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September 19th, 2010
11:45 AM ET

Texas education board mulls banning ‘pro-Islamic’ history books

A new front in the Texas textbook wars may soon erupt.

The Texas Board of Education is considering targeting history textbooks that promote a “pro-Islamic, anti-Christian” point of view, The Dallas Morning News reported.

The board, which overhauled the state's history and social studies curriculum in May to reflect conservative values, will examine a resolution next week that would warn publishers not to “push a pro-Islamic, anti-Christian viewpoint” in world history textbooks, the newspaper reported.

Conservative board members requested the resolution after a candidate for a board seat warned them that “Middle Easterners” are buying textbook publishing companies.


Terrence Stutz of The Dallas Morning News reported:

A preliminary draft of the resolution states that "diverse reviewers have repeatedly documented gross pro-Islamic, anti-Christian distortions in social studies texts" across the U.S. and that past social studies textbooks in Texas also have been "tainted" with pro-Islamic, anti-Christian views.

In May, The Texas board’s conservative bloc, overhauled its existing social studies and history curriculum to reflect conservative contributions to U.S. history.

Among the approved amendments, according to the Texas Education Agency: discussions of the "solvency of long term entitlements, such as Social Security and Medicare"; and an examination of why "the Founding Fathers protected religious freedom in America" and guaranteed its free exercise.

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Christianity • Church and state • Culture wars • Education • Fundamentalism • Islam

soundoff (132 Responses)
  1. Benson

    Let's make our children even more ignorant than the generations before them. That will totally help the growing tensions with Islamic groups. Controlling information and manipulating history... Can you say China/N.Korea/Cuba – see the trend?

    September 24, 2010 at 12:27 pm |
  2. Larry Linn

    Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Bahai are sometimes referred to as the "Abrahamic religions" because of the progenitor role that Abraham plays in their holy books. In both the Jewish tradition and the Kora, he is referred to as "our Father". Jews, Christians, and Muslims consider him father of the people of Israel. For Jews and Christians this is through his son Isaac, by his wife Sarah; for Muslims, he is a prophet of Islam and the ancestor of Muhammad through his other son Ishmael, born to him by Sarah's handmaiden, Hagar.

    September 23, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
  3. truthywood

    to Check what Islam is
    http://tiny.cc/nxlyo

    September 23, 2010 at 11:00 am |
  4. Commentary

    The above post is about this passage:
    Ephesians 6:5-9 (NRSV)
    Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, in singleness of heart, as you obey Christ; not only while being watched, and in order to please them, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. Render service with enthusiasm, as to the Lord and not to men and women, knowing that whatever good we do, we will receive the same again from the Lord, whether we are slaves or free. And, masters, do the same to them. Stop threatening them, for you know that both of you have the same Master in heaven, and with him there is no partiality.

    September 23, 2010 at 10:41 am |
    • Muneef

      @commentary. the Quran told us to obey our Masters meaning (Prophets,Kings,leaders,Bosses) and so on.
       It says that we are all masters and responsible and that every master is responsible of his followers (Believers,population,community,staff,troops) and so on. But never told us to be slaves to any other than him God Allah and told us that we will slave our way to him and that is meant by the hard self-control, worship and that only by that we will be saved from the fires of hells and be rewarded a place in heavens and that afterlife is the real endless life and the life on eat is just transit to make our choice between both afterlife endless life in hells or in heavens??     

      September 24, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
    • Muneef

      The reason why the sons of Israel had so many Prophets of God came to them is because every time a prophet comes with what they don't like or don't want to give up they kill or get killed their prophets but for Arabs the sons of Ishmael only one was enough to believe and secure their belief and spread of the message that we were born free and be free slave of no one other than God Allah which we have to slave to for our rewards in earthly life and the life after

      September 24, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
    • Muneef

      Thinking about it now I see that the disputes are mainly it's about what Islam say and what Muslims do? Islam is the most realistic religion alive but Muslims are not doing as it says 100% they have their fall back for a reason or another after all they are ordinary human beings have their mistakes or faults to the extent that it reflects unfairly the look of being mystic and full of contradictions? Such case I am asking you, America to learn the truth about Islam and not blame it for the Outcasted groups own doings for which a whole religion should not be blamed wether it is Muslims or Christians or Jews or any. About that Three in One issue or is One applies here on the Holy books 1-(Torah by Moses). 2-(Zabour by King David)  3-(Angeel by Jesus) these three holy books are in One and that is the Quran by Muhammed. In the Quran you will find all that Moses said all Jesus said and all other prophets said, read it believe in it and pray following any prophet you want but do it as the book here says and hope you with that become a better community than Muslims if God permit

      September 24, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
    • Hughes

      Muneef,

      Your religion is based on your ability to follow it’s rules and regulations. Thank God Christianity isn’t like that at all. We believe we are saved by God’s power alone. It doesn’t depend on us and our “hard self-control” as you stated your religion does. In Christianity, and according to Christs words, the debt of sin against God is paid in full by Christ, when he said, “it is finished…” On the cross.

