Friday, September 24, 2010

Texas education board wants to limit mentions of Islam in world history textbooks

Just heard about this on As It Happens a minute ago:
The Texas State Board of Education adopted a resolution Friday that seeks to curtail references to Islam in Texas textbooks, as social-conservative board members warned of what they describe as a creeping Middle Eastern influence in the nation's publishing industry.

The board approved the one-page nonbinding resolution, which urges textbook publishers to limit what they print about Islam in world history books, by a 7-5 vote.

Critics say it's another example of the ideologically focused board trying to politicize public education in the Lone Star State. Kathy Miller, president of the Texas Freedom Network, which advocates for religious freedom, questioned why the resolution came at a time when "anti-Muslim rhetoric in this country has reached fever pitch."
From the Los Angeles Times. The radio interview was with a guy named Dan Quinn, also of the Texas Freedom Network; he points out that while the resolution is not binding, it is likely to have a chilling effect on publishers (especially given that Texas is a very large market). He also points out the amount of hyperbole (or rather, utter nonsense) being trotted out in support of the idea that Christianity is under threat from Islam in Texas. For instance, apparently they're claiming that Muslim investors from the Middle East are buying publishing companies so as to manipulate the minds of American youth. The fact that they can say something like this, and get taken seriously, is deeply worrisome.

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