Monday, February 11, 2008

Madrassas for Arizona

March 09, 2005

Turning Arizona Public Schools Into Muslim Madrassas --IT'S ALREADY BEGUN

[Another long post, but more bloggy, with great chunks of other peoples' words. This may be blessing or curse, depending on the reader's taste for my prose. At any rate, read it and weep. Then get angry. Then do something. And remember the goal: No dhimmis here. Ever.]

by Jerome du Bois

Before we begin this very long post, a quick question for Arizona parents of middle-school students: if someone placed a pretty mat on the floor, told you to face in a certain direction, kneel, bow down, and repeat strange words five times a day for a month, would you do it? Your children will, before the end of the year. You can count on it, their grades will depend on it, and right now there's nothing you can do about it.

. . . it is hard to understand why, in an American textbook in which the birth and expansion of Islam gets 55 pages, the Middle Ages in Europe get merely seven, and the Byzantine Empire six. By way of contrast, the story of the Umayyad Muslims is told in seven pages, and even more peculiarly for students in a Western culture, a chapter about "Village Society in West Africa" takes up eight pages. --Rod Dreher, NRO, February 12, 2002, commenting on Across The Centuries, a seventh-grade social-studies textbook.

Michael H. Hart's top 100 list of the most influential people in the history of the world was presented to teach that Muhammad was #1, Sir Isaac Newton was #2 and Jesus was #3. --from an email to Daniel Pipes by FISH, February 27, 2005, about History Alive! The Medieval World and Beyond, a newer seventh-grade social-studies textbook.

Schools and campuses are no exceptions as places where Islam can be victorious. . . . We should use every opportunity to sensitize non-Muslim peers and school staff to Islam and to establish an environment in which everywhere a non-Muslim turns, he notices Islam portrayed in a positive way, is influenced by it and eventually accepts Islam.--from DawaNet, "How To Make America An Islamic Nation." (See Pipes here.)

Coming soon to an elementary school near you: mandatory indoctrination in Islamic customs and practices. According to The Kansas City Star, third-, fourth- and fifth-graders in Herndon, Virginia, are to be given lessons in the three Rs: Reading, ‘Riting, and Ramadan. During this instruction, public school children will play act being Muslims, and, perhaps unwittingly, convert to Islam. -- Alexis Amory, FrontPage, October 20, 2004.

On February 23, 2005, the Arizona Republic ran a story about Scottsdale Unified School District Superintendent John M. Baracy, a Ph.D who makes over $200,000 per year. [Email is:] The subject: he changed six job titles. It was cute. From Anne Ryman's article:

She used to be known as the receptionist.

Now she's the Director of First Impressions.

Barbara Levine is one of several employees in the Scottsdale Unified School District whose job titles have changed in a sharp departure from the traditional titles that parents grew up using.

National workplace experts say they are unaware of another school district in the United States that has changed its titles so dramatically, and they disagree over whether the new titles, which are designed to reflect the district's commitment to learning, are good. Parents, they say, could become confused over whom to contact if they have a complaint.

Was the school bus late? Blame the "transporter of learners," formerly the bus driver.

Got a problem with your school principal? Take it up with the 10-word "executive director for elementary schools and excelling teaching and learning," formerly known as the assistant superintendent of elementary schools.

Sound confusing or like hyperbole?

Scottsdale Superintendent John Baracy, who created the new titles for about a half-dozen employees, doesn't think so.

"This is to make a statement about what we value in the district. We value learning," said Baracy, who pledges to back up the new titles with better customer service.

Better customer service? I'm impressed --at first-- but I have a question for Dr. "Excelling" Baracy on a lot less whimsical subject than job titles. In fact, I address my question to everyone on the Governing Board. [Email is:] This means you--

Mrs. Christine Schild, President, appointed 2002, three sons in Scottsdale schools;
Mrs. Jennifer Petersen, appointed 2004, three children in Scottsdale schools;
Ms. Karen Beckvar, appointed 2002;
Mrs. Molly Holzer, appointed 2004, two children in Scottsdale schools; and
Dr. Eric Meyer, appointed 2004, two children in Scottsdale schools--

--and the first one to answer gets a Muslim-approved forehead-activated prayer-rug buzzer. Here's my question:

With all this valuing of learning going on, why won't you allow a seventh-grade social studies textbook to go home with the student? You know, one of your "customers"?

