While all of us were shouting about freedom and due process, and the Left was screaming back about sexual predators, the continuous creep of Islam continued unabated. I came across three programs that are paid for with our tax dollars: a program with the innocuous title, Primary Source; a program developed for Newton, MA schools by the Harvard Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES); and a program funded by the Department of Education and distributed by PBS, called Access Islam. I'd like to describe each one and then offer some thoughts.
Recently The Federalist printed a story about a high school in Newton, MA that was teaching classes that were anti-Semitic. In particular a history teacher, David Bedar attended a five-day summer teacher training course for teaching about "the dynamics of the Middle East." Called Primary Source, the program is funded by the Mass Cultural Council, Mass Humanities, the Cummings Foundation and lastly, the Qatar Foundation International. Bedar's course is filled with anti-Israel and anti-Semitic lies and distortions. The Federalist presented an example:
You can read the article for additional "perspectives"; The Federalist explains that some of the "data" is not part of the Primary Source program, but Bedar's own creations.
Here's Bedar's 'Israeli perspective': 'During the war [of Israeli independence] there were a number of massacres, robbery and rape by Jewish fighters.' His 'Palestinian perspective'? The Palestinians say they 'had been exposed to the most barbaric kinds of torture and immoral and inhuman practices' by Jewish fighters.
Both statements are highly misleading. The first is neither a mainstream Israeli perspective nor a factual one, while the second is hysteric slander. Arab violence, on the other hand, is given the opposite propaganda treatment. According to Bedar's 'Israeli Perspective,' the Arab anti-Semitic orgies of slaughter prior to Israel's independence are characterized antiseptically as '[t]he riots of 1920, 1929 and 1936,' and the Arab leaders who instigated them as simply 'unscrupulous.'
The controversy in Newton, however, didn't blow up until Newton Public Schools invited the Harvard Center for Middle Eastern Studies to assist history teachers in developing "new resources in the classroom to teach on the conflict in Israel and the Occupied Territories." Funding for the program came primarily from Saudi petrodollars. Eighty Newton Public School teachers were trained on April 20, 2010. After the training, complaints from parents began to roll in. But the controversy did not erupt until June 2018 when 70 parents showed up at a Newton Public School Board meeting to protest. Although Superintendent David Fleishman had promised to remedy the situation, nothing had changed. Outrage came to a head after the May 2 Middle East Day, where a film was shown that was modeled after Schindler's List, but instead of Nazis killing Jews, Jews were shown killing Palestinians.
In August, a lawsuit was filed:
But the discovery that I found most disturbing was a program developed by the Department of Education called Access Islam.
A community group called Education Without Indoctrination (EWI) filed a lawsuit on behalf of three Newton taxpayers against the Newton School Committee in Massachusetts Superior Court, claiming numerous violations of the Massachusetts Open Meeting Law 'stemming from the school committee's handling of a burgeoning scandal over anti-Semitic lessons and the promotion of Islamic religious beliefs as objective facts in the public school district's history classes,' according to a statement from the Boston-based organization Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT).
The program began under President George W. Bush to educate students about the traditions and culture of Islam, and was greatly expanded under the President Obama administration. It is distributed by PBS:
Martin Mawyer, President and Founder of the Christian Action Network (CAN) has written a formal complaint to US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, PBS President Paula Kerger, and Ohio State University President Michael Drake, "arguing that Islam receives preferential treatment in public school curriculum when compared with Christianity, Judaism and other world religions." Here is an interview by Tucker Carlson with Mr. Mawyer.
The program, written for Grades 5 – 12, has students learning verses from the Quran and Hadith. Students must not only learn the verses, but give the religious 'meaning' of those verses and explain how they use them in their daily lives.
The program also includes a video presentation on how to perform a Muslim prayer, use a prayer rug and wash prior to praying.
Students are also shown a video of a Muslim who converted from Christianity and claims Islam 'is the true worship of God.' The video instructs children to 'submit yourself' to Allah.
I'm relieved to know that people are taking action against these efforts to promote Islam and indoctrinate our children. At the same time, several questions have not been answered:
How many children have already been indoctrinated?
Which schools will continue to offer this type of propaganda taught as "education?"
What other anti-Semitic, anti-Israel, and pro-Palestinian programs are being offered in schools?
How prepared are parents to fight a system that is determined to be "politically correct?"
It's important to remember that Islamists are patient and willing to work within the system. The Muslim Brotherhood, an umbrella for many Islamist groups located in the US, has not modified its mission to spread Islam and sharia law worldwide.
If we are not vigilant, they may be successful.