      In essence, Islam is based on man’s power. And Christianity is based on God’s power.

      September 24, 2010 at 8:43 pm |
    • Jasmin

      "O you who believe! Be helpers of God - as Jesus the son of Mary said to the Disciples, 'Who will be my helpers in (the work of) God?' Said the disciples, 'We are God's helpers!' Then a portion of the Children of Israel believed, and a portion disbelieved. But WE gave power to those who believed, against their enemies, and they became the ones that prevailed" (Quran 61:14).

      September 28, 2010 at 6:57 pm |
    • Hughes

      Jasmin, maybe you could tell us how that applies to what I said?

      September 28, 2010 at 7:42 pm |
    • Jasmin

      I tried to respond but my comment has been "awaiting moderation" for the last day. I thought "comments are not pre-screened before they post."

      September 29, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
    • Hughes

      ok

      September 29, 2010 at 8:43 pm |
  5. Commentary

    @David Johnson
    Viewed from our perspective, Paul's instructions to slaves/workers and masters/bosses, fails to address a repugnant social inst–i-tution. Of course, Jesus himself has little to say on the morality, or otherwise, of societal structures and needs (eg. "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's", "The poor you will always have with you", ..). The Bible certainly promotes the release of slaves, particularly within the family of God, Jer.34:9, and Paul happily encourages believers not to become slaves, 1Cor.7:23, and to seek their freedom when the opportunity presents itself, 1Cor.7:21. Still, this is not an aggressive attack upon what is a repugnant social evil. Clearly, the knowledge that Ch-r-i-s-t's kingdom is not of this world promotes a radical disengagement with the aspirations of the secular world and this disengagement may be evident here. It is also possible that Paul's willingness to go along with this societal given is driven by his desire to promote free access for the gospel (an attack upon an inst–i-tution sanctioned by law and integral to Roman society would not bode well for harmonious relations with the Roman State), but such a view is ethically unsound. Would Paul happily close a blind eye to the death camps in Nazi Germany to maintain good relations with Adolph and his friends for free access of the gospel?
    The issue is not easily resolved, but above all, we do need to consider the context of Paul's words. Paul is not actually addressing the issue of slavery as such, rather he is giving advice for how Christian masters and slaves should function harmoniously within the Ephesian church, given that they have equal standing before Christ, Gal.3:28, 1Tim.6:2.

    In application, the passage makes a simple point: Christian employees need to serve their employers with diligence, integrity and goodwill and Christian employers need to deal with their employees in like manner, without bullying.

    September 23, 2010 at 10:40 am |
    • 1089

      very nice. i like.

      September 24, 2010 at 12:25 am |
  6. truthywood

    Its 1930s all over again, this time its not in Germany, Its in Amerikkka. sponsored by same KKK fascists who supported Nazi Germans almost until the end of WW2.

    September 23, 2010 at 10:17 am |
  7. I Say

    We should leave ALL religous stuff, out of the school system. Let the parents of kids teach them that at home. Get rid of ALL prayer, and religous study. Omit it from cultures that are being studied.

    Teach Science as a subject, period. This is how the Earth was formed, etc. Let people make thier own choices as to what they conclude.

    The rule will be the same for all.

    Let the Muslims find a place to do thier prayer call that don't infringe on the rest of us, like speakers blearing thier prayers. Let them pay for it too.

    I am a Christian.

    September 23, 2010 at 10:14 am |
  8. No fear

    Text vbooks need to be fair. Texas text books are biased and pro- Islam for PC and fear of Islam

    September 23, 2010 at 9:52 am |
  9. khan

    This is a welcome development. I came from a muslim dominated country where we continually faced persecution and brutality supported by government.when i see so much sugar-coated texts on islam, i wonder if americans have ever lived in muslim dominated countries and find out how hard life can be.
    THE MEDIA MUST STAND UP FOR THE TRUTH AND REPORT ATROCITIES COMMITTED AGAINST NON-MUSLIM MINORITIES THE SAME WAY THEY REPORT ACTIONS AGAINST MUSLIMS. IF WE DONT DO THIS NOW, THEY WILL TURN OUR CHILDREN AGAINST US THROUGH THESE PROPAGANDAS. MUSLIMS SHOULD TOLERATE MINORITY RELIGIONS THE SAME WAY THEY ARE TOLERATED!

