August 12, 2022

Schools keep textbook that ‘whitewashes’ Islam

Board resists protests of ‘ridiculously biased’ curriculum

A school board in Florida, which wields considerable influence on the curricula of public schools nationwide, has decided to keep a controversial world history textbook that has been criticized for sanitizing Islam’s violent history while diminishing Christianity.

The decision Monday by the Volusia County board, without a formal vote, came after hearing four hours of public comment, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reported.

The dispute over the “World History” textbook published by Prentice Hall escalated earlier this month after a Deltona High School parent complained about its treatment of Islam to a friend, who organized a protest rally before the School Board’s scheduled Nov. 5 meeting. The meeting ended up being canceled due to unspecified “security concerns” raised by the U.S. Justice Department.

An opponent of the book at the hearing Monday, Walter Hanford, said it “whitewashes” the history of Islam, including the involvement of Muslims in the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, the Daytona Beach paper reported.

The Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations has called protests against the book “un-American.”

Wilfredo Ruiz, an attorney for CAIR-Florida, has insisted that opponents “just want to create an environment of intolerance toward Muslims and an environment of hate against Islam.”

CAIR, meanwhile, was named in 2007 by the U.S. Justice Department as an unindicted co-conspirator in a plot to fund the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas.

According to FBI wiretap evidence from a 1993 meeting of Muslim Brotherhood leaders and activists in Philadelphia, CAIR was formed to burnish the image of Muslims in the U.S. in support of the Brotherhood’s stated aim of “destroying Western civilization from within” and replacing it with Islamic rule.

More than 500 students at five Volusia high schools signed a petition in favor of keeping the textbook and the accompanying curriculum, the News-Journal reported.

“We hope that the School Board will respect our voices in the process of education and reject voices of intolerance and censorship,” the petition states.

Opponents argue the textbook favors Islam over other religions, noting it has a 36-page chapter on Islam but no chapters on Christianity or Judaism.

It declares that Muhammad is the “Messenger of God” while stating, in contrast, that “some believed” Jesus “was the messiah.”

It instructs students that jihad is a duty that Muslims must follow, Fox News reported last summer which Brevard Public Schools decided to keep the book amid protest..

“Jihad may be interpreted as a holy war to defend Islam and the Muslim community, much like the Crusades to defend Christianity,” the book states.

The News-Journal cited Armando Escalante of Port Orange, Fla., who at the Monday meeting called the book “ridiculously biased.”

“The whole history of Muslim is violence,” he said

As WND reported, experts say American students are not getting a realistic picture of radical Islam, and textbook publishers are promoting the religion in public schools.

WND reported in January 2012 a Christian group launched a campaign to make parents aware of the “World History” textbook and similar curriculum in schools in Florida, the third largest purchaser of public-school curriculum in the nation.

Martin Mawyer, president of Christian Action Network, whose group worked with Citizens for National Security on a study of the curriculum, said that among many other problems, students “aren’t being taught about the theological motivations behind radical Islam.”

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

WND previously reported the issue was raised by members of the public in the state’s Sarasota County School District.