Could it be because it champions, foregrounds, and whitewashes Islam?

At least one Scottsdale father wants to know. Read his recent comment (links added by me) on Daniel Pipes's website, responding to Pipes's November 24, 2004 article, Teaching Islam in American Schools:

Submitted by FISH (, February 27, 2005 at 10:45

Excellent article, Dr. Pipes, and thank you for taking the time to write it!

My child is in the 7th grade in Scottsdale, Arizona. The school's officially adopted social studies textbook is titled Across the Centuries and is published by Houghton Mifflin. However, Across the Centuries has been shelved and the school is piloting a brand new book from Teacher's Curriculum Institute, aka TCI, titled History Alive! The Medieval World and Beyond (this book is not permitted to go home). In my opinion, this book is highly biased towards Islam, historically incorrect and also includes fake history along with Islamic religious proselytizing and indoctrination techniques.

The school has spent approximately 5 weeks of the third quarter grading period teaching Islam to 12 and 13 year olds. The children had to write a full biography on the life of Muhammad, using the information from the textbook --an extremely indoctrinating exercise. This biography will be a large portion of their grade for the 8 week period. Michael H. Hart's top 100 list of the most influential people in the history of the world was presented to teach that Muhammad was #1, Sir Isaac Newton was #2 and Jesus was #3. The school hosted two professional Muslim speakers, from the Islamic Speakers Bureau of Arizona, to speak to all 7th grade social studies classes. This took one whole day. The Muslim speakers brought prayer rugs and taught the children to pray the Muslim way. I also believe that there were recitations from the Koran and possibly an Islamic "fashion show".

To the best of my knowledge, in this Islamic program, there are none of the negative aspects of Islam touched upon. It is my opinion that in the book, History Alive! The Medieval World and Beyond, Christians are trounced and portrayed as murderers of the Muslim and Jewish people. The Jewish people are only mentioned, and very briefly, in order to be victimized, persecuted and murdered by the Christians. All the while, Islam builds great and grand new empires, has many great and wonderful achievements in architecture, education, science, geography, mathematics, medicine, literature, art and music, and ultimately rules benevolently over the Jewish and Christian people.

Islamic indoctrination in American education is a highly successful insidious industry that is extremely well organized, well connected, legally savvy, brazenly influential, and without successful opposition. When individuals complain to the schools, we often find ourselves engaged in a seriously daunting uphill battle. There should be an opposing and equally aggressive and well connected organization of people who are willing to stop the Islamization of our school children and of our public schools. This is a big job. Sharing information, increasing awareness and being connected are half the battle.

There is a large amount of information available about the Islamization of public school textbooks. Of course, Daniel Pipes' website is a good place to start. Check The Textbook League and William Bennetta, The American Textbook Council and Gilbert Sewall for starters. Search the internet using terms like Islamic indoctrination in public schools, textbooks promote Islam, Islamic dawa in public schools, Across the Centuries criticism, Serge Trifkovic Across the Centuries, Textbooks for Jihad by Lee Kaplan, Look who's teaching Johnny about Islam by Paul Sperry, etc. . . You will find many articles and one will lead to the next and so on . . .

I feel strongly that religious studies should not be taught in public elementary, middle or high schools. Religious studies can be offered in public colleges to adults who are able to make their own choices about what they want to be "fed." I wish that the people in charge of our children's public education felt the same way!

I've never heard of a school textbook that the student was forbidden to take home, and neither has my wife, a former teacher. While we're waiting for Dr. Baracy and the SUSD Governing Board's answer to this anomaly, we will explore further this Islamic insinuiation campaign, which did not burst onto the Scottsdale scene two weeks ago like a saddle sore. It goes back years. For example, the "shelved" book Across The Centuries is just as egregious and misleading at the book that replaced it, is used in many school districts nationwide, was read by John Walker Lindh, for example --and was first published in 1991.