    September 23, 2010 at 9:11 am |
    • truthywood

      What Tolerated ? You Nazis are killing Muslims every where, Muslims are not killing millions of non Muslims, Its you Nazis who are killing millions of Muslims, Looks like its time to return the favour.

      September 23, 2010 at 10:19 am |
  10. Andrew W. Conrad

    Some of the people on the Texas Board admit to having spent a couple of minutes reviewing two or three books. It's time publishers were put on notice by states with evidence-based decision making that no book approved in Texas will be allowed in any school in their states. Finally the tyranny of this bunch of evangelical Republicans over the books used in schools across the country will face a meaningful challenge. Texas has become a joke, and it's time to see to it that the joke is on them.

    September 23, 2010 at 9:02 am |
    • Muneef

      @Andrew. If I may comment asking you if you think that Freedom of Speech brought with it the freedom of writing and freedom of broadcasting all that is considered inconsiderate, faking the truth about history planting seeds of fears and hatred between nations and communities what Peace Project is This?? Unguided and unguarded Freedoms can bring catastrophe to any Great Nation consisting of many nations and beliefs within the inside and the outside world that you say you want to build peace with as live and let live? How is that if you allow such attacks come at them from within your unity and protected under unfair law of freedom of speech so to spread lies and hate as they which and then you come to talk about shutting every body up to let only lies and roamers for you to believe.?

      September 23, 2010 at 8:38 pm |
    • Hughes

      Muneef,
      “…if you think that Freedom of Speech brought with it the freedom of writing and freedom of broadcasting all that is considered inconsiderate…”

      Yes of course. Freedom of Speech is not free if it doesn’t allow those things that might offend you.

      “Unguided and unguarded Freedoms can bring catastrophe…”

      Sorry, the only catastrophe is to call it free when it is not. Your “guided or guarded freedom” is exactly the opposite of freedom of speech it should be called “Fascism” where all manners of speech are controlled by the powerful rulers. Our ancestors left fascist countries to establish a place where people can be free to speak their mind without fear.

      “How is that if you allow such attacks come at them from within your unity and protected under unfair law of freedom of speech …..”

      “Unfair Law”? No one is shutting you up. You are able to spread your lies right here for everyone to read. How is that unfair again?

      September 23, 2010 at 11:21 pm |
    • Muneef

      @Hughes. First it is not offending me but offending your society culture as so said to be Christian religious civilization, but here we find people attack God Words and attack establishing a worship place for his name be remembered at and come to me talking about freedom what freedom is this to insult the creator of all creations?
      Our freedom means that guarded means it will not allow a person to take a bible and call all media saying he would burn it if America does not withdraw from Afghanistan or Iraq or to close your offshore jail?
      Finally I don not know what lies I have been spreading that gets you mad on me other than that I have been saying that Allah the One and the Only is God and creator of all creations and that Muhammed is messenger of God. That's all I said wether you like it or not and no power on Earth of Humans or Jinn's can shut that up even if they got together against it, this message was levied on us Muslims by our Prophet of God as a message that we have to spread the word of reminding Humans of what God true message to them to say as was said by all Prophets of God and changed by man.?

      September 24, 2010 at 3:25 pm |
    • Hughes

      Muneef,

      What exactly is offending my “society culture”? You’re not making sense.
      Maybe you’re trying to say that we claim to be a Christian Culture and you don’t think we are?

      I wouldn’t claim that the USA is a Christian culture.

      Now, if you are talking about the Mosque at ground zero and claiming that’s God’s worship place. I would say that’s your opinion, and if they really don’t understand why people don’t want it built there, then they truly are insensitive people.

      People have the freedom in this country to attack God’s word. That’s called real religious freedom.
      And if you don’t think that God can’t handle being insulted, then your God is too small.

      
”Our freedom means that guarded means it will not allow a person to take a bible…”

      What you are describing isn’t freedom. But Fascism. Fascists control people and their expressions based on *their* own opinions. It is the opposite of freedom. I hope you can understand that the USA is completely the opposite of any Muslim country in this area. In other words, burn a Bible here and no one will throw a fit or riot in the streets and kill people, like they did in Muslim countries at the very threat of doing the same to a Quran.

