Mt. San Antonio College

It is time to start naming names. I don’t like to do this, but schools and instructors found teaching revisionist history need to be exposed. Our schools are institutions where our children deserve to be taught facts, not fiction masquerading as truth. Instructors are not paid to teach myth.

For the background to this post, see my earlier post “Columbus, Islam, and Revisionist History.

On September 7, 2010 I sent the following letter to the president of Mt. San Antonio College. Subsequently I also sent an electronic copy of the letter along with copies of all supporting documents to every trustee of the college. To this day I have not received a response from either the president or any of the trustees.

September 7, 2010

Dr. John S. Nixon, President/CEO
Mt. San Antonio College
1100 N. Grand Ave.
Walnut, CA 91789

Dear Dr. Nixon,

I write this letter as a concerned citizen. I believe the objective of every institute of higher education should be to provide instruction based on fact and truth. While I recognize that our college and university campuses are places where students are open to free inquiry and a variety of opinions are openly discussed, opinion should never be taught as fact. Likewise, history should only be taught using facts that can be established as true, not with myths that have no basis in fact.

I recently learned that one history professor at Mt. SAC is teaching myth as history. I feel I need to bring this to your attention. I know the staff at Mt. SAC strive for the highest quality in education, and I would not want that reputation to be tarnished by errant instruction.

In a recent lecture by history professor Amelia Kremer, a student in her class and a friend of mine said Ms. Kremer made the statement, “Now that you know that Muslims visited America before our founding fathers, does this change your opinion on the possible mosque being built in New York?” My friend says, “She insisted in talking about the West Africans coming here as Muslims, and did not want to acknowledge our founding fathers.”

Ms. Kremer is presenting myth as fact. In all fairness, Ms. Kremer may simply be one victim of a propaganda machine by certain groups dedicated to rewriting history, but her “facts” must be corrected.

The notion that Muslims were on the North American continent long before Christopher Columbus and other explorers has no basis in fact. The genesis of this information comes from certain pro-Islamic groups who have an agenda to push, and will stop at nothing to advance their agenda, even to the point of rewriting history. Let me be clear: this is not a religious issue; this is an issue concerning the truth.

A group called the Middle East Policy Council published a work in 1998 called The Arab World Studies Notebook. I personally have a copy of this Notebook. The Notebook consists of 511 pages of materials geared toward educating the Western world about the early Arab world. The primary audience for the notebook is educators. Some of the material provided in the notebook has been challenged by scholars as inaccurate, but not before the Middle East Policy Council mailed out thousands of copies of the notebook to educators around the nation.

As a case in point, the Notebook discusses “Early Muslim Exploration Worldwide: Evidence of Muslims in the New World Before Columbus” on pages 75-76 (copy enclosed). Authors Abdallah Hakim Quick and Audrey Shabbas make reference to certain documents by early Islamic explorers who supposedly sail to the New World, meet Native American Indians, and intermix with them. The authors state, “West African Muslims had not only spread throughout the Caribbean, Central and South America, but that they had reached Canada and were trading and intermarrying with the eastern woodland Iroquois and Algonquin nations. Much later, early English explorers were to meet Iroquois and Algonquin chiefs with names like Abdul-Rahim and Abdallah Ibn Malik.” Such an assertion is disconcerting, to say the least.

First, scholars have challenged this notion as factually inaccurate. The History News Network, sponsored by George Mason University, has written two articles about the factual inaccuracies of the Notebook. One article quotes Peter DiGangi, director of Canada’s Algonquin Nation Secretariat, who calls the author’s claims “outlandish” and says that “nothing in the tribe’s written or oral history support them.” David Yeagley, adjunct professor at the University of Oklahoma, called the Notebook “intellectual genocide on American Indians,” noting that the authors “simply created an Indian story to suit the purposes of the advocacy group, and published it in a school text manual as fact.”

Second, Sandra Stotsky, former director of a professional development institute for teachers at Harvard, and a former senior associate commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Education, notes that Shabbas has admitted to “deliberately favoring the Arab point of view.” The bias of Shabbas shows in her revisionist history. Ms. Stotsky has written extensively about the campaign to rewrite history by groups pushing a pro-Islamic agenda. See the article by the editorial board of Campus Watch for reference: http://www.campus-watch.org/article/id/3811.

Dr. Nixon, I request you respond back to me with the steps you plan to take to ensure such revisionist history is not taught at Mt. SAC. Such distortion of history must not tolerated, especially when the revisionism is fabricated by a group with an agenda to advance.

I have purposely withheld the name of the student who informed me of this for fear of reprisal by the instructor. However, you can verify the statements made by Ms. Kremer by questioning any student in History 1, CRN 20280.

I am concerned that neither the president nor the trustees of this local college appear to be bothered that a professor of history is teaching myth as fact. After five weeks I have received no reply, not even an acknowledgement that my letter was received and they are looking into the matter.

