CJUI-Connecting People of Truth and Courage




  Harvard University's Center for Middle Eastern
    Studies Outreach Center is Mis-Educating Teachers
    on the Israeli‑Palestinian Conflict
  Taqiyya for Kids

●  Citizens for National Security Releases Report on
     Pro-Islam Bias in Florida Texbooks

  Israeli Schools Teach Children to Value Peace

  Netanyahu’s post-Zionist Education Ministry –

●  Harvard's Middle East Outreach Center: Propaganda for

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Teaching of Islam must be complete
by Steven Stotsky
Jewish Advocate, November 30, 2012

Newton School Committee Vice Chairman Matt Hills dismisses the concerns of parents that the Newton schools are using biased and error-prone sources to teach about Islam and the Middle East (The Jewish Advocate, Nov. 16). He states disparagingly: “The McCarthy-esque tactic of waving an unopened book and claiming it’s filled with terrible prejudices does not mean that the book actually contains such biased material.”

This apparent reference is to a School Committee meeting in which a citizen held up a book called “A Muslim Primer” that is purportedly used in the Newton schools. I say “purportedly” because various students and parents have said the volume has been used but the schools themselves have thus far refused to give the concerned citizens access to the teaching materials they use.

And, contrary to Mr. Hills’ assertion, “A Muslim Primer” was not only opened – but read.

I was given a copy by a concerned parent and reviewed portions of it. It is not a reliable source or an objective, balanced presentation of Islam.

To give a sense of how farfetched much of the content is, it includes the spurious story that astronaut Neil Armstrong converted to Islam “but had to keep his religion to himself or he could be fired from his government job.”

For the record, Neil Armstrong was born, raised and died a Christian. He was buried at sea in a ceremony officiated over by a Christian pastor.

A chapter discussing the status of women describes how “Islam and the Quran created major improvements in the status of women. They were oases in a desert of misogyny.” It then justifies legal inequalities and offers belittling commentary on women, explaining the reason a “Women’s testimony is worth half of a man’s... is an attempt to forego distraction from family responsibilities and to protect women from the rigor and discomfort of prolonged trials. It also reflects a feeling that a woman’s emotional nature may prevent her from being as objective as men.”

The chapter on Islam’s history contends that the “Jews in Medina eagerly anticipated” Mohammed’s arrival in their city. “They felt a natural affinity for him.

“This happy relationship turned sour when the Jews finally would not accept Islam and convert to the new religion. …When Jews rejected his message and betrayed him in later military endeavors, Muhammad expelled them from Medina and destroyed many of them.”

According to historical sources, the city’s Jewish men and pubescent boys were beheaded, and the women and children sold as slaves. Medina was not an isolated exception. Massacres of Jews and Christians occurred on numerous occasions in Spain, Morocco, Syria, Yemen and Iraq right up until modern times. Yet the “Primer” instructs that “Islam tended to be viewed positively by people it conquered. …It was due in large part to the sense of equality and justice set forth in the Quran and practiced by the Muslim rulers. …Conquered people were called dhimmis – non-Muslims who were guaranteed tolerance by Islamic law. …Dhimmis were permitted to retain their religious and civil rights, and for this privilege a tax, similar to our state taxes, was levied against them.”

In reality, the dhimmis – Jews and Christians – lived a precarious existence under Islam. They were unequal before the law and experienced the daily humiliations of second-class citizens. Islamic laws and conventions restricted public displays of worship by non-Muslims, required permission of Muslim authorities even to fix a church or synagogue, prohibited a non-Muslim man from marrying a Muslim woman and required non-Muslims to show deference to Muslims in public places.

Sorry, Mr. Hills. It is not “offensive” or “bigoted” to insist that the teaching of Islam and the Middle East be factual and complete in its depiction of Islamic culture and its relations with others.
(Brookline resident Steven Stotsky is an analyst of Middle Eastern affairs.)

Lies About Jews in Newton Public Schools



Last year, the Wellesley middle school was caught in a nasty controversy when our organization, Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT) released a shocking video of a student trip to the Roxbury mega-mosque. 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 500,00 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 student still believe these falsehoods and don't know they were lied to.


Now, the Newton public school system is enmeshed in a parallel 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 Studies Notebook," which has been condemned by serious educators as blatant propaganda.


When the parents' complaints got nowhere, Newton's octogenarian Jewish activist, Margo Einstein took up the cause. Margo has some scalps on her belt. She humiliated the Newton City Council after the Aldermen approved a loony proposal to invite a Guantanamo prisoner to come live in our fair city. This was clearly meant as a symbolic thumb-in-the-eye to George Bush, but it was the City Council, disgraced by Margo's platoon, that got the black eye and buried the idea.


Einstein now has sparked a growing and organized effort to challenge the Newton schools. She has gathered around her several parents and researchers (myself included) to get hold of the textbooks and circular materials that are being used to teach about Arabs, Jews, Muslims and Christians in our schools. 


As a tax-paying 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.


Here is a précis of my remarks:


"Teachers in the Newton schools gave students a handout that painted 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.


But as the Newton Schools are guided by what is politically correct, our students cannot learn about any examples of non-Western misconduct.


For example, Arabs today have black slaves in Sudan and Mauritania. But you won't teach that truth.


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 did give students "A Muslim Primer," which touts as the best guide to understanding Islam and human rights, 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 3rd class citizens. But nobody will explain this in Newton to our students.  It's tabu.