I'll be taking us back about ten years, in reverse order, to see what American Muslims have in store for you and me. (I can give you the short version in two words, though: The Borg.) But before we jump, I'd like to point to who has paid attention to this educational scandal, and who has ignored it. Nationally, Charles Johnson and his commenters covered a lot in one posting. Instapundit had a one-sentence link after a story about Al Qaeda in Tucson. Solomania has a mention. Rantburg had a fat quote and some good comments. As for local political blogs, I confess I barely glance at them. But I checked in with Blog for Arizona, a Dean hangover site. No mention. Then I used the blogroll there to check out over three dozen Arizona sites. Nada. (Oh, had a cute little follow-up on the job title thing.) Finally, what about Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser a Phoenix physician, organizer of the only "Moderate Muslim March" yet, and Chairman of the American Islamic Forum For Democracy? Who even has access to's blog, pluggedin? Anything from him . . . ? No. Silence from the Doctor.

We're on our own here. Get on the bus, dear learner, while I transport us back --in-- time.

Less than a year ago, on April 25, 2004, there was a rally in downtown Phoenix organized by Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser. Several sources describe it in several ways, but the pitch was "Muslims for moderation, and against terrorism." I mention it here to provide some local context, because it was so recent, and because the turnout, from a Muslim community of 50,000-plus, was so pitifully small.

Since our children are grown and gone, we don't monitor local educational policies and programs. But we sure have the antennae out for Islam. In fact, to make our position about Islam clear, here I'll republish the main part of Seven Statements For Muslims, which I first posted on November 2, 2004 --Re-Election Day (joy), and the day Theo van Gogh was ritualistically murdered (sorrow) by a Muslim, in a Muslim way, for Muslim reasons (anger):

1. The Jews are not a question mark. (Thought experiment: Imagine a history of the world without any contributions by Muslims. Now imagine the same without Jews.)

2. Women are equal to men. They are not property or chattel or anything less than any man, and indeed superior to any man who thinks women should be anything less than any man.

3. The Qu'ran was not orally or mentally channelled inerrantly to Mohammed by the Angel Gabriel. It is a palimpsest, edited, abridged, and extended over many years. This is just historical fact, attested to by the Hijazi Ultraviolets.

4. Allah isn't alone. He shares the world with all the gods in Mecca's cave, and Yahweh, Shiva, Chango, The Everywhere Spirit, Ein Sof, and many more.

5. I don't trust your words. You have a practice called Taqiyya: "Muslims hold that the Islamic version of dissimulation is applied only externally with the tongue and not internally (on the heart, spirit, and soul). In other words, a Muslim is allowed to say untruths to a non-Muslim if in their heart they still respect the truths that they externally deny." (Definition from And you want us to trust Muslims? No. Because of taqiyya, I cannot believe a single thing any Muslim says.

6. There is nothing spiritual or mystical about the Arabic language. It may not even be of Arabian origin; evidence suggests it originated in the Levant. So chanting anything in Arabic, or writing it down, is no different than chanting or writing in English or German or Urdu or Spanish or Esperanto.

7. There will be no more one-way tolerance. One man, one vote, once don't go 'round here. Submission is not in our law, our tradition, our Constitution, or our blood, habibi.

Opposition, stubborness: now, that's another matter.

With that settled . . . As soon as I saw FISH's emailed comment over at Daniel Pipes --Scottsdale? That's in my Valley!-- I started Googling and digging.

History Alive! is part of an entire K-12 curriculum. The new middle-school text with its Islamic emphasis may be a pilot program here, but some California parents know well an earlier high-school version, with its bias against Israel. On October 3, 2003, the online magazine j., the Jewish News Weekly of Northern California, published an article by Alexandra J. Wall:

A Middle East curriculum used in some local high schools is strongly biased against Israel, the S.F.-based Jewish Community Relations Council is charging.

The offending curriculum, the “History Alive!” series distributed by the Rancho Cordova-based Teachers’ Curriculum Institute, was discovered by a Santa Rosa parent who not only brought it to the attention of the JCRC but filed a complaint against Maria Carrillo High School.

The parent, an attorney, did not want to be named in j. but he is angry.

First, he found a textbook he found factually incorrect. But what he saw in some supplemental materials was even worse.

