Oct 26 2010
The Center’s article on ‘Why Religious Education Matters’ recommends teaching Americans and American schoolchildren that Islam is very compatible with Western Democracies.
I’ll skip over all the leftie condescending propaganda about how ignorant most American are about religions other than their own and get right to the point: ISLAM.
American ProgressIt is important for Americans to have a basic understanding of religions and cultures of nations around the world. We live in a globalized community where borders are increasingly nonexistent and religion is often a powerful force for either violence and division or for social cohesion and good.
A lack of religious education can have serious consequences. This country has recently seen a dangerous surge in Islamophobia—much of it stoked by a well-orchestrated campaign of right-wing groups and leaders. But anti-Muslim hate speech has unfortunately gained traction partly because the public knows so little about Islam.
A Pew poll released in August shows that 55 percent of Americans “do not know very much”about Islam while 25 percent “know nothing at all.” Despite this lack of knowledge 38 percent of Americans have an “unfavorable” view of Islam and 35 percent believe that Islam “is more likely to encourage violence than other [religions].”
Americans might have less negative views if they knew, for example, that Islam is compatible with Western values and democracy, that it teaches peace, and that Muslim Americans have been part of this country since before we were a nation. (In other words, America really IS an Islamic nation)
September’s Pew poll shows that less than a third (23 percent) of respondents know that the Bible can be taught in public school classrooms as a form of literature. The sacred texts of other faiths can be taught as well, providing children with a broader understanding of both Christianity and other world religions.
It’s unfortunate, then, that the Texas State Board of Education recently squandered a valuable opportunity to educate the children of Texas about world religions and their history. According to NYDailyNews, school board member Randy Rives called for a resolution to reject social studies textbooks that “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.”
The resolution stems from a claim that more sentences in social studies textbooks were pro-Islam or anti-Christian than pro-Christian or anti-Islam. The Texas school board approved the resolution by a 7-5 vote, urging textbook publishers to limit what they print about Islam in world history books. texas-to-vote-on-scrubbing-the-pro-islam-lies-and-propaganda-from-history-textbooks
This decision could have major repercussions. Since Texas is one of the largest clients of textbook publishers, content adopted in Texas schools often leads to the adoption of similar content across the country. This is likely to have national consequences. John L. Esposito, founding director for the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University writes: “Islam is not the enemy. Ignorance is. And educators—in Texas or any place else—should never endorse it.”
Some groups are concerned about Islamophobia’s rise in the United States, and they‘re pushing back against intolerance. For instance, White Cloud Press, based in Ashland, Oregon, is offering a half-price sale on books it publishes about Islam.
According to the publisher’s website, the promotion aims to “to help Americans better understand Islam and the Qur’an.” The company hopes to spread rather than suffocate religious understanding: “Rather than burning a Qur’an we hope Americans will be learning about the Qur’an.”
I agree with that last sentence and suggest you begin to learn about the Quran here: a-1400-year-old-book-that-dictates-muslim-behavior-today