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 hung 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 preachings 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.


Your 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 am happy to go through the materials we think are propaganda.


I sincerely ask you to show us what you are teaching the students about Jews and Islam.


(Note: a community wide seminar -- "Distorting the Middle East Conflict in the K-12 curriculum," - will be held at Temple Emanuel on November 28, featuring experts from around the country. Sponsors include the American Jewish Committee, Hadassah, and the Jewish Community Relations Council.) 

If you have any questions, you can email me at charlesjacobs123@gmail.com


Truth Under Attack at Public High Schools in Newton, MA
In October 2011, local parent Tony Pagliuso was horrified when his daughter, a freshman at Newton South High School, brought home an article on women in the Middle East that claims "Several hundred [Palestinian women] have been imprisoned, tortured, and killed by Israeli occupation forces since the latest uprising, 'Intifada,' in the Israeli occupied territories." CJUI immediately formed a task force to address this issue at the local schools.

The article, given to Pagliuso's daughter's class by her world history teacher, makes it sound like Israel arbitrarily imprisons innocent Palestinian women. What it fails to mention is that Palestinian women have been responsible for carrying out some of the most horrific terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians. For example, Dalal Mugrahbi, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization, carried out the 1978 coastal road massacre in which 38 civilians were murdered, including 13 children.

On top of this, the accusation that Israel tortures female prisoners is simply false. Palestinian female prisoners serving in Israeli jails enjoy full prisoner rights as stipulated by the Third Geneva Convention. In Israeli jails, Palestinian prisoners - male and female - are given decent living quarters, food, clothing, medical care, religious and physical activities, newspapers, phone calls, visits from friends and family, and a canteen where relatives and friends deposit money for their use inside the prison.

The article refuting these truths was taken from a controversial textbook called The Arab World Studies Notebook. In 2005, the American Jewish Committee (AJC) prompted many schools across the U.S. to ban the book from their high-school curriculum. In its critique, the AJC said that the book "is replete with factual errors, inaccuracies and misrepresentations about Middle East history." The textbook goes so far as to suggest that "students repeat Arabic phrases that are confessions of belief and proposes that Muslim faith statements be transmitted to others," concludes the AJC report. The textbook even makes the claim that Muslims discovered America prior to Columbus. Unbelievable!

This textbook is not about genuine learning - it's a propaganda tool meant to shape the minds of American high school students to adopt false and radical views of the Middle East. No school in the U.S. should allow impressionable young people to be subject to this propaganda. The Arab World Studies Notebook along with the equally misleading text, A Muslim Primer, shape, guide, and constitute a major part of the Newton high schools' curriculum on the Middle East. (Adapted from "High school curriculum spreads lies about Israel" by Amichai Farkas)

Many parents and members of the Newton community are greatly concerned and have called on the school administration to remove these materials from their classroom curriculum.

Some examples from these texts and from the Newton classroom:

    * Teaching Islam for 2 1/2 weeks in a classroom, while Judaism and Christianity were allocated one day each.
    * Treating Islam not as another religion in historic context, but rather as the divinely revealed truth.
    * The Muslim Primer, p.131, "... Social and economic reasons are forcing the [Roman Catholic] Church to reconsider polygamy as a Christian option."
    * Arab World Studies Notebook, p.17. To teach that Islam is God-centered, [non-Muslim] students are asked to "practice these [prayer] phrases," including the Arabic phrases for "in the name of God [Allah]," "it was from God [Allah]," "the praise belongs to God [Allah]," and "if God [Allah] wills."
    * The Status of Women promotes Islam as a liberator of women, stating that women under Islam are "fortunate" that the Quran has "elevated" them from slavery, while covering up Islam-sanctioned practice of honor killing of women and wife-beating to control them. [Nearly 1000 Pakistani women were "killed for honor" in 2011.]  
    * Ignoring indoctrination of Arab Palestinian school children that teach them to hate and dehumanize Jews while glorifying Jihad and Islamic martyrs (Watch Video: "When we die as martyrs - Palestinian children.") 

The primary source of these biased, Islamic-supremacy materials is Harvard University, which supplies curriculum and workshops for the high school teachers through its Middle East Studies Outreach Program, headed by Paul Beran, a hardcore anti-Israel writer and speaker. 

Saudi Arabia's Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal gave $20 million to Harvard in 2005 with the stipulation, "Re-examine your policies in the Middle East." He continues to give millions to Harvard.   

Public and private high schools across the whole country have been similarly affected.

CJUI has taken the lead in addressing this issue at the Newton schools, and succeeded in getting the ugly and libelous article about the IDF's treatment of Palestinian women removed from the curriculum.  But, we still need to keep fighting to ensure a fair and unbiased education for our children in the Newton schools and beyond!


Taqiyya for Kids
By Janet Tassel

January 15, 2012

It was the first week in October in Newton, an upscale suburb of Boston, and Tony Pagliuso's daughter, a sophomore at Newton South High School, was visibly disturbed. When Tony asked her the problem, she showed him a passage from the chapter she was assigned in her World History Class. It was a chapter called "Women, an Essay," from a supplemental text called The Arab World Notebook. In a paragraph devoted to women "in the struggle for independence from colonial powers," we find:

Over the past four decades, women have been active in the Palestinian resistance movement. Several hundred have been imprisoned, tortured, and killed by Israeli occupation forces since the latest uprising, "intifada," in the Israeli occupied territories.

