Massachusetts school curriculum upsets parents

Parents in Revere, Massachusetts are understandably upset over the way Islam is being taught during a course in history.

Some parents in Revere were angry when they learned students were being taught about Islam and the Muslim religion.

“No religion should be taught at school. In their paper it says Allah is their only God. That’s insulting to me as a Christian who believes in just Jesus only,” said Anthony Giannino.

A section of the textbook describing the beliefs of Muslims says, “I bear witness that there is no God but Allah.”

Giannino immediately pulled his son out of the classroom.

“We don’t believe in Allah. I don’t believe in my son learning about this here,” he said. “If my son was from another country and came here, he would have been catered to. But where he’s not being catered to, they give him an F.”

Read the original story here.

History is no doubt a subject for academic pursuit, and no history lesson would be complete without mention of the various religious belief systems that have shaped history around the world. But when the subject matter deviates from history to theology, it crosses the line. In Massachusetts, the textbook being used deviates into indoctrination, as do many texts around the country. The text declared there is no God but Allah, and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, the first step to becoming a Muslim. Herein is the danger: This phrase is known as the shahada, the Islamic confession of faith, by which one officially becomes a Muslim upon uttering the confession. School children, unbeknown to them, have confessed to be a Muslim simply by having their teacher recite the shahada aloud in class as part of a history or cultural studies program.

WHDH-screenshot_Islam_Mass

I wonder if Christianity is given the same treatment with the teacher having the students repeat the sinner’s prayer with her/him.

The problem is compounded by the fact that major textbook publishers have Muslim scholars on their editorial boards. This in itself should not be problematic, for who knows better about Islam than a Muslim scholar. The problem arises when such scholars go to great lengths to distort or gloss over the rather unsavory aspects of Islam’s past, Muhammad’s behavior, and a great number of verses in the Quran which paint Islam as a supremacist ideology bent on subjecting the world to it’s ideology. Such editorial boards have such a naive understanding of Islam, they will believe anything their Islamic representative tells them. This is not only unfortunate, but dangerous.

Mark Durie puts it well why non-Muslims must study Islam for themselves and not rely on Islamic scholars to tell us what they want us to know about Islam, all the while hiding the less palatable aspects of Islam. From his book “The Third Choice: Islam, Dhimmitude, and Freedom

Misinformation about Islam is a constant issue for non-Muslims. A report in the Herald Sun, a major Melbourne daily newspaper, was published on August 8, 2005 stating that the senior Muslim Imam of Victoria, Sheikh Fehmi (subsequently appointed as Australia’s mufti) reassured non-Muslims in Victoria that Muslims wish only to live in peace with their non-Muslim neighbours:

‘Muslims live cheerfully and happily with all denominations,’ Sheik Fehmi said. ‘This is what Islam is. The Prophet has lived among Jews and Christians. In many parts of the world Muslims, Jews and Christians are living happily.’

Who would not applaud Sheikh Fehmi’s desire for people of different faiths to live together in harmony?The problem arises when he appeals to Muhammad’s example as the basis for non-Muslims to have confidence, that Muslim neighbours represent no threat to peaceful co-existence. Although there was a time when Muhammad lived peacefully alongside non Muslims, large sections of Muhammad’s biographies deal with periods when he was embattled with his non-Muslim Jewish neighbours. Muhammad ordered assassinations of women and old men, oversaw a mass decapitation and enslavement of hundreds of his Jewish neighbours. This darker material Sheikh Fehmi could not fail to be familiar with, as these victories of Islam over the Jews of Arabia are as well-known to Muslim children as Joshua’s conquest of Jericho has been to Sunday School children.

How then are Fehmi’s non-Muslim, fellow Victorians to understand what he means by his reassurances that they can have nothing to worry about, because Islam takes Muhammad as its example? Should non-Muslims just regard this as propaganda, or is it to be understood as a threat?

If a non-Muslim were to have written in response to Sheikh Fehmi’s comment in the Herald Sun, pointing out Muhammad’s less than happy relationships with his non-Muslim neighbours, how could this be done without sounding like incitement of interfaith conflict and a rejection of Fehmi’s apparently moderate and peaceful stance? By relying on acceptance of the excellence of Muhammad’s example as a condition of interfaith harmony, Sheikh Fehmi’s words serve to lock up the truth about Muhammad even more tightly in the dark box of ignorance.

These are not easy subjects to deal with, but deal with them we must, and one of the keys to a free and frank conversation with Muslims about such matters of importance is that non-Muslims must study Islam for themselves. They cannot rely on Muslim spokespeople as their only source of information on Islam. The same can be said for Muslims: they also should not rely on secondary sources, not even on Islamic clerics, to understand their faith.

Hundreds will protest Islam lovefest history textbook foisted on high school students

On Florida’s Atlantic Coast, some 200 or more local parents and activists have announced plans to show up at Tuesday’s Volusia County school board meeting to protest the public school use of a world history textbook that devotes a whole chapter to Islam but exactly zero chapters to any other religions.

The textbook, called simply “World History,” contains a 32-page chapter fondly devoted to “Muslim Civilizations.” Sections include descriptions of the Koran, the growth of the Muslim empire and the Five Pillars of Islam.

The planned protest will include a demand that students rip out the 32 pages of the Islam chapter unless the school district agrees to provide students with a similar amount of officially-sanctioned material concerning other religions, reports local ABC affiliate WFTV.
Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2013/11/05/hundreds-will-protest-islam-lovefest-history-textbook-foisted-on-high-school-students/#ixzz2jnrQ5DxB

Boston Public Schools Expose Students to Islamist Lies

Last year, the Wellesley Middle School was caught in a nasty controversy when my organization, Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT), released a shocking video of a student trip to the Roxbury megamosque.

Viewers could see mosque staffers teach the students unadulterated propaganda – among other things, that Muslim women got the vote before women in the West. They also saw Wellesley boys prostrating themselves to Allah alongside Muslim men. The controversy was covered extensively on Boston TV and radio, and the video was seen by almost 500,000 people on YouTube.

As a result, Wellesley schools no longer visit that mosque. Good. But we also asked Wellesley school administrators to go back to the students and correct the false information they were taught, and then to explain what propaganda is.

They refused, and as far as we know, a class full of Wellesley students still believe these falsehoods and don’t know they were lied to. Why are school administrators afraid to tell the truth?

Now, the Newton public school system is enmeshed in a similar controversy about deceptive lessons concerning Muslim women. This time there is an anti-Semitic theme. As with Wellesley, the Newton school administrators are refusing to tell the children they were lied to.

It began when a Newton parent learned that his daughter was being taught – in a school handout — that Israelis incarcerate, torture and kill Palestinian women.

The material came from “The Arab World StudiesThe Arab World Studies Notebook Notebook,” which has been condemned by serious educators as blatant propaganda. How did this get into the curriculum?

Margo Einstein, Newton’s pro- Jewish “community organizer,” sparked a growing and organized effort to challenge the Newton schools. She has gathered a team of parents and researchers to review the textbooks and circular materials that are being used to teach about Arabs, Jews, Muslims and Christians in our schools.

As a taxpaying Newton resident, I was allowed to address the School Committee last week. A summary of my remarks (below) sketches out the problem and should give enough examples to make us all concerned:

Teachers in the Newton schools gave students a handout that defamed Israel’s Jews as monsters and savages who imprison, torture and kill Palestinian women. This is not only untrue, the opposite is true, that is, if you want to give students truly horrific examples of violence, murder and intolerance in the Middle East, you have all you can possibly want in Palestinian, Arab and Muslim behavior and history. And not just history – just review the violence of the Arab Spring, the daily slaughter of civilians in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

But as the Newton schools are guided by what is politically correct, our students cannot learn about any examples of non-Western misconduct. (You are programming our students not to judge the “Other” – only people like us.)

For example, Arabs today have black slaves in Sudan and Mauritania.

But you cannot teach that truth. It does not fit the politically correct narrative, that evil in the world comes from white Europeans – and everyone else is a victim. If you point out the obvious, you are a bigot, blaming the victim.

Newton students come from a culture that would not normally abandon blacks who are enslaved today. Nor would they abandon women or gays who are oppressed, but your politically correct education ensures that our children will not learn about the plights of these people in the Islamic realm, or anywhere outside the West for that matter – or that they will be afraid to speak about it. You will have taught them that.

But you (Newton schools) did give students ‘A Muslim Primer,’ which touts as the best guide to understanding Islam and human rights, by the Egyptian scholar Sayyid Qutb. But it turns out that Sayyid Qutb is the intellectual father of the Muslim Brotherhood. His books are filled with calls for Jihad against Christian, Jewish and secular Muslim societies. The book you gave them promotes the man who inspired Osama bin Laden.

Women in the Muslim world are third-class citizens. But nobody will explain this in Newton to our students. It’s taboo.

Instead, Newton North students have been given handouts describing the Muslim world as, I kid you not, ‘a world where womanhood reigns supreme,’ where women are freer than Western women, who apparently ‘have less control over their destiny.’

Gays are hanged in public squares in Iran, and Christians are besieged by mobs in Cairo, driven from Iraq and terrified in Damascus. But these essential facts are not politically correct and therefore taboo in Newton schools.

Newton students have a text called ‘World History/Human Legacy,’ which teaches that Mohammed shared his preaching with the Jews of Yathrib.

But the book doesn’t say that when the Jews rejected Mohammed, he beheaded the men in front of their families and took the terrified Jewish children and women as slaves.

In Newton, students read from a book called ‘Islam: the Straight Path,’ which calls the Torah and the Gospels degenerate and perverted.

You eliminated the ‘Arab World Studies Notebook,’ after we protested.

But if this poison, and so many others things we could point out to you, have penetrated your filters, we cannot be asked to trust you. We want to see what you are teaching our children. Yet, counter to your own rules, you have refused.