This instructor has apparently accepted uncritically the claims put forth as historical fact by a group with an agenda to advance. She has bought into the revisionist lie and is propagating this lie to students who trust her to teach fact and truth.

If you are a concerned parent living in Southern California, I urge you to also voice your disappointment with President Nixon. My voice alone is probably insignificant and unimportant to the school staff. But there is power in numbers. This problem will likely only get resolved when significant numbers of like-minded concerned citizens let their collective voices be heard.

Also, if you have a student attending Mt. SAC, I would urge you to reconsider sending your student to a different school, for two reasons. One, we should not be supporting a school that is indifferent about their instructors teaching myth as fact. Two, public schools like these receive the majority of their operating funds from the state and federal government based on enrollment. The fewer students, the fewer dollars. Our tax dollars should not go to an institute of higher education where instructors are allowed to capitulate to the demands of group advancing a political agenda and call it instruction.

4 thoughts on “Mt. San Antonio College

  1. This has to be one of the most xenophobic, silly things I’ve ever read. I came across this link from a friend of a friend’s facebook page and thought it was a parody or satire website.

    Personally, I’ve never heard of this claim before, but I don’t see what the big deal is. Just from briefly reading over the various articles online about the issue, it appears to surround a single muslim chinese guy who is claimed to have landed here 70 years before columbus. Other sites explore possible influences of Islam on the language of various tribes. Personally, I find it interesting.

    Rather than creating such a nutty site, you should invest some of your time in trying to do something useful like debunking these claims.

    And let’s remember that even if this is true, it was still all preceded by the Vikings and a slew of other travelers. This just seems like yet-another sad attempt to make an issue out of something.

    Disclaimer: I’m a proud Christian… just not a scared one.

    • Shaun, thank you for your comments. I must respond.

      Xenophobia: An intense or irrational dislike or fear of people from other countries. Sorry, but that’s not what this is about. Generally speaking, those who resort to name calling, character assassination, or other forms of ad hominem do so because they lack the ability to articulate any sort of reasonable response to the material presented. Words such as xenophobe, homophobe, bigot, or any other of a number of commonly used terms are slung about recklessly as if to say, “Your arguments, no matter the factual content, are not to be taken seriously because you are just a (fill in the blank).” I hope that was not your intent here. If you have reasonable, cogent, coherent argument either in support of or against anything presented here, I am more than willing to read it and consider your thoughts. But to simply come here, sling a pejorative term toward me and dismiss the evidence out of hand without cause gives me ample reason to simply ignore your comments as irrational and uninformed.

      The issue at hand here is not xenophobia or any other kind of phobia. The issue at hand is a matter of truth. It is not true that Muslims were on the North American continent long before Columbus or any other explorers. This so-called “fact” is one advanced only by a certain group pushing its agenda, and the claim has been rebutted by renowned historians and scholars. It should not be taught as fact in any school. It is not xenophobic to point out a lie.

      It is no secret that a pro-Islamic agenda is being advanced in our country by the Muslim Brotherhood and all its splinter groups; this is undisputed and the evidence is ample and easily accessible for those interested. It is not the intent of this site to provide that material.

      Counter disclaimer: I also am a proud Christian, not a scared one. But I am not ignorant of a very subtle, and at times not so subtle, agenda being advanced. I will do whatever it takes to set the record straight and correct misinformation when I become aware of it. I happen to be somewhat of a scholar on Islam, having studied it at the post-graduate level and now teaching it at the college level. So I speak from a fully informed position.

  2. Okay, firstly this is a teacher who has a PHd and what degree do you have? And secondly you couldnt see through your rascist white lying eyes, that she was talking about west africans not muslims, i mean vikings found america before columbus how are you going to argue agianst that? is it only white people can find america and nobody else? This teacher was saying that west africans did have small presence like paciffic islanders who ended up from Asia to easter island and all other islands in the pacific. She aint’t claiming america in the name of islam but some african traces might have made its prescences.

    • Well now, wasn’t that sweet.

      First, how do you know this teacher has a PhD, and what difference does it make at any rate. This is a community college, a 2 year college that issues Associate degrees. Such colleges commonly hire instructors with a Master’s degree, not requiring a PhD. To answer your question, I have a Master’s degree. You?

      But again, what difference does it make?

      Have you ever heard of the term “logical fallacy?” Because that’s what you just committed; two logical fallacies in fact. Google “Ad Hominem” and “Appeal to Authority” because you are guilty of both.

      Rather than address the substance of the article, you began by calling me a white racist. Nice response, known as an ad hominem. Then you appeal to authority by suggesting that since the professor his a PhD, she must be right.

      Try again and respond to the substance of the article.

      West Africans? Muslim West Africans. In case you don’t know your geography or anthropology, the majority of nations in both north and west Africa are predominately Muslim and have been for over a thousand years.

      Have a nice day.

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