Pagliuso assured his daughter that this was "total propaganda," and took the matter up with the young teacher, a Miss Jessica Engel, who couldn't understand what all the fuss was about. The material had been "vetted" and was deemed "appropriate," she said, "and would stay in the curriculum. After all, she continued, the head of the history department had gotten this material at an outreach workshop of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard!

Thence to the principal, Joel Stembridge, who glared at Pagliuso and asked, "How do you pronounce 'Pagliuso'?" and dismissing him brusquely with a refusal to apologize, added: "If you're unhappy with this, you should know that next year we're planning to teach material that will be even more inflammatory to your sensibilities." (Where is Ferris Bueller when you need him?) Since Miss Jessica Engel had devoted one day each to Judaism and Christianity while spending 2 ˝ weeks on Islam, Tony wasn't sure how much more inflammatory things could get.

A couple of weeks later, nine stalwart Newton citizens presented themselves at the Newton School Committee meeting, where superintendent David Fleischman, and even the mayor, Setti Warren, were present. The citizens were courteously received, and as it happens Fleishman announced shortly thereafter that indeed the chapter "didn't meet the learning goals of the class" and had been removed from the curriculum.

"Didn't meet the learning goals" is Eduspeak for "What the hell is this and how the hell did it get in?" The answer to the latter is, as noted, Harvard, which, as it happens, held a seminar on Israel and Palestine at Newton South in April 2011. And Newton is far from the only community to take its lead on matters Islamic from Harvard.  Public and private schools all over Massachusetts send teachers to the Outreach Center at Harvard for guidance and (free) materials. The program, like the Center for Middle Eastern Studies itself, is heavily Saudi-funded.

The answer to what it is can be found in a number of places. In 2005, responding to a complaint from a teacher in Anchorage, Alaska, the American Jewish Committee published a thorough critique of the Notebook (the full report Propaganda, Proselytizing, and Public Education, is available at the AJC website), thanks to which Anchorage stopped using the book. As background, the AJC report explains:

The Arab World Studies Notebook was first published in 1990 under the title Arab World Notebook  [apparently Newton was using this edition], but was updated and republished in 1998 with its current title.  The funding for the publication was provided by the Middle East Policy Council, formerly the Arab American Affairs Council....The Notebook was published in conjunction with Arab World and Islamic Resources (AWAIR), founded by Audrey Shabbas, who penned many of the articles...as well as the editorial commentary throughout.

Who is this Audrey Shabbas?  The moving spirit behind AWAIR, she says all she wants from teachers is to "let you step with me to the inside, to see what a Muslim worldview looks like and feels like, so you can bring it back to your students." This from an adoring 2002 interview posted, fittingly, at Saudi Aramco World.

A little earlier than the AJC's report, in 2003, William J. Bennetta, president of The Textbook League, produced a preliminary assessment of the Notebook. He gives a little background:  (Continue...)

Harvard's Middle East Outreach Center: Propaganda for Teachers

by Stephen Schwartz
American Thinker
February 5, 2012

In 2005, Saudi prince Alwaleed Bin Talal donated $20 million dollars each to Harvard and Georgetown Universities. In the years since, Georgetown has earned considerably more press for its use of the prince's largesse, through which it renamed an extant center founded in 1993 as the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU). This is due in no small part to the efforts of the center's director, John Louis Esposito, America's foremost apologist for ultra-fundamentalist Wahhabi Islam. The result of the Saudi-Esposito lash-up has been the emergence of ACMCU as an academic institution that promotes vigorously the "Palestinian narrative" and hostility to Israel.

Harvard's Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program has developed at a much slower pace, and as a result, it has received considerably less media attention. Its director, Ali Asani, is an Indian Muslim from Kenya. As described on its website, the Harvard product of Alwaleed's philanthropy "funds four new professorships promoting scholarship and teaching about contemporary Islamic life and thought and Islam beyond the Middle East." Yet only one chair had been filled as of the end of 2011, with Malika Zeghal, who was trained in France, serving as Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal professor in contemporary Islamic thought/life since 2009.

Zeghal is formally affiliated with Harvard's Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies. She was, to say the least, unprepared for the rise of Islamist politics in the Arab states over the past year. In a Harvard event in February 2011, she downplayed the role of radical movements like the Muslim Brotherhood in the Arab upheavals, stating, in the words of the Harvard Crimson:

That the unrest should be seen as a nationalist revolution, rather than as a religious one like the 1979 Iranian Revolution. ... "If the Islamists come back -- and they have started to come back -- they will have to participate in a democratic transition as any other movement," Zeghal said.

Unfortunately, she was wrong: Islamists have used the Arab uprisings of 2010-11 for a power-grab, disregarding a "democratic transition."

Harvard also runs a Center for Middle East Studies (CMES), which includes an Outreach Center directed by one Paul Beran. The Outreach Center has been "awarded National Resource Center status by the US Department of Education's Title VI program and serves educators, students and the general public on topics related to the Middle East region."

Beran, who received his doctorate in international studies at Northeastern University in Boston, teaches "'Introduction to the Conflict in Israel and the Occupied Territories' (GOVT E 1960/W) and 'Introduction to Middle East Politics' (GOVT E 1970/W) at the Harvard University Extension School, and directs the Egypt Forum, a program of training for K-12 educators on Middle East region studies and Egypt." He is also a member of the "Global Education Advisory Council for the Elementary and Secondary Education Department of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts," through which he influences the treatment of Middle East issues in the state's public schools.

