Is Islam Indoctrination in American Textbooks?

And is it funded by taxpayers & Middle Eastern Investors?

By Carole Hornsby Haynes, Ph.D.

The war over social studies textbooks rages on as political and religious groups struggle to control the content for their own advantage.  Attention is turning now to the issue of Islam indoctrination in our textbooks and schools.

The influence of Islam in America is gaining national attention as Muslims are demanding to have shariah (Islamic law) trump the U.S. Constitution in American courts of law, filing lawsuits and issuing death threats against those who dare to criticize Islam or Muhammad, and committing acts of terror on American soil.  

Americans have been loath to criticize Islam, preferring instead to ignore the basic teachings of the Quran, including the forbidding of Muslims to make friends with Christians or Jews and commanding that infidels (non-Muslims) be killed.  We docilely obey Islamic demands to stifle any criticism of Islam and “turn the other cheek” when America, Christians, and Jews are denigrated by Muslims.

However, Americans are taking a new stance as they question what their children are being taught in public schools, especially in the field of Social Studies.  They have been shocked with what they are finding in many of the World History textbooks approved by the states for use in classrooms.

Concerned citizens are meeting with school board members across the nation to voice their outrage about the distortions and biases about Islam in World History textbooks.

The American Textbook Council (ATC) is an independent New York-based educational organization that reviews history textbooks and social studies curricula. It is dedicated to improving instructional materials and civic education nationwide. 

In 2008 under the guidance of its director, Dr. Gilbert T. Sewall, the ATC conducted a review in which ten widely adopted junior and senior high school history textbooks were sampled.  The review, Islam in the Classroom:  What the Textbooks Tell Us, concluded:

  • Many political and religious groups try to use the textbook process to their advantage, but the deficiencies in Islam-related lessons are uniquely disturbing. History textbooks present an incomplete and confected view of Islam that misrepresents its foundations and challenges to international security.
  • Misinformation about Islam is more pronounced in junior high school textbooks than high school textbooks.
  • Outright textbook errors about Islam are not the main problem. The more serious failure is the presence of disputed definitions and claims that are presented as established facts.
  • Deficiencies about Islam in textbooks copyrighted before 2001 persist and in some cases have grown worse. Instead of making corrections or adjusting contested facts, publishers and editors defend misinformation and content evasions against the record. Biases persist. Silences are profound and intentional.
  • Islamist activists use multiculturalism and ready-made American political movements, especially those on campus, to advance and justify uncritical Islam-related content makeover in history textbooks.
  • Particular fault rests with the publishing corporations, the boards of directors, and executives who decide what editorial policies their companies will pursue.

In 2003 Dr. Sewall testified about textbook problems in the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Hearing on Intellectual Diversity.

Dr. Sewall placed the blame for a large part of the problem squarely on the textbook publishers. He said the playing field had changed from one of numerous independent, competing companies, which had created and sold textbooks, to one now dominated by a few giant revenue-driven multinational companies. 

None of these publishing giants shows the least interest in innovation,
change or offering books that come closer to meeting the wishes of
textbook critics and state-level curriculum reformers. Instead, publishers
cater to pressure groups for whom history textbook content is an extension
of a broader political or cultural cause. They make books whose content
is meant to suit the sensitivities of groups and causes more interested in
self-promotion than in historical fact, scholarly appraisal, or balance.
They are, more likely than not, listening to the wrong voices…  biased instructional materials are undermining students’ appreciation for America
 and citizenship.

Randy Rives from Odessa, Texas, presented a Resolution on the floor of the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) in the July 2010 session.  The Resolution is to be added as an agenda item in an upcoming meeting of the Board, possibly on September 22-24, 2010. 

Rives’ concern is that the Social Studies TEKS (Texas’ curriculum standards) can dictate what publishers are required to put in textbooks, but not what is prohibited from being placed in them.  The Rives Resolution contains numerous examples from World History books used in Texas until 2003 that had pro-Islam/anti-Christian statements.  Since currently used textbooks were from many of the same publishers, the same type of content may be in these.

Because the SBOE adopted new Social Studies TEKS in May 2010 with new textbooks forthcoming, Rives wants to prohibit publishers from inserting biased content to satisfy their special interest groups and investors.

The Senate testimony by Dr. Sewall that large publishers cater to the whims of special interest groups is substantiated by the evidence in the Rives Resolution.  One of the books being protested, World History:  Patterns of Interaction, is published by Houston Mifflin.  This giant is now controlled by Education Media and Publishing Group (EMPG), which lists the royal family of Dubai as a major shareholder. 

Because past World History books have had a definite bias toward Islam with little favorable coverage and attention paid to Christianity and Judaism, Rives proposed the following to the Texas State Board of Education on July 23, 2010.  The Resolution is entitled “Proposed Texas State Board of Education Resolution on Democratic Values in Social Studies Textbooks.”  

