Thursday, September 23, 2010

Texas Board of Education to Vote on Pro-Islamic Bias in Textbooks

This coming Friday the Texas State Board of Education will be taking a vote on textbooks.  This will have nothing to do with important dates or grammar, but something that something potentially insidious: brainwashing of students.

Critics of new textbooks have called on the BoE to investigate and vote on several passages in new textbooks that they believe have a "pro-Islamic bias."  According to Republican member of the Texas Board of Education Don McLeroy, the only reason why Islam is getting a favorable writing is because "Academia wants to lean over backwards to be politically correct and not be labeled ethnocentric, so it's kind of a cultural relativism."

McLeroy and other critics of the textbooks cite the fact that Islamic beliefs and rituals are discussed more than twice as long as Christian beliefs, 248 lines to 120.  They are also upset with "politically-correct whitewashes of Islamic culture and stigmas on Christian civilization" as well as "sanitized definitions of 'jihad' that exclude religious intolerance or military aggression against non-Muslims."

Possibly most damning is one textbook that McLeroy cited, a 2003 textbook entitled "World Civilizations."  In its table of contents, Christianity and Judaism are not listed what-so-ever.  Islam, however, is mentioned multiple times.

Barbara Cargill, another member of the Board of Education, stated that the vote against Islamic bias is "not meant to be divisive; it's actually meant to ensure equality and fairness and is not favoring Christianity over any religion."
A rally over textbooks
 Not everyone is in favor of changing textbooks, however.  Reverend Bobbi Kaye Jones, a prominent member of the Austin District of the United Methodist Church, stated, "As leaders from faith communities across Texas, we urge the state board to reject this misleading and inflammatory resolution."  He believes that the textbooks are fine the way they are.

Because Texas is one of the biggest buyers of American textbooks, much of what students will learn across the country depends on this vote.  It is being held on Friday.

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  1. To the board please do the right thing

  2. Who the hell is writing these books?