The supplementary materials provided by TCI have so many inaccuracies that the section on the Arab-Israeli conflict shouldn’t be used, according to the JCRC’s report.

One especially offensive activity, the JCRC said, divides the students into two groups. There are the “Pads,” whose ancestors have lived in the Land of Pad for thousands of years, and the “Jeds,” who are told: “Your ancestors used to live in the Land of Z, which you believe was given them by God. Your ancestors were forced to leave the Land of Z 2,000 years ago, and your people have been scattered throughout the world ever since.”

The exercise has the teacher, acting as “the Great Power,” favoring the Jeds over the Pads in trying to reach a small, overcrowded plot of land bordered by desks in the classroom. The Pads and Jeds debate whom it belongs to, and the teacher is to act unimpressed by whatever the Pads have to say, while agreeing with the Jeds.

Jackie Berman, the JCRC’s education specialist co-authored the JCRC study with Yitzhak Santis, the JCRC’s Middle East director.

That exercise is perhaps the most egregious example, the JCRC maintains, but there are many such problems in the curriculum, causing Berman to conclude: “That’s why it can’t really be fixed, by saying, ‘Change this around or that.’ It’s just permeated with this kind of bias.”

Neither Berman nor a TCI spokeswoman knew how widely the TCI curriculum is used in this area, but Berman said she had been in touch with the JCRC in Chicago, where schools were also using it. According to the company’s Web site,, TCI programs are used by more than 1,000 school districts across the nation, and there are testimonials from California officials from Fremont Union High and Cupertino Unified school districts.

On Monday, Berman and Jonathan Bernstein, director of the Central Pacific region of the Anti-Defamation League, met with the assistant superintendent of the Santa Rosa City School District, Steve Butler. The ADL has dealt with the TCI curriculum on a national level.

Butler said the district tried to solve the complaint filed by the parent informally, as is district procedure. When they were unable to, they convened a committee of four educators not connected to the school to review the offending materials.

The committee found that with supplementary information, including some provided by the parent, as well as the JCRC’s report, multiple points of view were represented, Butler said.

The conclusion the panel came to was that the materials “are not perfect, but they weren’t at a point where they needed to be censored or banned,” he said. “This is making a mountain out of a molehill for us.”

That response does not please those at the JCRC. A copy of the report is set to be sent off to TCI shortly. And Santis said this will be an ongoing story.

“We’re not satisfied,” said Santis. “If the Santa Rosa school district acknowledges it’s flawed, why are they using it? We urge that the school district drop this curriculum completely.”

The district’s response certainly was not enough for the offended parent either. He said he is not only filing a complaint against the teacher, but plans to continue the appeal to the state department of education and is willing to file a lawsuit, if necessary.

This effort paid off. On February 14, 2004, Ms. Wall followed up with another story:

A textbook company has agreed to rewrite its unit on the Middle East after the S.F.-based Jewish Community Relations Council issued a report claiming it was biased against Israel.

The JCRC report concluded that the supplemental materials that go along with the Teachers Curriculum Institute’s “History Alive!” textbooks were too filled with inaccuracies and so biased that they should not be used.

Jim Lobdell, senior director of TCI in Rancho Cordova, estimated that it could take a year to update the Middle East curriculum, but in the best-case scenario, it will be done sooner. In the meantime, a notice appears on TCI’s Web site that warns teachers to use discretion with the existing unit.

All current TCI customers will receive the new materials at no charge.

Last fall, the parent of a student at Santa Rosa’s Maria Carrillo High School complained to school officials not only about the textbook his son was using — which he said was biased against Israel — but about the supplemental materials. When the school district refused to stop using the materials, he took the matter to the JCRC, which, upon reading the chapter in question, became alarmed.

This prompted Jackie Berman, the JCRC’s education specialist, and Yitzhak Santis, JCRC Middle East director, to write a report analyzing point by point how the curriculum was flawed. A back and forth ensued with TCI, which sent the report to scholars of its choosing to offer their opinions.

A JCRC board member sent the report to attorney Alan Dershowitz. The board member called Dershowitz’s assistant to see if he would be willing to look at the materials as well as the report, and he did.

