American History Textbooks are Political Tools

“Another question needs to be raised about this, as well. Where is the national media to highlight this discussion? We need a national debate that has been denied the nation and the media has so far run away as quickly as they can from the vexing and important questions of the fight between civilization and murderous Islamofascism”.
American School Books Redefine ‘Jihad’ to Exclude Violence — Where is Media?
By Warner Todd Huston | June 8, 2008 –
In yet another example of why the west could be too weak to fight the sort of global terrorism that takes the form of Islamofascism, a textbook monitoring group is charging that American textbooks have been cleansed of mentioning the violence inherent in the Islamic “Jihad.” Now, our children will not be taught what “Jihad” truly means, nor that it has been used as an excuse to kill their fellow citizens because our schools have sanitized Islam of all outrage and violence. Will the media follow this story and report that our children are being exposed to Islamic propaganda like this?
According to the New York Examiner, the American Textbook Council reports that textbooks approved for middle and high schools students have caved in to a politically correct cleansing of Islam and dumbed down history critical to a fuller understanding of Muslim history — one that reflects on our own times.
(SNIP)
According to Sewall, several new textbooks, such as Houghton Mifflin’s “Across the Centuries,” have gone through an “amazing cultural reorchestration” to erase the history of violence associated with the word “jihad.”
Sewall fears that a political process has replaced an academic process where it concerns the production and approval of our textbooks.

(SNIP)

Naturally, Islamic groups decry Sewall’s concerns claiming he is wrong that “jihad” is necessarily defined by violence. In the textbook, “jihad” is defined as a struggle “to do one’s best to resist temptation and overcome evil.”
(SNIP)
Further, when violent jihad is the prime motivation in a day when it is used to kill Americans by the thousands is dangerous in the extreme and leaves our future generations vulnerable.
(SNIP)
Another question needs to be raised about this, as well. Where is the national media to highlight this discussion? We need a national debate that has been denied the nation and the media has so far run away as quickly as they can from the vexing and important questions of the fight between civilization and murderous Islamofascism.
Like the dumbing down of our textbooks, the media has added to this national amnesia and put us all in danger.
To read complete article:http://tinyurl.com/6m6dud
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Islamists “Define” What Your Child Learns in History Testbooks in America

A statement from the article following this commentary makes a profound comment- “How you interpret [jihad] is based on whatever your particular ideology, or world viewpoint, or even prejudice is,” Aslan said. “But how you define jihad is set in stone.” Really?

There is this definition:
Source: WordNet (r) 1.7
jihad n : a holy war by Muslims against unbelievers [syn: jehad]
Source: Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
Jihad \Ji*had”\, Jehad \Je*had”\, n. [Ar. jih[=a]d.] (Moham.) A religious war against infidels or Mohammedan heretics; also, any bitter war or crusade for a principle or belief. [Their] courage in war . . . had not, like that of the Mohammedan dervishes of the Sudan, or of Mohammedans anywhere engaged in a jehad, a religious motive and the promise of future bliss behind it. –James Bryce. [ http://dictionary.die.net/jihad]

Or this definition:

Main Entry:
ji·had 
Variant(s):
also je·had \ji-ˈhäd, chiefly Britishˈhad\
Function:
noun
Etymology:
Arabic jihād
Date:
1869
1: a holy war waged on behalf of Islam as a religious duty; also : a personal struggle in devotion to Islam especially involving spiritual discipline2: a crusade for a principle or belief [http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jihad]
 
Or this definition:
In
Islam, the central doctrine that calls on believers to combat the enemies of their religion.
 According to the Qur’an and the Hadith, jihad is a duty that may be fulfilled in four ways: by the heart, the tongue, the hand, or the sword. The first way (known in Sufism as the “greater jihad”) involves struggling against evil desires. The ways of the tongue and hand call for verbal defense and right actions. The jihad of the sword involves waging war against enemies of Islam. Believers contend that those who die in combat become martyrs and are guaranteed a place in paradise. In the 20th and 21st centuries the concept of jihad has sometimes been used as an ideological weapon in the effort to combat Western influences and secular governments and to establish an ideal Islamic society.[http://www.britannica.com/ebc/article-9368558]

Who is vetting the textbooks?  Why are textbook publishers allowing the influence of organizations like the Council on Islamic Education to decide what American students learn?  Parents must read their children’s textbooks and if there is a problem contact the school, local Department of Education and State education officials. You can reach us at
info@stopthemadrassa.org. for more information.    

Council: Mongtomery schools cave to pressue with Islam book
Jun 7, 2008 8:21 AM (1 day ago) by
Leah Fabel, The Examiner 
 
Washington, D.C.
A new report issued by the American Textbook Council says books approved for use in local school districts for teaching middle and high school students about Islam caved in to political correctness and dumbed down the topic at a critical moment in its history.
“Textbook editors try to avoid any subject that could turn into a political grenade,” wrote Gilbert Sewall, director of the council, who railed against five popular history texts for “adjust[ing] the definition of jihad or sharia or remov[ing] these words from lessons to avoid inconvenient truths.”
Sewall complains the word jihad has gone through an “amazing cultural reorchestration” in textbooks, losing any connotation of violence. He cites Houghton Mifflin‘s popular middle school text, “Across the Centuries,” which has been approved for use in Montgomery County Schools. It defines “jihad” as a struggle “to do one’s best to resist temptation and overcome evil.”
“But that is, literally, the translation of jihad,” said Reza Aslan, a religion scholar and acclaimed author of “No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam.” Aslan explained that the definition does not preclude a militant interpretation.
“How you interpret [jihad] is based on whatever your particular ideology, or world viewpoint, or even prejudice is,” Aslan said. “But how you define jihad is set in stone.”
A statement from Montgomery County Public Schools said that all text used by teachers had been properly vetted and were appropriate for classroom uses.
Aslan said groups like Sewall’s are often more concerned about advancing their own interpretation of Islam than they are about defining its parts and then allowing interpretation to happen at the classroom level.
Sewall’s report blames publishing companies for allowing the influence of groups like the California-based Council on Islamic Education to serve throughout the editorial process as “screeners” for textbooks, softening or deleting potentially unflattering topics within the faith.
“Fundamentally I’m worried about dumbing down textbooks,” he said, “by groups that come to state education officials saying we want this and that – and publishers need to find a happy medium.”
Maryland state delegate Saqib Ali refrained from joining the fray. “The job of assigning curriculum is best left to educators and the school board, and I trust their judgment,” he said.

Filed under: Washington, D.C. , Leah Fabel , Textbooks