documents multiple indisputable patterns of undemocratic, discriminatory, prejudicial pro-Muslim/anti-Christian defiant mockery of that rule in Texas World History books’ treatment of the world’s great religions. The Rives Resolution warns publishers that in the future the SBOE will enforce the whole TEC, not just section 31.023(a) and (b).

 

Q: Why does the Rives Resolution cite no pro-Muslim/anti-Christian bias in current Texas Social Studies books?

 

A: Because it obeys SBOE Operating Rule §2.9(c)(2), which says:

 

Board action relative to textbook resolutions must take place within 90 days of adoption of the specific textbooks ….

 

Thus the Rives Resolution cannot address Social Studies books under current Texas adoption for over 90 days (in this case since 2003). Instead, the Resolution’s first “Whereas” refers to 1999 editions of Social Studies books previously under Texas adoption (though most of the same books’ 2003 editions are now under current Texas adoption), and the Resolution’s second “Whereas” confirms that pro-Muslim/anti-Christian bias still vexes current Social Studies books generally nationwide, establishing probable cause in Texas.

 

Q: Apart from this Resolution, does pro-Muslim/anti-Christian bias taint current Texas Social Studies books?

 

A: Yes. Like its previously-adopted 1999 Texas edition, the currently-adopted 2003 Texas edition of McDougal Littell’s World History: Patterns of Interaction devotes 27 student text lines on page 347 to Crusaders’ massacre of Muslims at Jerusalem in 1099, and 10 student text lines on page 345 to Crusaders’ massacre of 3,000 Muslims at Acre in 1191, but censors Muslim massacres of Christians at Jerusalem in 1244 and at Antioch in 1268.

 

Also, the currently-adopted 2003 Texas edition of Prentice Hall’s World History: Connections to Today refers on page 217 (par. 2, lines 3-4) to Crusaders’ massacre of some European Jews but nowhere mentions the Muslim Tamerlane’s massacre of perhaps 90,000 fellow Muslims at Baghdad in 1401, and of perhaps 100,000 Indian POWs at Delhi in 1398.

 

 

To verify these persistent pro-Muslim/anti-Christian biases, anyone can check the 2003 editions of these texts on file at the Texas Education Agency in Austin, Texas.

 

 

Contact Information for Randy Rives — #3 Warwick, Odessa, Texas 79765 — phone 432/362-7799

 

Advertisements

One Response

  1. I’m racist

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: