Report on Biased Textbooks Goes to 500 Superintendents

USA - The Christian Action Network has sent 500 school superintendents a report showing that many textbooks are biased against Israel and the West while whitewashing radical Islam. The report, authored by Citizens for National Security, examines 200 quotes from 30 textbooks used in Florida.

“[Students] aren’t being taught about the theological motivations behind radical Islam,” said Martin Mawyer, President of the Christian Action Network.

“The impression students are given is that terrorists are misguided fighters against Western imperialism and aggression, who are only wrong in their approach. It was amazing how many times the word ‘Palestine’ was used, making it sound like Israel was built on top of a conquered country,” he said.

The report lists several quotes from textbooks teaching students that the 9/11 attacks were a response to U.S. foreign policy. For example, one book says, “What were the sources of Muslim anger?…bin Laden declared that the attacks were a response to the ‘humiliation and disgrace’ that have afflicted the Islamic world for over eighty years.”

Another teaches that Bin Laden was motivated by the “military presence of the sacred soil of the Arabian peninsula and its support for Israel’s hostility to Palestinian nationalism.” The ideology of radical Islam is not discussed. While Bin Laden’s statements about the West’s foreign policies are mentioned, quotes about his ideology are not. For example, Raymond Ibrahim in “The Al-Qaeda Reader” brings to light this quote from Osama Bin Laden:

“In fact, Muslims are obligated to raid the lands of the infidels, occupy them, and exchange their systems of governance for an Islamic system, barring any practice that contradicts the sharia from being publicly voiced among the people, as was the case at the dawn of Islam.”

The texts also are also unfavorable to Israel. One textbook states, “Angered over the loss of their territory to Israel, some militant Palestinians responded with a policy of terrorist attacks.” In discussing the 1948 war, one textbook just says that “war soon broke out” without explaining that the Arabs invaded Israel with the objective of destroying it.

It then says, “By the end of the 1948 war, Israel controlled almost three fourths of Palestine, including land in the Negev Desert and half of Jerusalem. Jordan and Egypt divided the rest of Palestine between them.” Coupled together, it sounds if the war was one of conquest by Israel.

The report documents numerous instances where Islam is treated more favorably than Christianity. For example, one textbook states, “The Quran permitted fair, defensive war as jihad, or ‘struggle in the way of God,” and says that is how Islam expanded. Another selected quote is that Jews and Christians “have historically enjoyed religious freedom in many Muslim societies.”

“[Islamic forces] rarely imposed their religion by force on the local population…By contrast, Christian monks motivated by missionary fervor, converted many of the peoples of central and eastern Europe,” is another textbook excerpt included in the report.

Some textbooks took a blatantly skeptical stance towards the historical accuracy of Judaism and Christianity.

“A few loyal followers of Jesus spread the story that Jesus had overcome death,” is how one describes the birth of Christianity. As for the history of the Jews, “Many scholars today doubt that the early books of the Hebrew Bible reflect the true history of the early Israelites.”

The full report can be found at the Christian Action Network’s website here.

Two other incidents since 2010 showed how pervasive biased education is. In Georgia Campbell Middle School, students in a seventh grade class had to complete an assignment that included a fictional letter from a Saudi woman advocating Sharia Law.

“Women in the West do not have the protection of the Sharia as we do here. If our marriage has problems, my husband can take another wife rather than divorce me, and I would still be cared for…I feel very fortunate that we have the Sharia,” the text reads.

In September 2010, FrontPage covered how New York’s statewide high school Regents exam required students to read outrageously biased essays about history. According to one reading, “Wherever they went, the Moslems brought with them their love of art, beauty and learning. From about the eighth to the eleventh century, their culture was superior in many ways to that of western [sic] Christendom.”

Guest speakers on current events at schools are also a problem. In 2010, controversy erupted at Clarence High School in New York because of a guest speaker named Hassan Shibly. I interviewed him extensively and reviewed his Facebook page and published the results. He denied that Hezbollah is a terrorist group, instead calling it a “resistance organization.” Since then, he has joined the Council on American-Islamic Relations as the Executive Director of its Tampa chapter. He recently was a guest speaker in over a dozen high school classes in the area, addressing about 500 students.

The next generation will one day lead this country and decide its fate. Its education must be taken with the utmost seriousness. If today’s aspiring leaders are incorrectly taught about our values and security, then they will incorrectly lead on values and security.