“I agree completely that the historical distortions and factual mistakes that appear throughout the curriculum make it unacceptable for classroom use and I hope that the proper authorities will seriously consider your criticisms,” Dershowitz wrote.

Lobdell said that the JCRC’s report prompted TCI leadership to seek the opinions of additional scholars and teachers on the unit in question.

“The feedback we got from them and the context of the events since 9/11 and the heightened sensitivities around the issues in the Middle East prompted us to update the lessons that we have,” said Lobdell.

Which is cause for cautious celebration at the JCRC. “Of course we’ll be watching,” said Berman, “but we’re hoping it turns out right now.”

Since TCI’s decision, the Santa Rosa school district has stopped using its materials.

What concerns me here is that it apparently doesn't matter if Scottsdale is using the "new materials" or the old materials: either is unacceptable as a portrayal of truth. More importantly, the earlier text, Across The Centuries, was flawed as well.

On February 11, 2002, Daniel Pipes posted Think Like A Muslim [,Urges "Across The Centuries"]. The heart of the piece:

. . . But the really serious problem concerns the covert propagation of Islam, which takes four forms:

* Apologetics: Everything Islamic is praised; every problem is swept under the rug.

Students learn about Islam's "great cultural flowering," but nothing about the later centuries of statis and decline. They read repeatedly about the Muslims' broadmindedness (they "were extremely tolerant of those they conquered") but not a word about their violence (such as the massacres carried out by Muhammad's troops against the Jews of Banu Qurayza).

* Distortion: Jihad, which means "sacred war," turns into a struggle mainly "to do one's best to resist temptation and overcome evil." Islam gives women "clear rights" not available in some other societies, such as the right to an education? This ignores the self-evident fact that Muslim women enjoy fewer rights than perhaps any other in the world. ("Across the Centuries" implicitly acknowledges this reality by blaming "oppressive local traditions" for their circumstances.)

* Identification as Muslims: Homework assignments repeatedly involve mock-Muslim exercises. "Form small groups of students to build a miniature mosque." Or: "You leave your home in Alexandria for the pilgrimage to Mecca. . . . write a letter describing your route, the landscapes and peoples you see as you travel and any incidents that happen along the way. Describe what you see in Mecca."

And then there is this shocker: "Assume you are a Muslim soldier on your way to conquer Syria in the year A.D. 635. Write three journal entries that reveal your thoughts about Islam, fighting in battle, or life in the desert."

* Piety: The textbook endorses key articles of Islamic faith. It informs students as a historical fact that Ramadan is holy "because in this month Muhammad received his first message from Allah." It asserts that "the very first word the angel Gabriel spoke to Muhammad was 'Recite.' " It explains that Arabic lettering "was used to write down God's words as they had been given to Muhammad." And it declares that the architecture of a mosque in Spain allows Muslims "to feel Allah's invisible presence."

By 2002, this book had been in use 11 years. This fact made me think about John Walker Lindh. Did he use this book? The answer is yes.

During 2002, the American Textbook Council formally studied and researched seven major history and social studies textbooks. They published a report in February 2003, and a reply to critics the following December. (Both available in pdf on their website. You may also peruse eye-opening excerpts on jihad and sharia.) Earlier this year, their website published an update, part of which I excerpt below, with my emphases:

During the last two years, beginning with the American Textbook Council report, "Islam in the Classroom," published in February 2003, several reviews, articles and books have documented bias and evasions in world history textbooks on the subjects of militant Islam and Islamic terrorism. Textbooks misrepresent the scope and aims of militant Islam, critics agree. They contain fallacies and untruths about jihad, sharia, slavery, status of Muslim women, terrorism, and tolerance.

These reviews independently reach the same conclusions. Most conspicuously, history textbooks distort the meaning of jihad. Houghton Mifflin's seventh-grade text, Across the Centuries, has come in for singular criticism. Houghton Mifflin's books dominate the nation's largest state, but they are in no way worse on this score than competing textbooks. Textbooks make no distinction between sharia and Western law, and they pretend that women are making great strides in the Islamic world, when all evidence indicates otherwise. Social studies textbooks ignore the global ambitions of militant Islam. They fail to explain that Muslim terrorists seek to destroy the United States and Israel. They omit geopolitical goals that include theocracy and world domination by religion.

