Adopting Pro-Sharia Textbooks

by ALYSSA A. LAPPEN January 12, 2012
 
One of the books that has been the subject of concern over its pro-Islamic bias.
 
In August 2011, a Marietta, Ga. 7th grade teacher gave a three-page homework lesson from InspirEd Educators Inc. of Roswell, Ga. to students to help them discuss pros and cons of school uniforms. “Women in the West do not have the protection of the Sharia as we do,” declared a letter from a Saudi wife named Ahlima. “If our marriage has problems, my husband can take another wife rather than divorce me, and I would still be cared for.” She's glad that Saudi women “have the Sharia.” When parents objected to the assignment's pro-Islam stance, the school district changed the curriculum.
 
In 2010, Act for America compiled research from former assistant education secretary Diane Ravitch, American Textbook Council and Textbook League on how 38 public school texts handled Islam; last month, Christian Action Network launched a national campaign warning of bias.
 
While school assignments sugarcoat sharia, the doctrine requires “defense” of community and permits “payback” against perceived enemies like U.S. servicemen and all Israelis, according to influential Muslim Brotherhood jurist Yusuf Qaradawi. Thus a naturalized Kosovo man arrested in Florida Jan. 9 planned an attack to “die in the Islamic way.” The Council on Islamic American Relations (CAIR) has long warned members not to aid the FBI and Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) agents seek more “hate crime” studies --- but eliminations of solid counter terror strategies.
 
Some 22 states and U.S. territories currently maintain central textbook “adoption” standards to either recommend or require specific textbooks for public schools. Textbook adoption originated during Reconstruction to ensure that the Civil War narrative included Confederate views in southern states. In the public free-for-all that ultimately developed, minorities apparently appropriated undue influence. Thus, texts often downplay European history but include material unrelated to the U.S. Some books, for example, tout Mali's medieval Islamic ruler Mansa Musa and his 1324 trip (with thousands of slaves) to Mecca. But they provide no connection to U.S. history --- as none exists.
 
In the last two decades, sanitized Islamic history and dogma crept into broad use in U.S. public school books thanks largely to Shabbir Mansuri; to advantage Muslims, he maximized the minority role in textbook adoption (and falsely claimed to be a USC-educated chemical engineer). In 1990, he founded the Fountain Valley, Ca. Council on Islamic Education to promote Islam in textbooks and curricula, which he calls a “bloodless” revolution inside American junior high and high school classes. Mansuri derived the idea in 1988, after seeing a textbook disparage physical aspects of Muslim prayer, he says.
 
Independent review agencies affirm that CIE---deceptively renamed in 2006 as Institute on Religion and Civic Values (IRCV)---powerfully influences U.S. textbooks via state standards it helped to write.
 
 
Susan Douglass.
 
For advancing “change” in school standards and curricula, CIE can largely thank Muslim convert Susan Douglass, who for 10 years wrote CIE lesson plans, advisories, guidelines and pamphlets to soft peddle Islam in public schools. Central is the Teacher's Guide to Religion in the Public Schools that this author exposed shortly after its 2003 publication, purportedly as an interfaith “First Amendment” plan.
 
CIE bedfellows include North American Muslim Brotherhood affiliates. CIE shares MB goals, as its former chief Mohammed Akram outlined in a strategic May 1991 MB “Explanatory Memorandum.” Sound Vision Foundation pushes “dawa” (proselytizing) in public schools from MB offices in Bridgewater, Ill., for example. CIE joined efforts with Arab World and Islamic Resources Group (AWIRG), a.k.a. Dar al Islam or land of Islam---a remote N.M. non-profit founded in 1979 by the late Saudi King Khaled ibn Aziz. AWIRG had CIE help forming its speakers bureau and until a 2005 press inquiry, listed CIE as its “secondary schools” associate. CIE has old ties, too, to the extremist Islamic Networks Group, and “collaborated extensively” with Ali al-Mazrui, an ex-trustee of an MB organization founded by incarcerated, Eritrean MB terrorist financier Abdurahman Alamoudi.
 
While probably unaware of their carefully staged genesis, parents for years have vocally opposed such Islamic instructions in public schools and texts as:
 
  • In 2005, Scottsdale, Ar. schools shelved Across the Centuries, only to introduce more offensive Islamic propaganda in TCI's History Alive! The Medieval World and Beyond.
  • In 2008, a Seminole County, Fl. school let Muslim women co-opt a “family dynamics'” talk.
  • A Houston middle school sent students to a class on Islam during a period reserved for phys ed.
  • California parents have repeatedly rejected curricula and texts (including TCI's History Alive) that sanitize Islam or teach its pillars.
  • In Sept. 2010, a Wellesley, Ma. school “field trip” to a Saudi-funded Roxbury mosque taught kids how to pray like Muslims.
  • In early 2010, Minnesota's ACLU sued St. Paul's public k-8 Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy for breaching the ban against government religious advocacy.
  • Massachusetts schools adopted a Notebook by Abiquiu, N.M.'s Saudi-funded AWIRG. Pushed by Harvard's Middle Eastern Studies Center, it claims Muslim explorers discovered the New World and Native Americans had Muslim names. (In 2005, the center had received $20 million from Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talaal, who later boasted he could control global TV news.)
In Sept. 2010, the Texas Board of Education endured heavy criticism after issuing a textbook resolution asking publishers to fix the “pro-Islamic/anti-Christian half-truths, selective disinformation, and false stereotypes” that riddled textbooks. The board included four pages of notes to document “pejoratives” targeting Christians and “superlatives,” Muslims---e.g. brutal conquests of Christian lands were called “migrations” of “empire builders.” Books listed Crusaders' massacres, but not the Muslim Tamerlane's 1389 Delhi murder of 100,000 prisoners or his 1401 Baghdad massacre of 90,000 Muslims.
 
Whether named CIE or IRCV, Islamic forces spent decades stealthily cultivating influence over our nation's public schools and curricula through “minority” channels afforded by “textbook adoption.” Other “adoption state” authorities should perhaps now add teeth to their own Texas-like counter-efforts.
 
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Alyssa A. Lappen is a U.S.-based investigative journalist, with a focus on the Middle East and Islam. A former Senior Fellow of the American Center for Democracy (2005-2008), she previously covered the economy, business and finance, as a Senior Editor at Institutional Investor (1993-1999), Working Woman (1991-1993) and Corporate Finance (1991); and an Associate Editor at Forbes (1978-1990).
 
She contributes regularly to Family Security Matters, the Terror Finance Blog and International Analyst Network and her work appears frequently in Pajamas Media, Front Page Magazine, American Thinker, Right Side News, the Washington Times and many other Internet and print journals.

Ms. Lappen is also an accomplished poet, whose work has won several awards and honorable mentions, and appeared in dozens of books and (print and online) literary journals, including the 2007, second edition of Blood to Remember: American Poets on the Holocaust and issues of Wales' notable Seventh Quarry: Swansea Poetry Magazine.
 

Alyssa A. Lappen is a U.S.-based investigative journalist focusing on the Middle East and Islam. She is a former Senior Fellow for the American Center for Democracy (2005-2008); former Senior Editor of Institutional Investor (1993-1999), Working Woman (1991-1993) and Corporate Finance (1991). She was previously an Associate Editor at Forbes, where she worked upwards of 12 years (1978-1990), and an editor and staff writer at several other publications. She is also a poet. Her website is http://www.alyssaalappen.org.

 


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