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Some people who monitor what your children are reading in their school textbooks say students are not getting the full story on the religion of Islam. In tonight's "America's Future" report, correspondent Eric Shawn says those experts and parents believe a lot of information about Islamic extremism is being left out.
"I was truly shocked by what I saw." Cindy Ross is the mother of a junior high school student in California who says she was stunned at how Islam is portrayed in her son't textbooks. "What did strike me was that all of the other religions seem to be lumped together whereas really there's an inordinate amount of emphasis on Islam specifically."
"The textbooks are biased -- there's plenty of misinformation." Gilbert Sewell is the author of the study "Islam in the Classroom: What the Textbooks Tell Us." He says publishers have been pressured by Islamic activists to portray their religion in the most favorable light ,while Islamic terrorism is downplayed. "Subjects like Jihad and Islamic law, the status of women are all whitewashed."
He cites "World History: The Modern World." On a page about Islamic fundamentalism, the book omits the 9/11 hijackers' religion, calling them "teams of terrorists." The book does say al-Qaeda carried out the attack. Sewell also points to how Islamic Jihad is described in the book "History Alive: The Medieval World and Beyond." It says, "Jihad is defined as a struggle within each individual to overcome difficulties and strive to please god. Sometimes it may be a physical struggle for protection against enemies." It makes no mention of holy war.
"For me the more important issue is American values of tolerance, respect mutual understanding -- should be upheld." Daisy Khan of the American Society for Muslim Advancement says students should learn more about their religion and and that extremists should not be the focus of their lessons. "We believe that American Muslims are being challenged right now, but the greatest way to challenge that is to provide accurate information, especially through our educational system."
The publishers of the two books have not return our calls for comment. But while some critics call Sewell's study "baseless propaganda," he indicates what's not being taught can be more important than what is. In New York, I'm Eric Shawn on Fox News.