The Jihad against the Textbooks; as History Is Written, Islam Is Whitewashed

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), February 20, 2003 | Go to article overview

The Jihad against the Textbooks; as History Is Written, Islam Is Whitewashed


Byline: Suzanne Fields, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

One man's jihad can be another man's mission of distortion. The Islamist terrorists who attacked America on September 11 cited their murderous rampage as a "jihad." The suicide bombers who set out to terrorize Israeli schools, restaurants and malls call their mission their "jihad." But American school kids might never know anything about that.

A lot has gone missing in our textbooks. "Patterns of History," for example, published by Houghton Mifflin and adopted as a world history textbook in high-school classes in Texas and other states, never even mentions the word. A seventh-grade world history book by Houghton Mifflin, titled "Across the Centuries," defines "jihad" merely as a struggle for a Muslim "to do one's best to resist temptation and overcome evil." There's no mention of the fact that millions of Muslims - not all, but many millions - are taught to regard everything not under Muslim rule or control as "evil."

"Islam and the Textbooks," a 35-page report compiled by the American Textbook Council in New York, analyzes seven history textbooks widely used between the seventh and 12th grades and finds that millions of American schoolchildren are being cheated of accurate history. Politically correct advocacy groups have thoroughly intimidated teachers, administrators and school boards - and in a way that the most fundamentalist of Christians or the most orthodox of Jews never could.

Textbooks are big money. Publishers cower at the prospect of offending anyone with a megaphone, and the advocacy groups are skilled at manipulating the timid and the cowardly with easy accusations of "bigot" and "racist." Uninformed and uncritical teachers pass on their own ignorance with appeals to mushy sentiment disguised as tolerance. Parents who think textbooks are written by fair but tough-minded scholars are unaware of how political process, not scholarship, produces their children's textbooks. There is neither understanding nor recognition of the abuse of Islam by radical Muslims and how they use this distortion to make war on America - and indeed on the millions of peaceful Muslims who do not share their distorted theology.

On significant Islam-related subjects, textbooks omit, flatter, embellish and resort to happy talk, suspending criticism or harsh judgments that would raise provocative or even alarming questions, says Gilbert Sewall, a former professor who heads the American Textbook Council (www.historytextbooks.org/islam). You wouldn't even learn how Islamists frequently describe jihad in military terms, using passages from the Koran. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

The Jihad against the Textbooks; as History Is Written, Islam Is Whitewashed
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.