Political correctness has a double standard when it comes to teaching about religion in public schools. Drop Christianity down the memory hole but give extensive and mostly favorable coverage to Islam.
Even the mainstream media have provided extensive coverage of the steady stream of court cases and threatening letters from the American Civil Liberties Union aimed at removing all signs of Judeo-Christianity from public schools. Not only must prayer be prohibited, a cross and the Ten Commandments removed or covered up, a valedictorian banned from thanking God for his help, a football coach prohibited from bowing his head during a student-led pre-game prayer, singing of Christmas carols banned, and school calendars required to recognize winter holiday instead of Christmas, but there is also the complete omission of the history of the Founding Fathers' public recognition of Christianity.
An organization called ACT for America conducted an analysis of 38 textbooks used in the sixth- through 12th-grades in public schools, and found that since the 1990s, discussions of Islam are taking up more and more pages, while the space devoted to Judaism and Christianity has simultaneously decreased. In 2011, the National Assessment of Educational Progress reported that American 12th graders scored lower in history than in any other subject, even lower than in science, math and economics.
Most of these students are too young to remember 9/11, so current textbook descriptions about 9/11 is all they will learn. In one textbook example of pro-Islamic revisionism, 9/11 is portrayed as "a horrible act of terrorism, or violence to further a cause," without any mention that the attackers were Muslims or that the "cause" was Islamic jihad.
The textbooks generally give a false description of women's rights under Islam. The books don't reveal that women are subject to polygamy, a husband's legal right to beat her, genital mutilation, and the scandalous practice misnamed "honor killings," which allows a man to murder a daughter who dares to date a Christian.
Slavery is usually a favorite topic for the liberals, but historical revisionism is particularly evident in the failure to mention the Islamic slave trade. It began nearly eight centuries before the European-operated Atlantic slave trade and continues in some Muslim areas even today.
Other examples of historical revisionism in currently used textbooks include the omission of the doctrine of jihad or failure to accurately define it. Discussions of Muhammad's life and character are often contrary to accepted historical facts.
Muslim conquests and imperialism are usually omitted or downplayed, and a completely false narrative about the Crusades is given. The books often falsely claim that Islam is tolerant of Jews and Christians.
Another technique is to describe Christian and Jewish religious traditions as mere stories attributable to some human source, whereas Islamic traditions are presented as indisputable historic facts. In one textbook, you can read that Moses "claimed" to receive the Ten Commandments from God but that Muhammad simply "received" the Koran from God.
ACT for America is sending its report to all U.S. school board members nationwide. We hope they read it and tell the publishers the schools won't buy books that contain such errors and biases because that may be parents' only remedy for this indoctrination.
In the year of 9/11, a big controversy erupted at Excelsior public school in Byron, Calif., where seventh graders were being taught a three-week course about the Islamic religion. This course required the kids to learn 25 Islamic terms, 20 proverbs, Islam's Five Pillars of Faith, 10 key Islamic prophets and disciples, recite from the Koran, wear a robe during class, adopt a Muslim name, and stage their own "holy war" in a dice game.
Excelsior was using one of the textbooks that omit information about Islam's wars, massacres, and cruelties against Christians and Jews. Christianity was mentioned only briefly and negatively, linked to the Inquisition and to Salem witch hunts.
The students were given Muslim names and told to recite Muslim prayers in class. They were required to give up things for a day to recognize the Islamic practice of Ramadan, and the teacher gave extra credit for fasting at lunch.
For the final exam, the students had to write an essay about Islamic culture. The essay assignment warned students in these words: "Be careful here; if you do not have something positive to say, don't say anything!!!"
Parents naively thought they could appeal to the courts to uphold their right to reject this class for their children, which was really not education but behavior modification. They didn't realize that federal court decisions have ruled consistently against parents' rights and in favor of the authority of public schools to teach whatever they want.
The parents lost in court. And on Oct. 2, 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to consider the parents' appeal from the lower court decision against them.
Phyllis Schlafly is a lawyer, conservative political analyst and author of 20 books. Her latest, written with co-author Suzanne Venker, is "The Flipside of Feminism" published by WorldNetDaily. She can be contacted by e-mail at [email protected] To find out more about Phyllis Schlafly and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Website at www.creators.com.