Islamic organizations act as domestic textbook "censors." Strictly speaking, since only governments censor books, the Islamists are merely agents of suppression, using educational publishers to do their bidding. But for years, publishers have ignored -- "stonewalled" -- those who have pressed them about motives, funding, legal status, and strong-arm tactics on the part of their Muslim "consultants."

Now comes a test. Are new textbooks that publishers plan to introduce in California in the next few months going to correct Islam-related errors and tell the truth about terrorism? Or will California succumb to the potent Islamist lobby and its attendant multiculturalists in the state? We'll have a better idea next spring, when publishers, including Houghton Mifflin, submit their new and revised textbooks in Sacramento.

Anyone who is interested in world history or how Islam is covered in social studies classes should pay attention to a new seventh grade history textbook, History Alive! The Medieval World and Beyond. The textbook and its instructional materials are now being piloted in Scottsdale, Arizona. The program is almost certainly to be submitted in the important California adoption this spring.

What's the Muslim educational lobby like in Arizona? I have no idea, but I'll be checking it out for sure. I hope these chunks of quotations have been carving out the story for the reader as well. But there's more.

In 1994, Valerie Moore took her daughter to school one day.

Valerie Moore says her daughter "was indoctrinated in the Islamic religion for over four months while in the seventh grade" in 1994. Moore expressed shock in arriving at Joseph Kerr Junior High School in Elk Grove, Calif., one day and being greeted by a "huge banner on the front grounds of the school that read 'There is one God, Allah, and Mohammed is his prophet.'" Moore also recounts witnessing "children dressed in Muslim attire, chanting from the Koran and praying while marching around the cabala. [sic]" Moore recalls the banner being up all day.

"What if we put up a sign that says 'Jesus is Lord' for 30 minutes? Oh, no. You can't do that – separation of church and state," Moore laments. "They aren't just teaching them about Islam; they have them practicing it. They have them kneeling down and praying to Allah. I have a problem with that. That's more like inculcation." Moore says when she complained to the school officials she was ridiculed and yelled at.

This was in 1994. This excerpt is from the fanatical Christian website, which I won't link to. That doesn't change the facts, though. This kind of thing is proliferating in schools across the land: invasion of the mind-snatchers. (Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they don't want to turn your kids into Muslims.) When I'm done here, please follow FISH's advice and Google those links I've made available in his comment.

In the meantime, we may ask, as Lowell Ponte did in FrontPage on December 3, 2003,

How did such a textbook get written and approved? It was launched in accord with California policy in 1991, which wanted such a book to advance the state’s multi-culturalist, inclusive agenda.

(America by some accounts is now home to more Muslims than Presbyterians and is adjusting its culture and politics accordingly. But it’s worth noting that of the world population of 1.2 billion Muslims –-one in five human beings-– the majority is non-Arab. The five nations with the largest Muslim populations, according to the CIA World Factbook, are Indonesia, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan), and Turkey –-with a combined Muslim population above 650 million. The next five with the most Muslims include Nigeria, Ethiopia and Persian Iran, with only Egypt and Morocco as nominally “Arabic” nations in the top ten. And yet the pro-Muslim multiculturalist agenda would lead people to believe that Islam is a predominately Arab faith, perhaps because of its origin in Saudi Arabia.)

In 1990 a new man was named its Chairman and Chief Executive Office at this textbook’s publisher Houghton Mifflin, and in 1991 he was also given the title President at the company. He was Nader F. Darehshori, who before coming to the United States in “the early 1960s,” as his short biography tells, was for a year a teacher “in a one-room elementary school in his native Iran.”

Iran, of course, is an overwhelmingly-Islamic country.

The textbook was published with approval by the Council on Islamic Education (CIE), formed in 1988 to promote a better treatment of the subject of Islam in such texts. But, reportedly, according to one Houghton Mifflin executive CIE not only reviewed the book for errors and insensitivities after it was written, but also supplied information about the crusades that was incorporated into the textbook itself. [Dhimmi Watch has the skinny on the unscrupulous CIE.]

But how did the Scottsdale pilot program for the new book originate? Why Scottsdale? Because it's unified, K-12, we'll get 'em young and keep 'em? Because Across the Centuries was building up too much negative baggage, bogged down and barnacled with controversy?

