Act for America, an organization dedicated to fighting Islamic Jihad in America, has released their long awaited study of pro-Isamic bias in public school textbooks “Education or Indoctrination? The Treatment of Islam in 6th through 12th Grade American Textbooks.”
The study was released on the heels of the February release of Citizens for National Security’s “Teacher’s Guide to Islam Biased Content in Florida’s K-12 Textbooks.” Brigit Gabriel, head of Act for America said in the introduction that The 229 page report set out ask these questions:
Thus the question posed by this Report. Does the manner in which Islam is generally presented in 6th through 12th grade public school textbooks constitute proper and appropriate education – or does it amount to indoctrination?
Is Islam presented in a manner in which facts are embellished and its virtues exaggerated, while unfavorable, negative or detrimental information about the religion is omitted, glossed over, understated, or rationalized, thus amounting to “indoctrination” rather than education?
Is Islam presented in a manner that leads students to predetermined conclusions about the religion that are unsupported by historical facts and critical analysis, amounting to “teach[ing] (a person or group) to accept a set of beliefs uncritically?”
This Report set out to address and answer these questions. For as the British philosopher and educator Richard Stanley Peters wrote: “What matters is not what any individual thinks, but what is true. A teacher who does not equip his pupils with the rudimentary tools to discover this is substituting indoctrination for teaching.”
The report, available from Act for America at no cost, looks at textbooks from early Islamic history to the present time, and find serious bias and that can only be for purposes of indoctrination. Here are some examples from the study:
Who perpetrated the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 – a group of men merely fighting “for a cause,” or a band of radical Muslims bent on violent jihad? The study points out that the former phrase is what is presented.
According to the study of 6th-12th grade textbooks used by schools across the country, America’s children are being taught a very different answer to that question than many alive to witness 9/11 remember.
For example, the report notes the textbook “World History: Patterns of Interaction,” published by McDougal Littell/Houghton Mifflin in 2007, glosses over the violent birth of Islam and paints its founder, Muhammad, in a glowing light.
“In Medina, Muhammad displayed impressive leadership skills,” the textbook asserts. “He fashioned an agreement that joined his own people with the Arabs and Jews of Medina as a single community. These groups accepted Muhammad as a political leader. As a religious leader, he drew many more converts, who found his message appealing.”
But did Muhammad win converts among and build a peace accord with the Jews? The study’s founders cite several sources and recorded histories in asserting this description is a bald-faced lie.
“This language is a gross falsification of the relationship between Muhammad and the Jews of Medina,” the report states. “Muhammad … expelled two of the Jewish tribes from Medina and destroyed the third, beheading the men and selling the women and children into slavery. This important and essential historical fact of the Medinan period is commonly omitted in the textbooks reviewed, and it is impossible for students to accurately understand the rise of Islam without it.”
The report also questioned the textbooks’ descriptions of jihad.
“An Islamic term that is often misunderstood is jihad,” asserts Houghton Mifflin’s 2003 textbook “Across the Centuries.” “The term means ‘to struggle,’ to do one’s best to resist temptation and overcome evil. Under certain conditions, the struggle to overcome evil may require action. The Qur’an and Sunna allow self-defense and participation in military conflict, but restrict it to the right to defend against aggression and persecution.”
“The term jihad is, indeed, ‘often misunderstood,’” the report replies, “primarily because faulty definitions like this are prevalent in academia and the media.
“First, this passage redundantly and incorrectly asserts that jihad warfare is solely defensive in nature,” the report continues. “According to the Qur’an , the mandate of jihad includes aggressive warfare for the explicit purpose of making Islam supreme over the entire world. For instance, Surah 9:5 commands Muslims to ‘fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, And seize them, beleaguer them, And lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war)’ (parenthetical in original). Surah 9:29 commands Muslims to make war upon ‘People of the Book [Christians and Jews], Until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, And feel themselves subdued.’”
The report’s executive summary concludes,
“It is clear that the textbooks examined throughout this report contain extensive amounts of material that is seriously historically flawed and often unmistakably biased.”
There is now an indisputable wealth of evidence from major studies from Citizens for National Security, The American Textbook Council and now the Act for America Study, that Islamic bias in textbooks is a serious problem that must be solved at the state and local school board level. Studies may be ordered at no charge by visiting these websites: