The elected Texas Board of Education has adopted a resolution warning textbook publishers to provide fair treatment of the world’s religions – or face being snubbed by the state that buys more textbooks than any other.
The resolution, introduced by former Texas school board member Randy Rives, states: “Resolved, That the SBOE will look to reject future prejudicial social studies submissions that continue to offend Texas law with respect to treatment of the world’s major religious groups by significant inequalities of coverage space-wise and/or by demonizing or lionizing one or more of them over others,” according to a WorldNetDaily report.
The resolution, adopted on a 7-6 vote, declares that “pro-Islamic/anti-Christian half-truths, selective disinformation, and false editorial stereotypes still roil some social studies textbooks nationwide,” including some “politically correct whitewashes of Islamic culture and stigmas on Christian civilization.” The none-too-happy Dallas Morning News reported that “three Democrats and three moderate Republicans voted against the resolution,” as the newspaper berated “members of the board’s social conservative bloc” for the move.
The resolution included pages of footnotes documenting the specific offenses discovered in various textbooks, including “patterns of pejoratives toward Christians and superlatives toward Muslims, calling Crusaders aggressors, ‘violent attackers,’ or ‘invaders’ while euphemizing Muslim conquest of Christian lands as ‘migrations’ by ’empire builders.'”
The resolution discusses world history textbooks officially adopted for use in Texas high schools and pointed out grounds for board concerns:
“In one instance, devoting 120 student text lines to Christian beliefs, practices, and holy writings but 248 (more than twice as many) to those of Islam; and dwelling for 27 student text lines on Crusaders’ massacre of Muslims at Jerusalem in 1099 yet censoring Muslims’ massacres of Christians there in 1244 and at Antioch in 1268, implying that Christian brutality and Muslim loss of life are significant but Islamic cruelty and Christian deaths are not.”
Another point of contention is book authors “spending 139 student text lines on Christian beliefs, practices, and holy writings but 176 on those of Islam; claiming Islam ‘brought untold wealth to thousands and a better life to millions,’ while ‘because of [Europeans’ Christian] religious zeal … many peoples died and many civilizations were destroyed;’ and contrasting ‘the Muslim concern for cleanliness’ with Swedes in Russia who were ‘the filthiest of God’s creatures.'”
These distortions in social studies texts are also in use across the United States.
The Dubai royal family is a major shareholder in the Education Media and Publishing Group, which owns textbook publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in Boston.
What a surprise.