A Presbyterian, Beran has been prominent in agitation for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel within that Christian denomination. In a December 11, 2005 speech to a "Teach-In And Organizing Conference" at Harvard on "Israel/Palestine: Where Do We Go From Here?," Beran declared:

Until now, those who acted as if 'Israel is always right' enjoyed a near monopoly over U.S. attitudes. Calls for divestment, however, have the potential to become the Achilles heel for pro-Israel perceptions in the U.S. ... [A]n angle with which to view such campaigns is that they carry the potential to be effective tools for waging a non-violent guerilla struggle [against Israel]. ... The first step for divestment campaigns is to have a broad base of cross-community support on which to fall back when the Zionist backlash against the campaigns commences. ... [C]ampaigns for divestment must be ready to fight.

On the same occasion, Beran referred contemptuously to the Anti-Defamation League, a leading American Jewish civil rights organization, as "that modicum of high browed Zionism."

Through the CMES Outreach Program Beran has mimicked ACMCU, the Harvard Islamic Studies Program, and other academic facilities in the West by embracing uncritically the claims of democratization in the Arab turmoil beginning in 2010, while continuing to focus negatively on Israel and its policies. Its roster of "Teaching Resources" proclaims breathlessly that teachers may "[e]xplore the Arab Transformation through Outreach Center presentations, lesson plans and teaching resources, articles, videos, artifacts and more!"

But the CMES Outreach Program inventory of broader "resources" includes material that is both objectionable and absurdly trivializing in its approach to Middle East issues.

For example, it offers as an item in its "Library Highlights Catalogue" the 2001 Iranian-made film Kandahar, directed by Mohsen  Makhmalbaf, in which David Belfield, alias Dawud Salahuddin, Hassan Tantai (in his film credit), and Hassan Abdulrahman, is a   star. Problem: Belfield, an African-American  (Continue.....

January 12, 2012

Harvard University's Center for Middle Eastern Studies Outreach Center is Mis-Educating Teachers on the Israeli‑Palestinian Conflict

Harvard University's Middle Eastern Studies' Outreach Center says its mission is to promote "a critical understanding of the diversity of the Middle East region." But the activities and record of its director and its programming reveal a pattern of adhering to the Palestinian narrative of the conflict rather than presenting diverse viewpoints.

Director Paul Beran is a longtime activist in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel and Center speakers on the Arab‑Israeli conflict have been accused of focusing singularly on a Palestinian perspective while dismissing or ignoring the Israeli position.

The Center's recommended readings heavily favor anti‑Zionist writings, including works by the late Edward Said, a Palestinian advocate, and former Israeli professor Ilan Pappé, the driving force behind academic boycotts of Israel. The Center also recommends the propaganda film Occupation 101, which features notorious defamers of Israel like Noam Chomsky and Richard Falk.

A slide presentation on the Center's Web site steers teachers to writings by the extremist Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), a group characterized by the ADL as one of the nation's leading anti‑Israel organizations.

Another presentation, entitled "Teaching Sense Making Around Israel/Palestine" rejects discussion of Palestinian terrorism and the conflict's religious dimension as an "unsophisticated" approach. The same presentation calls Israel a regional "hegemon," ignoring the fact that Muslim and Arab populations outnumber the Jewish state by 400 million to 8 million and possess land area a thousand times greater.

The Outreach Center actively promotes its program in the Boston area and provides unscholarly curricular materials to public and private schools. Critics express concern that the result will be a generation of students with a radically misguided understanding of the Middle East.

Go here for CAMERA'S companion article: 
"Harvard's Middle East Outreach Center Headed By BDS Supporter"


Report’s authors warn that the problem has “national ramifications”

LYNCHBURG, VA,  DECEMBER 5—The Christian Action Network, a non-profit activist organization, is making available a report, authored by Citizens for National Security based upon research conducted by it, that exposes widespread bias in textbooks used in Florida public schools. The organizations claim the textbooks favor Islam over Christianity and Judaism and present an unfair view of history, particularly with regard to the policies of the U.S. and Israel.

The report identifies approximately 30 textbooks used in Florida public schools with instances of bias, inaccuracies and purposeful omissions. It alleges that students are being given flawed information about the history of Islam, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Middle East, and extremist threats worldwide. It includes over 200 quotations from the list of textbooks that the organizations say are biased and/or inaccurate.

One example in the report is when a textbook states, “Women, as wives and mothers, have an honored position in Saudi society.” Another states, “The land now called Palestine consists of Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.”

“Although agenda-based campaigns to shape textbook content have existed for some time, the past decade has seen particularly aggressive and intense overt and stealth efforts by proponents of Islam to inject their beliefs into K-12 classrooms via textbooks,” according to Dr. William A. Saxton, Chairman of Citizens for National Security. 

The report is based on a sampling of textbooks in Florida but Martin Mawyer, President of the Christian Action Network, says the bias in them have “national ramifications.” “Florida is the third largest purchaser of textbooks in the United States with an estimated $267 million budget for instructional materials. Textbooks used in Florida help to create curriculum standards for the entire country,” Dr. Saxton points out.

The Christian Action Network is planning on distributing the report to concerned parents and teachers and the media. “It is well-written and documented in a scholarly way because it was written by academics. It will be a great tool for teachers, principals, school administrators and parents,” said Mawyer.