But exactly how did this book get into the classroom --and once there, must never leave? Who decided that?

Who knows? I've emailed FISH to ask him why he does not have a copy of that book in his hand. He hasn't replied yet. I'm not questioning his behavior; I really want clarification of school district policy. Did he demand a copy of the book, and they refused? I'm emailing everyone I can think of as soon as I finish this post.

Will Arizona follow California, smoothing the path for Islamification? Despite the huffing about pilot program, California is way ahead of Arizona in educational dhimmitude. I checked out the guidelines for studying Islam recommended by the History–Social Science Curriculum Framework and Criteria Committee of the California Board of Education in their report for the California Department of Education, October 11, 2001 (which reaffirms the 1998 guidelines):

In this unit students examine the rise of Islam as a religion and as a civilization. Attention should be given to the historic events of A.D. 636–651 when Arab armies reunited the ancient Middle East. Students should analyze the geographic and economic significance of the trade routes between Asia and Europe that were used by Arab merchants. They should consider the importance of a common literary language (Arabic) and religion (Islamic) in unifying the many ethnic groups of this region. The religious ideas of Mohammed, the founder of Islam, should be discussed both for their ethical teachings and as a way of life. Mohammed should be seen as a major historical figure who helped establish the Islamic way of life, its code of ethics and justice, and its rule of law. Students should examine the position of Christians and Jews in the Islamic world who, as “People of the Book,” were allowed to practice their religious beliefs. Contributions of Islamic scholars, including mathematicians, scientists, geographers, astronomers, and physicians from many ethnic groups, should be emphasized and their relationship to Greek thought acknowledged. Scholars at Baghdad and Córdoba, the two great centers of Muslim learning, helped to preserve much of the learning of the ancient world; and, by the end of the ninth century, they added important new discoveries of their own in mathematics, medicine, geography, history, and science. Attention should be paid to the flowering of Jewish civilization in Córdoba, where poets, philosophers, and scholars established a vibrant culture.

Anything about those guidelines seem unusually greasy to you?

These guidelines were reaffirmed two days ago at the conclusion of the 2005 California Council for the Social Studies Conference at the Airport Hyatt Regency in San Francisco. (Pdf available from Google here.) According to the pdf of the Conference Schedule, there were dozens of workshops on dozens of subjects. None of them covered specific aspects of Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, or Buddhism. But the following workshops were offered:

--Standards Based Unit Projects for 7th Grade World History MS
Greg Clifton, Teacher , JL Stanford MS, Palo Alto; Jason Dickinson

Three standards based unit projects will be shared from the topics of Islam, Medieval Japan and Medieval/Renaissance Europe. Project descriptions and rubrics will be provided. Student examples will be shown.

--Making Sense of Differing Interpretations of Islam MS SH G
Munir Shaikh, Council on Islamic Education, Shabbir Mansuri

What are Islam’s true teachings, and who decides? Find out how to make sense of Muslim’s diversity. Learn how religion, culture, politics and other factors affect our perceptions of Islam.

--What Do State Standards Say Regarding Teaching About Religion? MS SH G
Munir Shaik, Council on Islamic Education, Shabbir Mansuri

This session will provide participants with an overview of how the standards of California and other states address teaching about religion. Is there consensus on how to cover religion?

--Creative Ways to Teach About the Middle East in our Schools, Grades 6-10 MS SH
Ron Pahl, Professor, CSU Fullerton; Connie DeCapita

Lots of exciting lessons on how to teach about the Middle East in the classroom. Traditional peoples, their cultures, map work, Israel/Palestine, the US Iraqi invasion & other modern critical issues.

Daniel Pipes put it succinctly: why is Islam priveleged in our public schools over every other religion? My answer is: because they're pushy and motivated, and American non-Muslims are complacent and lazy.

What are you going to do, Scottsdalians, Arizonans? Let the Arizona Muslims turn your children into little dhimmis, banging their foreheads on the floor five times a day for Allah? Don't let it happen. In the name of the future of America, don't let it happen!

Posted by Jerome at March 9, 2005 01:20 AM | TrackBack

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