      
Of course I’m referring to the idea that Muhammad was a prophet of God… it’s a lie. But, in this free country you’re free to promote that lie.

      September 24, 2010 at 8:08 pm |
  11. Muneef

    Wakeupproject.com

    September 23, 2010 at 3:10 am |
  12. Muneef

     
    "Love for Five and Forget Five"
    Dr. Ibrahim Dremali
    Islamic Center of Greater Austin, Texas
     
    Video Lecture explains the hadith of the Prophet of the love people have for five things which results in their forgetting of five others.  Must see and Hear for all especially the newly converted Muslims!
     
     
    See It On Google:
    http://video. google.com/ videoplay? docid=4192910051 214358923&hl=en
     
     

    September 23, 2010 at 1:57 am |
  13. JohnQuest

    This school board sounds a lot like the Taliban, if they thought they could get away with it I'd bet dollars to donuts they would put the flat earth "back" to the center of the universe, and bar there slaves from reading.

    September 21, 2010 at 10:38 am |
  14. Anna

    I agree with HotAirAce. And I am a Texan.

    September 21, 2010 at 2:18 am |
  15. Hughes

    People should read the Quran, they would find how violence is promoted by Muhammed himself, no surprise that his followers do what he says.

    September 20, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
    • Muneef

      @Hughes. Sorry for my invention but really did you read the Quran, which verse (Aiah) in which Sura you found what you just said and I might be able to explain or correct your understanding if I may and if of real interest from your side?

      September 21, 2010 at 1:17 am |
    • Hughes

      Muneef,

      Muslims are forbidden to befriend Jews or Christians. "O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors. They are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is one of them …" Surah 5:54

      Islam instructs its adherents to fight until all their opponents submit. Christians and Jews may be spared if they pay "Jizya" – a penalty tax – with willing submission. "Fight those who believe not in God nor the last day … Nor acknowledge the religion of truth, (even if they are) of the people of the Book, until they pay Jizya (tribute taxes) with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued." Surah 9:29

      "Fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait (ambush) for them in every strategem (of war)." Surah 9:5 (also 2:193)

      "Therefore, when ye meet the unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks; at length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them); thereafter (is the time for) either generosity or ransom: until the war lays down its burdens, thus (are ye commanded)". Surah 47:4

      For those who resist Islam – execution or mutilation is decreed: "The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and his apostle, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution or crucifixion, or the cutting off the hands and feet from opposite sides or exile from the land …" Surah 5:36

      "And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevails justice and faith in Allah altogether and everywhere." Surah 8:39

      It's no surprise that Muslims are an active part of 90% of all conflicts on the Earth. It's what their book teaches them to do.

      September 21, 2010 at 9:02 pm |
    • Hughes

      I am seeing no reply from Muneef?

      September 23, 2010 at 11:06 pm |
  16. ohyeah

    Islam is the real threat to humanity. It must be eradicated like a plague, polio or cholera.
    Learn how you can do it here.

    FaithFreedomDOTorg
    JihadWatchDOTorg
    TheReligionOfPeaceDOTcom

    September 20, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Religion in general is the problem!!! None of them are true. THERE ARE NO GODS – NONE!!

      September 20, 2010 at 8:13 pm |
  17. Frogist

    Oh Texas... pulling us backwards since 1845.

    September 20, 2010 at 9:21 am |
  18. jacq

    Is it me or do republicans seek to destroy what they fear or do not understand?

    September 20, 2010 at 9:05 am |
    • 1089

      I think its just you... jk

      September 24, 2010 at 12:21 am |
  19. Reality

    The Texas Board of Education obviously needs some education. A recommended starting point:

    There are many good ways of living but be aware of the hallucinations, embellishments, lies, and myths surrounding the founders and foundations of all religions who in general support good conduct rules. Said rules appear early in human history e.g. The Code of Hammurabi and the Egyptian Prayer of the Dead.

    September 20, 2010 at 8:31 am |
  20. america

    We need to elect a tough president.we have a weak one, he is muslim,he has allowed terrorists from middleeast come to america as refugees,they use our money to send back to fund terrorism and thei kids,sharia law will be here soon.

    September 20, 2010 at 7:13 am |
    • Cowboy

      And where were you educated? Texas?

      September 23, 2010 at 10:49 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.