The Christian Action Network is also planning on releasing a documentary about the pro-Islam bias in the education system and the influence of Islamists on college campuses and public schools.  The organization has previously released documentaries about alleged terrorist training camps on U.S. soil and the Ground Zero Mosque.

CFNS - Citizens for National Security says,

As part of its campaign to saturate the nation with CFNS's Textbooks Report, CAN is activating its 250,000 members to personally deliver it to education officials and teachers in their local school districts. We have encouraged our CFNS Members to take the same important action!
You will certainly want to read this shocking report that is of great concern to all of us. To download and print the full report, just go to https://cfns.us/CFNS-Textbook-Report-Signin.php. ; We appreciate your support and welcome your involvement in this crucial issue that affects all of us.  
Nicholas V. Martin                                                                          CFNS Director of Planning and Development

For a copy of the report, CLICK HERE


Islam in America's public schools: Education or indoctrination?
June 11, 2008|
Cinnamon Stillwell

With fatal terrorist attacks on the decline worldwide and al Qaeda apparently in disarray, it would seem a time for optimism in the global war on terrorism. But the war has simply shifted to a different arena. Islamists, or those who believe that Islam is a political and religious system that must dominate all others, are focusing less on the military and more on the ideological. It turns out that Western liberal democracies can be subverted without firing a shot.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the educational realm. Islamists have taken what's come to be known as the "soft jihad" into America's classrooms and children in K-12 are the first casualties. Whether it is textbooks, curriculum, classroom exercises, film screenings, speakers or teacher training, public education in America is under assault.

Capitalizing on the post-9/11 demand for Arabic instruction, some public, charter and voucher-funded private schools are inappropriately using taxpayer dollars to implement a religious curriculum. They are also bringing in outside speakers with Islamist ties or sympathies. As a result, not only are children receiving a biased education, but possible violations of the First Amendment's Establishment Clause abound. Consider the following cases:

  • Last month, students at Friendswood Junior High in Houston were required to attend an "Islamic Awareness" presentation during class time allotted for physical education. The presentation involved two representatives from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, an organization with a record of Islamist statements and terrorism convictions. According to students, they were taught that "there is one God, his name is Allah" and that "Adam, Noah and Jesus are prophets." Students were also taught about the Five Pillars of Islam and how to pray five times a day and wear Islamic religious garb. Parents were not notified about the presentation and it wasn't until a number of complaints arose that school officials responded with an apologetic e-mail.


  • Earlier this year at Lake Brantley High School in Seminole County, Fla., speakers from the Academy for Learning Islam gave a presentation to students about "cultural diversity" that extended to a detailed discussion of the Quran and Islam. The school neither screened the ALI speakers nor notified parents. After a number of complaints, local media coverage and a subsequent investigation, the school district apologized for the inappropriate presentation, admitting that it violated the law. Subsequently, ALI was removed from the Seminole County school system's Dividends and Speaker's Bureau. 
  • As reported by the Cabinet Press, a school project last year at Amherst Middle School transformed "the quaint colonial town of Amherst, N.H., into a Saudi Arabian Bedouin tent community." Male and female students were segregated, with the girls hosting "hijab and veil stations" and handing out the oppressive head-to-toe black garment known as the abaya to female guests. Meanwhile, the boys hosted food and Arabic dancing stations because, as explained in the article, "the traditions of Saudi Arabia at this time prevent women from participating in these public roles." An "Islamic religion station" offered up a prayer rug, verses from the Quran, prayer items and a compass pointed towards Mecca. The fact that female subjugation was presented as a benign cultural practice and Islamic religious rituals were promoted with public funds is cause for concern.


  • Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy, a charter school in Inver Grove Heights, Minn., came under recent scrutiny after Minneapolis Star-Tribune columnist Katherine Kersten brought to light concerns about public funding for its overtly religious curriculum. The school is housed in the Muslim American Society's (the American branch of the Egyptian Islamist group the Muslim Brotherhood) Minnesota building, alongside a mosque, and the daily routine includes prayer, ritual washing, halal food preparation and an after-school "Islamic studies" program. Kersten's columns prompted the Minnesota chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union to issue a press release expressing its own reservations about potential First Amendment violations. An investigation initiated by the Minnesota Department of Education verified several of Kersten's allegations and the school has since promised to make the appropriate changes. In a bizarre twist, when a local television news crew tried to report on the findings from school grounds, school officials confronted them and wrestled a camera away from one of its photographers, injuring him in the process.


  • The controversy surrounding the founding of New York City's Arabic language public school, Khalil Gibran International Academy, last year continues. Former principal Dhabah "Debbie" Almontaser was asked to step down after publicly defending T-shirts produced by Arab Women Active in the Arts and Media, an organization with whom she shared office space, emblazoned with "Intifada NYC." But KGIA has other troublesome associations. Its advisory board includes three imams, one of whom, New York University Imam Khalid Latif, sent a threatening letter to the university's president regarding a planned display of the Danish cartoons. Another, Shamsi Ali, runs the Jamaica Muslim Center Quranic Memorization School in Queens, a replica of the type of Pakistani madrassa (or school) counter-terrorism officials have been warning about since 9/11. Accordingly, several parents founded Stop the Madrassa: A Community Coalition to voice their contention that KGIA is an inappropriate candidate for taxpayer funding.