RESOLVED by the SBOE, that diverse reviewers have repeatedly
documented gross pro-Islamic/anti-Christian distortions in Social
Studies texts; that Social Studies TEKS cannot provide relief, because
they tell what a course should cover, not all it should avoid; that under
Texas Education Code §28.002(h)&(i), the SBOE must enforce “the basic democratic values of our state and national heritage;” that chronic partiality
to one of the world’s great religions, and animus against another, flout
democratic values and the letter and spirit of this rule; that Texas
Administrative Code §66.66(c)(4) provides, “Instructional materials
may be rejected for content that clearly conflicts with the stated purpose
of the Texas Education Code, §28.002(h);” and that the SBOE will
reject future prejudicial Social Studies submissions that so offend Texas law.

The adoption of the Rives Resolution by the Texas SBOE would be a major step toward ensuring that our schoolchildren are reading accurate history.

If Texas, one of the two largest textbook purchasers in the nation, refuses to accept any textbooks that do not meet the requirements of its Education Code, revenue-driven publishers will be forced to be accountable to those who pay for their books — the American taxpayers.

Dr. Carol Haynes earned her doctorate in Professional Education from The University of Memphis with a major in curriculum/instruction & a minor in administration/supervision with a collateral teaching area in social studies. She taught choral music, social studies and English in the Memphis City School system.   She later taught teacher education at The University of Memphis and history at the Community College where she also served as Chairman of the Social Sciences Department. She welcomes comments at chaynes777@yahoo.com

5 comments

  1. Screw the Muslims! If you don’t like here, haul you sorry asses back to where you came from. This is America, assimilate, learn to love it, or your free to leave. Just don’t let the camel kick you in the nads on the way out the door.

  2. Carole, I always enjoy your articles on education. The major battles fought in the world have mostly begun with the battle for the mind. I’m thinking of how Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, Pol Pot, Fidel Castro and Idi Amin. Had these butchers not been able to spread their mind poison, the world would not have lost tens of millions of people. The world now faces new butchers who are insidiously infiltrating our nation and starting with the minds of our young people. These new butchers are “RADICAL ISLAM” and they’re coming to our neighborhoods. I realize that not all Muslims are of the “radical” type. Those moderate or secular Muslims need to police the radicals or there will be bloodshed. We’ve already had bloodshed on our Texas soil, namely Ft. Hood. I don’t want to be suspicious of all Muslims but I’m becoming that way rapidly. If it’s the “religion of peace,” then they need to prove it. I see no evidence to support such a claim.

  3. The textbook industry is a CASH COW at all levels of education……………………As soon as people realize that simple fact perhaps we can get enough educators preparing critical thinking and problem solving skills.
    The textbooks the state of TEXAS issued for my classroom were checked in,signed for, stored on my bookshelves and checked in at the end of the year.
    Between that time my students were learning to research, think and problem solve.
    I always had more parents requesting that their children be placed in my classroom than I was able to accept.
    They had homework every night and weekend………………………..and parents were called in to explain whenever it was NOT completed.
    At least once ever 6 weeks one or both parents was required to visit my classroom and if they did NOT I visited their home.
    Billie speaks from the heart and much of it rings TRUE.
    Life is a learning experience. Learning requires making choices. Making Good Choices requires being able to research and use that information to make choices which requires CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS………………………………………………….which do NOT come from textbooks.
    Until EDUCATORS realize you cannot pound all children in the same hole.
    Until Parents realize their children are at the mercy of the EDUCATION SYSTEM for the majority of their waking hours.
    Until Children come prepared and excited about learning.
    It will make very little sense to expect ANY MORE than we are KNOW getting in our Public Schools.

  4. Finally, someone is speaking out about things that have been going on in this country for the last 10+ years. Now, if the SBOE will just pass the Rives Resolution it will be a first step in the right direction to rectifying the wrong done to our school children.

  5. IT IS OK TO TEACH HISTORY AND GEOGRAPY THAT TELLS THE TRUTH ABOUT COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD, BUT ONLY IF YOU TELL THE TRUTH. IT SHOULD NOT BE PUT INTO PLAY UNLESS YOU TEACH THE HATE THAT COMES FROM IT. AND PUT THE CHRISTIAN LOVE BACK IN SCHOOL.
    . THE SCHOOLS ARE SENDING THE BRAINS OF YOUNG PEOPLE IN THE WRONG DIRECTION.
    AND THE BIGEST PROBLEM WITH BEING ABLE TO TEACH IS ALL THE EXTRA JUNK YOU PEOPLE THINK UP JUST HOPING TO MAKE YOU SOME POINTS AND IT IS USELESS AND TAKES UP SPECIAL TIME THAT THE TEACHER COULD USE TEACHING PROPER CLASSES OF LEARNING. ALSO YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE TO GIVE THE TEACHERS THE RIGHTS TO GET THE KIDS UNDER CONTROL AND GET THE ATTENTION OF THE KIDS, ARE THEY CAN NOT EVER LEARN. YOU HAVE TO GET AN OLD MULES ATTENTION BEFORE YOU CAN GET HIM TO DO WHAT YOU NEED HIM TO DO. I THINK YOU PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO MAKE YOUR SELVES LOOK GOOD INSTEAD OF SEEING WHAT THE SCHOOLS NEED TO REALLY DO.YOU ARE WORKING IN A DREAM OF NO GOOD.

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