School officials in Florida are defending a textbook that declares Muhammad as the “Messenger of God” after critics accused an Islamic education group of launching a stealth jihad in American public school classrooms.
The Prentice World History textbook being used in Brevard Public Schools includes a 36-page chapter on Islam but no chapters on Christianity or Judaism.
According to a copy obtained by Fox News, The ninth grade textbook declares that Muhammad is the “Messenger of God” and instructs students that jihad is a duty that Muslims must follow.
“Jihad may be interpreted as a holy war to defend Islam and the Muslim community, much like the Crusades to defend Christianity,” the book states.
The textbook published large passages from the Koran, but failed to include any Scripture from the Bible. And while the book makes declarations about Muhammad being God’s messenger, it does not make declarations about Jesus being God’s son.
“Some believed he was the messiah,” the textbook noted in an entry about Jesus. The book noted that He was later executed, but failed to mention His resurrection.
Brevard Public Schools defended the textbook and said it provided a balanced view of world religions.
“An analysis of one textbook cannot provide a balanced understanding as to what the students in Brevard Public Schools are learning throughout their academic careers,” spokeswoman Michelle Irwin said in a statement.
She said the Prentice Hall World History textbook incorporated a review of the origin of Christianity and Judaism – subjects covered indepth in sixth grade classrooms.
She also pointed out the book was among those approved by the state of Florida and that parents as well as community members were given the opportunity to review the textbook before it was adopted.
The book has been used in the classroom for the past three years without any complaints – until now.
Susan Aspey, a spokeswoman for the book’s publisher, told Fox News the textbook is balanced.
“Pearson and its authors adhere to the highest editorial standards when creating course materials, which undergo a rigorous review process,” she said. “A review of the book shows there is balanced attention given to the beliefs of Islam, Judaism and Christianity.
William Saxton, the chairman of Citizens For National Security, testified before the Brevard, Fla. School Board, warning them that the book rewrites Islamic history and presents a biased and incorrect version of the Muslim faith.
“They promote Islam at the expense of Christianity and Judaism,” Saxton told Fox News. “It blew my mind to see the kind of propaganda, the pro-Islam information that’s in this book – at the expense of Christianity and Judaism.”
Saxton said he believes the inclusion is deliberate and he placed the blame an organization that was once called Council on Islamic Education. The group works with education officials and publishers to produce chapters on Islam for American textbooks.
But today, the Council on Islamic Education is known as the Institute on Religious and Civic Values. It’s founder, Shabbir Mansuri, is listed as an academic reviewer on the textbook used in Brevard County.
In 2001 the OC Weekly newspaper in California interviewed Mansuri about comments former Second Lady Lynne Cheney made lamenting the amount of time schools were spending teaching cultures that were not American. Mansuri took her comments as a personal attack.
“For the past 11 years, Mansuri has waged what he calls a ‘bloodless’ revolution: promoting an increased emphasis on world cultures and faiths – including Islam – inside American junior high and high school campuses,” the newspaper reported.
Saxton said he is highly suspicious of Mansuri’s organization and questioned why they changed their name.
“These people are dedicated to getting this language into the textbooks,” he said, noting their new name is “benign and does not sound “threatening or Islamic. “But the same people are running it.”
Saxton said they are hearing from concerned parents across the country – and the complaints have generally been the same: public school textbooks that favor Islam over other world religions.
“It’s a form of stealth jihad,” he said. “(Jihad) is not just blowing up buildings. It’s more subtle. I began to understand that one of the ways the bad guys are trying to threaten our way of life is through our children. The Islamists want to get to the hearts and minds of our kids.”
Fox News has the full article