Equally problematic are the textbooks used in American public schools to teach Islam or Islamic history. Organizations such as Southern California's Council on Islamic Education and Arabic World and Islamic Resources are tasked with screening and editing these textbooks for public school districts, but questions have been raised about the groups' scholarship and ideological agenda. The American Textbook Council, an organization that reviews history and social studies textbooks used in American schools, and its director, Gilbert T. Sewall, have produced a series of articles and reports on Islam textbooks and the findings are damning. They include textbooks that are factually inaccurate, misrepresent and in some cases, glorify Islam, or are hostile to other religions. While teaching students about Islam within a religious studies context may be appropriate, the purpose becomes suspect when the texts involved are compromised in this manner.

Such are the complaints about "History Alive! The Medieval World and Beyond," a textbook published by the Teachers' Curriculum Institute, to the point where parents in the Scottsdale, Ariz., school district succeeded in having it removed from the curriculum in 2005. TCI is based in Mountain View, and the textbook is now being used in the state's public schools, where similar concerns have arisen. A Marin County mother whose son has been assigned "History Alive!" has been trying to mount an effort to call school officials' attention to the problem. Similarly, a San Luis Obispo mother filed an official complaint several years ago with her son's school authorities over the use of Houghton Mifflin's middle school text, "Across the Centuries," which has been widely criticized for whitewashing Islamic history and glorifying Islam. Its inclusion in the Montgomery County, Md. public school curriculum among other districts across the country, could lead to further objections.

But the forces in opposition are powerful and plenty. They include public education bureaucrats and teachers mired in naivete and political correctness, biased textbook publishers, politicized professors and other experts tasked with helping states approve textbooks, and at the top of the heap, billions of dollars in Saudi funding. These funds are pouring into the coffers of various organs that design K-12 curricula. The resultant material, not coincidentally, turns out to be inaccurate, biased and, considering the Wahhabist strain of Islam promulgated by Saudi Arabia, dangerous. And again, taxpayer dollars are involved. National Review Online contributing editor Stanley Kurtz explains :  

"The United States government gives money — and a federal seal of approval — to a university Middle East Studies center. That center offers a government-approved K-12 Middle East studies curriculum to America's teachers. But in fact, that curriculum has been bought and paid for by the Saudis, who may even have trained the personnel who operate the university's outreach program. Meanwhile, the American government is asleep at the wheel — paying scant attention to how its federally mandated public outreach programs actually work. So without ever realizing it, America's taxpayers end up subsidizing — and providing official federal approval for — K-12 educational materials on the Middle East that have been created under Saudi auspices. Game, set, match: Saudis."

Along with funding textbooks and curricula, the Saudis are also involved in funding and designing training for public school teachers. The Saudi funded Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University now offers professional development workshop for K-12 teachers. The workshops take place at the hosting institution and provide teachers with classroom material. They are free of charge and ACMCU throws in lunch to boot.

But this generosity likely comes with a catch, for the center is known for producing scholars and material with a decidedly apologist bent, both toward the Saudi Royal Family and Islamic radicalism. It's no accident that ACMCU education consultant Susan Douglass, according to her bio, has been "an affiliated scholar" with the Council on Islamic Education "for over a decade." Douglass also taught social studies at the Islamic Saudi Academy in Fairfax, Va., where her husband still teaches. ISA has come under investigation for Saudi-provided textbooks and curriculum that some have alleged promotes hatred and intolerance towards non-Muslims. That someone with Douglass' problematic associations would be in charge of training public school teachers hardly inspires confidence in the system.

The Trouble with Textbooks:
Distorting History and Religion

“It is shocking to find the kind of misinformation we discovered in American textbooks and supplemental materials being used by schools in every state in the country,” said co-author Dr. Gary Tobin, president of the Institute for Jewish & Community Research. “Elected officials at every level should investigate how these offensive passages are creeping into our textbooks. Presenting false information in the classroom undermines the very foundation of the American educational system.”

Study by IJCR Researchers Exposes Anti-Christian and Anti-Semitic Bias in U.S. K-12 Textbooks Reveals Gross Misrepresentation of Religion, History and Social Studies


The Trouble with Textbooks
by Gary A. Tobin, Ph.D. and Dennis R. Ybarra, M.B.A.

The Institute for Jewish and Community Research
The Trouble with Textbooks sounds the alarm about how
textbooks disparage some groups and teach historical distortions. Our schools are supposed to instill young people with American values and provide students with the knowledge necessary for good citizenship. Instead, textbooks are filled with mistakes and misrepresentations.


Textbooks around the world are blatantly used as tools for
propaganda. It is shocking to discover that history and
geography textbooks widely used in America’s elementary
and secondary classrooms contain some of the very same
inaccuracies about Christianity, Judaism, and the Middle
East as those in Iran and the Arab world.

Assessing how textbooks treat these topics provides telling insight into how textbooks approach complex subjects. What do students learn about Jews, Jewish history, and Judaism’s relationship to Christianity? How does the ongoing challenging relationship between Jews and Muslims in the Middle East show up in the textbooks? What about the triangulation between Jews, Christians, and Muslims?

The 500 problematic passages about Judaism, Christianity, Islam and the Middle East we uncovered in our analysis of the 28 most widely used textbooks in public schools should evoke considerable concern on the part of Americans......

