May 17 2012
PENNSYLVANIA: Pastor wants removal of textbook that promotes Islam over Christianity and Judaism, and denigrates Christians
This is what happens when you allow the Saudis to fund textbooks used in American classrooms. Norwin, PA school administrators are defending a middle school social studies textbook that a local pastor called “an Islamic Trojan horse” in requesting that the district revise its curriculum involving the religion.
Trib Live In an administrative report this week, Superintendent William Kerr said the textbook is “an acceptable reference for the seventh-grade global studies course of study.”
The book, “myWorld History: Early Ages,” is one of several used in seventh-grade social studies “to teach comparative religions in a nondevotional, instructional manner,” according to the district.
In March, The Rev. Bruce Leonatti of Zion Lutheran Church in Circleville told the school board that the book “promotes Islam over Christianity and Judaism” and “denigrates Christians.”Leonatti said he plans to present a second report to the district about two textbooks under consideration for purchase because he disagrees with how they describe the Muslim aspect of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
“This is not a done deal in terms of what we’re looking at,” Leonatti said. “We’re still exploring this. And they seem to kind of want to put it away and get rid of the whole issue, but it’s still there.”
Leonatti, who formerly taught history at Duquesne High School and in Ohio, contends the social studies text is riddled with errors. He said he’s involved with “ACT! For America,” whose mission is to “give Americans concerned about national security, terrorism, and the threat of radical Islam, a powerful, organized, informed and mobilized voice,” according to its website.
The book’s publisher, Pearson Education, “reaffirmed its commitment to a balanced and accurate coverage of world religions.” The “myWorld History” program is used in thousands of classrooms nationwide, a spokeswoman said. (U.S. Pusblishers get these Saudi funded textbooks either free or at a substantial discount which is why they push them on the schools)
Kerr states in the report that “there are no errors or misrepresentations in the textbook at issue which are significant enough to render it unusable as a curricular resource.”
OK, folks, decide for yourself:
Sample passages taken from “myWorld History: Early Ages” that The Rev. Bruce Leonatti objects to:
• “Religious toleration also helped the Arab Muslim Empire expand.”
• “The Arab Muslim empire was generally tolerant towards Jews and Christians.”
• “As the Arab Muslims build their empire, Islam spread peacefully both inside the empire and to the lands beyond its borders.”
• “Mobs of Christian peasants turned on those Jews who would not convert to Christianity.”
• “Medieval Christians would not tolerate even minor differences in beliefs.”
“I believe the board has been very supportive of our teachers and administrators and concur that the administrative report brings closure to this topic,” Kerr said.
“Norwin isn’t going to have any curriculum or textbook that’s going to be harmful to students,” Kerr said. “We are here in this case to teach about cultures. Part of culture is religion and tradition. We have made every effort to teach comparative religion in a nonbiased, nondevotional way.”