Montgomery County (MD) Public Schools (MCPS) and other school districts around the nation have voluntarily caved in to political correctness pressures regarding the way Islam is portrayed in classroom textbooks. No other religion in our pluralistic society enjoys such deference from public educators, let alone being allowed to dictate curriculum content. Not only is this a glaring double standard, it replaces fact-based education with multicultural propaganda. As The Examiner's Leah Fabel reported recently, MCPS approved "Across the Centuries" - a middle school textbook published by Houghton Miflin that defines "Jihad" as simply a spiritual struggle "to do one's best to resist temptation and overcome evil." Nothing is said about Jihad's other definition, which Middle East Forum director Daniel Pipes says has historically almost always meant one thing: expanding the territories ruled by Muslims through armed warfare.
Gilbert Sewall, director of the American Textbook Council, an independent group that flagged 10 widely used history textbooks similar to "Across the Centuries" in a recent report, found Islam generally portrayed as a model of interfaith tolerance, as opposed to Christianity, which was consistently described as the aggressor, contrary to the historical record. Prentice Hall's "The Modern World" even contains a whitewashed account that identifies the 9/11 Islamic jihadists merely as "teams of terrorists."
Sewall, a former Newsweek education writer, says such "major content distortion" – which is being peddled as historical fact to pre-teens who lack critical analysis skills - "is uniquely disturbing" regarding Islam. Counterintelligence officials in Britain warn the public that school-children as young as 13 are being groomed for terrorism right under their noses. The same brand of indoctrination may be happening here, too. Textbooks at the private Islamic Saudi Academy in Northern Virginia teach students that Muslims are allowed to kill adulterers and converts from Islam, as well as to take the life and property of unbelievers.
Any other religious denomination that taught such things would be investigated for hate crimes. Yet despite a recommendation by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom that this Saudi-owned and financed school for terrorists be closed down, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors extended its $2.2 million lease last month instead. Such "willful blindness" is rampant in the U.S. today, Seward told The Examiner. To continue such ignorance is to invite a life of second-class servitude.