Making Excuses for Arab and Muslim Terrorism

Many textbooks and some supplemental materials consistently reflect the Arab narrative that seeks to push the widespread use of terrorism by the Palestinians against Israel far into the background. The PLO, founded to destroy Israel (as called for in its charter until its modification in the 1990s), is recast in a more benign light as merely an advocate for a Palestinian state.

Textbook lessons on the Palestinian intifadas (uprisings)
against Israeli presence in the West Bank and Gaza are onedimensional presentations of a complex reality. A wide variety of often violent Palestinian actions are reduced to “civil disobedience.” Textbook publishers often want to maximize the visual depiction of Palestinian school age children, peers of their student readers, wherever possible, fighting against tanks and soldiers, as if it were a children’s revolt.

• Palestinian terrorism is nonexistent or minimal.

• Israel is not a victim of terrorism or terrorism against
  Israel is justified.

• U.S. support of Israel causes terrorism, including 9/11.

• The intifadas were children’s revolts not involving adults
   or terrorism.           [.......more]

Israeli Schools Teach Children to Value Peace
By Rachel Avraham

According to a report published by the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education, the Israeli educational system “showed an effort to remove stereotypes against Palestinians, advance the values of peace and tolerance, improve the understanding of the national other, and nurture mutual respect and non-violent conflict resolution between the two sides” between 2009 and 2012. The report, titled “Peace, Tolerance, and the Palestinian Other in Israeli Textbooks” claims that Israel continues to educate her children that peace is desirable and possible, even though it is difficult to achieve. This occurred despite the deterioration in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict within the last decade. [Read entire article here]


Netanyahu’s post-Zionist Education Ministry – UNBELIEVABLE
January 17, 2012


One of the declared goals of the Netanyahu government is to ensure that Israeli schoolchildren receive a strong Zionist education. To this end, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu appointed Gideon Sa’ar as his education minister.

Sa’ar has long distinguished himself as a critic of post-Zionist initiatives to transform Israel’s educational curriculum from a Zionist curriculum which in accordance with the Education Law of 1953 is charged with inculcating school children with “the values of Jewish culture,” “love of the homeland,” and “loyalty to the Jewish state,” into one that indoctrinates Israel’s youth to adopt a post-nationalist, universalist perspective that does not value Jewish nationalism and rejects patriotism as atavistic and even racist.

In light of the importance that the government has placed on Zionist education, it is quite shocking that under Sa’ar, the Education Ministry approved a new citizenship textbook for high school students that embraces the post- Zionist narrative.

This fall, the new textbook, Setting off on the path to citizenship: Israel – society, state and its citizens (Yotzim l’derech ezrachit: Yisrael – hevra, medina v’ezracheya) was introduced into the state’s official citizenship curriculum. In everything from its discussion of the War of Independence to globalization and transnational institutions, to Israeli politics, to the peace process, to Israel’s constitutional debate, to Operation Cast Lead, the textbook adopts positions that are post-Zionist and even anti-Zionist. It champions these positions while denying students the basic facts necessary to make informed decisions on how they relate to their country, their people and their rights and duties as citizens.

In a letter to Sa’ar written on October 4, 2011, Bar-Ilan University law professor Gideon Sapir set out four ways the textbook distorts history and reality. First, in its discussion of the historical background of Israel’s founding, the book gives only passing mention to the international legal foundation of the state – the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine from 1922. The Mandate called for the reconstitution of the Jewish commonwealth in the land of Israel. It granted sovereignty to the Jewish state over all the territory that today makes up Israel, Judea, Samaria and Jordan.

The textbook provides no map of the Mandate.

Instead it suffices with a map of the UN’s 1947 partition plan, a map of the territory controlled by the Jewish forces before the establishment of the state, and a map of the 1949 armistice lines.

Sapir explained, “In the absence of the map of the Mandate, the ’49 map, (i.e. “1967 borders”), is presented as Israel’s maximal legitimate borders, (with the alternative borders being the partition map.”

Second, Sapir noted that the book’s explanation of Israel’s constitutional foundations present the so-called “constitutional revolution” of the 1990s as utterly uncontroversial. Through the “constitutional revolution,” the Supreme Court effectively seized the Knesset’s legislative powers. And as Sapir notes, it justified the move through a distorted interpretation of laws “reading into them rights that were specifically removed from them by the Knesset.”

In hiding the controversy surrounding the “constitutional revolution,” the textbook denies students the ability to understand current events. Without awareness of the controversy, students emerge from high school with no ability to understand the current fight between the court and the Knesset regarding the separation of powers.

As Sapir notes, the textbook demonizes the political Right generally and in Israel in particular.

While just last month Labor politicians and leftist commentators called for the government to deny due process rights to right-wing protesters, Setting off on the path to citizenship presents political violence as the sole province of the political Right. So, too, while the book claims the Left has a monopoly on human rights, it tells students that “nationalistic chauvinism is identified with the rightist character.”

After being told such a thing, how can a good, enlightened high school student wish to be identified with the largest political camp in Israel? Indeed, how can he accept that such a political camp has a right to participate in Israeli “democracy”? Finally, Prof. Sapir mentions that the chapter on the peace process between Israel and its neighbors blames Israel for the absence of peace.

