The Texas State Board of Education approved a resolutiontoday that requires publishers to correct a "pro-Islamic/anti-Christian bias" in future world history textbooks.
The resolution, which narrowly passed 7-6, cites instances of an alleged emphasis on unfavorable events in Christian history as told in school textbooks, while claiming that the same textbooks gloss over similar events in Islamic history.
"What we're trying to do is prohibit and send a clear message to the publishers that [the bias] should not happen in the future," board member Terri Leo said.
The Lone Star State has a reputation for dictating what publishers, which must abide by state policy or probably forfeit significant sales, can include in textbooks. Nevertheless, because all of the textbooks cited in the resolution have not been used in Texas schools since 2003, it is unclear what immediate effect the policy will have on publishers.
"This is a cosmetic exercise," board member Mavis Knight told the Austin American-Statesman.
Kathy Miller, president of the Texas Freedom Network, a liberal organization opposed to the potential policy, said afterward that the resolution was politically motivated.
"Board members rejected numerous opportunities today to pass a resolution that called on publishers to treat all religions with balance and accuracy in their textbooks," Miller said in a statement. "It is hard not to conclude that the members who voted for this resolution were solely interested in playing on fear and bigotry in order to pit Christians against Muslims."