The Christian Action Network has sent 500 school superintendents a report showing that many textbooks are biased against Israel and the West while whitewashing radical Islam. The report, authored by Citizens for National Security, examines 200 quotes from 30 textbooks used in Florida.
“[Students] aren’t being taught about the theological motivations behind radical Islam,” said Martin Mawyer, President of the Christian Action Network.
“The impression students are given is that terrorists are misguided fighters against Western imperialism and aggression, who are only wrong in their approach. It was amazing how many times the word ‘Palestine’ was used, making it sound like Israel was built on top of a conquered country,” he said.
The report lists several quotes from textbooks teaching students that the 9/11 attacks were a response to U.S. foreign policy. For example, one book says, “What were the sources of Muslim anger?…bin Laden declared that the attacks were a response to the ‘humiliation and disgrace’ that have afflicted the Islamic world for over eighty years.”
Another teaches that Bin Laden was motivated by the “military presence of the sacred soil of the Arabian peninsula and its support for Israel’s hostility to Palestinian nationalism.” The ideology of radical Islam is not discussed. While Bin Laden’s statements about the West’s foreign policies are mentioned, quotes about his ideology are not. For example, Raymond Ibrahim in “The Al-Qaeda Reader” brings to light this quote from Osama Bin Laden:
“In fact, Muslims are obligated to raid the lands of the infidels, occupy them, and exchange their systems of governance for an Islamic system, barring any practice that contradicts the sharia from being publicly voiced among the people, as was the case at the dawn of Islam.”
The texts also are also unfavorable to Israel. One textbook states, “Angered over the loss of their territory to Israel, some militant Palestinians responded with a policy of terrorist attacks.” In discussing the 1948 war, one textbook just says that “war soon broke out” without explaining that the Arabs invaded Israel with the objective of destroying it.
It then says, “By the end of the 1948 war, Israel controlled almost three fourths of Palestine, including land in the Negev Desert and half of Jerusalem. Jordan and Egypt divided the rest of Palestine between them.” Coupled together, it sounds if the war was one of conquest by Israel.
The report documents numerous instances where Islam is treated more favorably than Christianity. For example, one textbook states, “The Quran permitted fair, defensive war as jihad, or ‘struggle in the way of God,” and says that is how Islam expanded. Another selected quote is that Jews and Christians “have historically enjoyed religious freedom in many Muslim societies.”
“[Islamic forces] rarely imposed their religion by force on the local population…By contrast, Christian monks motivated by missionary fervor, converted many of the peoples of central and eastern Europe,” is another textbook excerpt included in the report.
Some textbooks took a blatantly skeptical stance towards the historical accuracy of Judaism and Christianity.
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