The chapter begins a discussion of prospects for peace after the 1967 Six Day War. In so doing, it places the responsibility for the absence of peace on Israel which, it claims, blocks peace by refusing to give Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem to the Palestinians and the Golan Heights to Syria. The book paints sympathetic portraits of the Syrian regime, ignores then-prime minister Ehud Barak’s offer to relinquish the Golan Heights for peace, and makes no mention of repeated statements by Arab leaders calling for the destruction of Israel and denying Israel’s right to exist.

Aside from the points raised by Prof. Sapir, the book also criticizes Israel for not fully embracing the post-nationalist world order represented by the UN. It criticizes Israel for rejecting the legitimacy of the International Court of Justice’s nonbinding legal opinion from 2004 regarding the security barrier. At the same time, it makes no mention of the fact that the ICJ’s opinion denied Israel’s right to self-defense and that the judges themselves included outspoken haters of Israel.

So, too, in attacking Israel for not embracing the UN as the arbiter of issues of war and peace, by among other things, refusing to cooperate with the Goldstone Commission after Operation Cast Lead, the textbook makes no mention of the UN’s anti-Israel agenda which it advances through every organ of the institution. High school students who study from this textbook are not told about the UN’s diplomatic orgy of anti-Semitism at Durban in 2001 in which Israel was singled out as the most racist, illegitimate evil state on the planet. They are not told of the UN General Assembly’s insidious 1975 resolution defining Zionism – the Jewish national liberation movement – as a form of racism.

All of this actually makes sense. Because the textbook itself claims that the Jewish people are a religious group, not a nation. In a teaching note, the textbook recommends “explaining to the students that Judaism in its original meaning is a religion. The Zionist movement transformed the term, ‘Judaism,’ into a nation.”

This shocking assertion, which channels the PLO’s genocidal, anti-Semitic charter while ignoring 3,500 years of Jewish history, is par for the course for the textbook introduced into Israel’s high schools under the Netanyahu government.

The question of how this book was approved was the subject of an in-depth investigative report written by Gil Bringer and published in Makor Rishon on December 9, 2011. In a nutshell, the story is yet another chapter in the well-known tale in which leftist politicians working hand in glove with leftist academics and leftist media, install leftist political activists in permanent, “professional” positions within the state bureaucracy in order to enable their radical policies to outlive their time in office.

Like all other curricula, the citizenship curriculum is approved by an Education Ministry bureaucrat. In 2007, then-education minister Yuli Tamir’s childhood friend and number 3 Anat Zohar, who headed the ministry’s Pedagogical Secretariat, fired Esther Brand, who was in charge of the citizenship curriculum.

Brand, a religious woman and a resident of Samaria, was perceived as not being part of Tamir’s political camp. Brand challenged her firing in labor court. Rather than defend the move, the ministry offered her an unheard of settlement of NIS 100,000 to walk. She walked.

Brand was replaced by Zohar’s personal assistant, a man in his early-30s named Adar Cohen.

Cohen is an alumnus of the leftist Israel Democracy Institute, which has for years labored to introduce post-Zionist themes into Israel’s education system. As the Makor Rishon report documented, Cohen served as an adviser to the authors of Setting off on the path to citizenship.

While the book was being written, for over a year Cohen delayed granting approval to a competing textbook written by Hebrew University’s political science professor Abraham Diskin that has a Zionist orientation. In the end, Cohen approved both books on the same day last August.

According to the Makor Rishon report, which I separately authenticated with Education Ministry officials directly involved in the issue, Cohen has used his power to distort the proceedings of the professional committee of academics appointed to advise him in his work. He has sought to delay convening the committee in an apparent bid to minimize professional oversight of his decision making. And he used his bureaucratic power to prevent other Education Ministry officials from endorsing Diskin’s book.

After coming into office, Sa’ar appointed Zvi Zameret to serve as chairman of the Pedagogical Secretariat – the same position that Zohar held under Tamir. As the Makor Rishon report explained, Zameret requested that Cohen convene the professional committee last June to approve a new, more Zionist curriculum whose composition Zameret had overseen.

Cohen informed Zameret that the committee members couldn’t make it on the date Zameret had suggested. Upon review it worked out that no one had voiced any objection to the proposed date and so the meeting was convened despite Cohen’s effort to block it.

According to ministry procedures, the professional committee’s approval of the curriculum is supposed to precede the approval of new textbooks.

As Sapir noted in his letter to Sa’ar, the new post-Zionist textbook that Cohen supports contradicts the new curriculum.

Ministry officials who spoke with Makor Rishon hypothesized that Cohen may have wished to postpone the meeting until after Zameret left his position at the beginning of November. Sa’ar has yet to appoint his replacement.

Ministry’s director-general Dalit Shtauber publicly backed Cohen after the Makor Rishon report was published. Attacking the ministry officials who spoke to the paper off record, Shtauber claimed that their off-record comments were anti-democratic. Notably, Shtauber’s defense of Cohen ignored the post-Zionist content of the textbook he approved.

Following the Makor Rishon report, coalition chairman MK Ze’ev Elkin called for an urgent hearing on the textbook in the Knesset’s Education Committee. The hearing, which was scheduled to take place on January 4, was canceled.

Ministry officials claim that the Sa’ar asked committee chairman MK Alex Miller to cancel the meeting and claimed he was handling the issue within the ministry.

If Cohen continues to serve in his position through the end of the year, he will be eligible for – and all but automatically receive – tenure.

Cohen is only in his early 30s. If he is granted tenure, he will be able to continue to control the content of the citizenship curriculum for Israel’s school children for the next 30 years.