You have not, as far as we know, corrected the defamation of the Jews that you brought into the classroom. So Newton students may continue to believe that the Israelis torture and murder Palestinian women.

You did not investigate how this happened so that you can search out and eliminate other poisonous texts. You have not warned other school boards that this happened to you. You should have been shocked and apologetic. Instead, you want us to go away.

So: We want to know what you are teaching our children. Making us jump through hoops, treating us like this, is indecent.

I believe that the School Committee is composed of intelligent, well-meaning individuals. I also believe they are unaware of the cultural and political bias that permeates much of education today.

They may be guided by a desire to increase American students’ understanding of global issues but their efforts have been hijacked to promote false narratives and a lethal agenda. I urge the School Committee to make all syllabus and curricula openly available to the parents and taxpayers of Newton. In the age of the Internet, there is no excuse to hide what is being taught to the next generation.

Note: This article was penned by Charles Jacobs for The Jewish Advocate and cross posted from Radical Islam.

ACT for America Education releases report on Islam in the classroom

The line between “education” and “indoctrination” is, at times, a fine one, and often not a clear one. However, common sense dictates that greater care should be taken to avoid what appears to be indoctrination when the objects of the information are children and youth. Experience demonstrates that children are more malleable than adults. Adults can be reasonably expected to be more able than children to distinguish between objective education and indoctrination.

Therefore, what is taught to children in our public schools should be subjected to a higher standard of scrutiny in order to ensure that what is taking place in the classroom is “education” rather than “indoctrination.” This is especially the case when the subject matter is world religions.

This Report does not argue that Islam should not be taught in our public schools. The major religions of the world are one part of our human history, and to exclude teaching about them impedes our understanding of who we are and why the world is at it is.

But when it comes to the teaching of any religion, Islam included, extra care should be exercised by textbook writers and teachers to ensure that what is being taught to their diverse student population is in fact “education” and not “indoctrination.” In public schools Muslim parents would no more want their children indoctrinated in Christianity,Judaism or Hinduism than Christian, Jewish or Hindu parents would want their children indoctrinated in Islam – regardless of whether what amounted to indoctrination was the result of honest mistakes, inattention to detail, ignorance of the subject matter, or bias.

Thus the question posed by this Report. Does the manner in which Islam is generally presented in 6th through 12th grade public school textbooks constitute proper and appropriate education – or does it amount to indoctrination?

Is Islam presented in a manner in which facts are embellished and its virtues exaggerated, while unfavorable, negative or detrimental information about the religion is omitted, glossed over, understated, or rationalized, thus amounting to “indoctrination” rather than education?

Is Islam presented in a manner that leads students to predetermined conclusions about the religion that are unsupported by historical facts and critical analysis, amounting to “teach[ing] (a person or group) to accept a set of beliefs uncritically?”

This Report set out to address and answer these questions. For as the British philosopher and educator Richard Stanley Peters wrote: “What matters is not what any individual thinks, but what is true. A teacher who does not equip his pupils with the rudimentary tools to discover this is substituting indoctrination for teaching.” (As quoted on http://quotes.yourdictionary.com/indoctrination.)

To download and read the full report, click here.

The Historical Reality of the Muslim Conquests

Raymond Ibrahim

Because it is now almost axiomatic for American school textbooks to whitewash all things Islamic (see here for example), it may be instructive to examine one of those aspects that are regularly distorted: the Muslim conquests.

Few events of history are so well documented and attested to as are these conquests, which commenced soon after the death of the Muslim prophet Muhammad (632) and tapered off circa 750. Large swathes of the Old World—from the India in the east, to Spain in the west—were conquered and consolidated by the sword of Islam during this time, with more after (e.g., the Ottoman conquests).

By the standards of history, the reality of these conquests is unassailable, for history proper concerns itself with primary sources; and the Islamic conquests are thoroughly documented. More importantly, the overwhelming majority of primary source materials we rely on do not come from non-Muslims, who might be accused of bias. Rather, the foremost historians bequeathing to posterity thousands of pages of source materials documenting the Islamic conquests were not only Muslims themselves; they were—and still are—regarded by today’s Muslims as pious and trustworthy scholars (generically, the ulema). Continue reading

Medieval to Early Modern Times

This is the first of several articles that will seek to expose the treatment given to the subject of Islam in our public schools.

Medieval to Early Modern Times is a middle school world history textbook published by Holt, Rinehart, Winston publishers. It is one of a handful of textbooks used throughout the U.S. and adopted by local school boards.

The subject of Islam is contained within Unit 2 of the textbook: The Islamic World. Unit 2 consists of two chapters – Chapter 3: The Rise of Islam, and Chapter 4: The Spread of Islam.

The introductory information on Arab geography and life is accurate and not particularly noteworthy. However, beginning on page 59 with the section “Origins of Islam” we find the textbook making some rather troubling claims. Continue reading