Teaching of Islam must be complete
by Steven Stotsky
Jewish Advocate, November 30, 2012
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.”
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
record, Neil Armstrong was born, raised and died a Christian. He was
buried at sea in a ceremony officiated over by a Christian pastor.
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
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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
BY CHARLES JACOBS
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
If you have any questions, you can email me at email@example.com
Truth Under Attack at Public High Schools in Newton, MA
CJUI NEWSLETTER, 4/10/2012
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
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
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
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.
Muslim Primer, p.131, "... Social and economic reasons are forcing the
[Roman Catholic] Church to reconsider polygamy as a Christian option."
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
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
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!
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
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
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.
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
by Stephen Schwartz
February 5, 2012
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.
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
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
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."
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.
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
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
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
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
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
CITIZENS FOR NATIONAL SECURITY RELEASES REPORT ON PRO-ISLAM
BIAS IN FLORIDA TEXTBOOKS
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
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.
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|
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
- 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
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
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
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
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.
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?
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
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]
Schools Teach Children to Value Peace
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]