Critic condemns whitewashing of Islamic extremism

March 5th, 2009 - 5:53 pm ICT by ANI  

New York, Mar.5 (ANI): An education expert has warned that some American textbooks have presented a biased view of Islam and offer a sugar-coated picture of Islamic extremism, a trend that has parents worried about what’’s being taught in public schools.
In numerous history textbooks, “key subjects like jihad, Islamic law, the status of women are whitewashed,” Fox News quoted Gilbert T. Sewall, director of the American Textbook Council, an independent group that reviews history books and other education materials, as saying.
Cindy Ross, the mother of a junior high school student in Marin County, Calif., said she couldn”t believe her eyes when she read her son’’s textbook last school year.
“I was very shocked by what I saw, looking through the book,” she said shocked at how Islam was portrayed in her son’’s seventh grade history text.
“What did strike me was that all the other religions seemed to be lumped together, where there is an inordinate emphasis on Islam specifically,” Ross said.
Sewall claims that publishers have been pressured by Islamic activists to portray the religion in the most favorable light, while Islamic terrorism is downplayed or glossed over.
Sewall, who authored a report on how textbooks teach and present Islam, singled out one book that he said failed to explain what the story of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
In a section discussing Islamic fundamentalism, the textbook “World History: The Modern World,” published by Prentice Hall, omits direct mention of the 9/11 hijackers” religion, referring to the 19 Islamic fundamentalists as “teams of terrorists.”
In his report on the text, Sewall called the passage “dismaying” in its flatness and brevity.
“In terms of content, so much is left unanswered. Who were the teams of terrorists and what did they want do to? What were their political ends? Since ”The Modern World” avoids any hint of the connection between this unnamed terrorism and jihad,” he wrote, “why September 11 happened is hard to understand.”
None of the textbook publishers contacted by FOX News regarding their books responded to requests for statements or interviews. (ANI)

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