According to the New York Examiner, Houghton Mifflin's middle school level textbook, "Across the Centuries," gives the definition of "jihad" as a struggle "to do one's best to resist temptation and overcome evil." And there's a big controversy about its application in a particular county's public schools because it seems the textbooks deliberately avoid a political fight over issues of what sharia law and jihad might be. (Hint: they're really, really bad according to a biblical worldview what with their being not Christian and all.)
I've seen the textbook, and it has a small section on Christianity as well, written from the same boring, non-confrontational-as-possible viewpoint. It just points out that Christians believe Jesus came back from the dead and has a little map showing how this teaching spread during the time period after His alleged Resurrection.
The pictures are stunningly gorgeous. Way better than the Bob Jones stuff we use with its pencil drawings and the occasional real photo. It's like a coffee-table book for middle schoolers, but it has plenty of generic information given in such an overview that the student is certain not to become an expert on any given era. I think it gives a tasteless, bland, unopinionated synopsis of human history (minus all that stuff in Genesis). It isn't any more "bad" than your usual textbook or newspaper written in a secular pleasing-everybody tone.
Well, except for its comments on how bad the Christians were during the Crusades and whatnot. A fair bit of detail for an overview book that purports to basically gloss over the centuries. September 11 is not specifically mentioned as a MUSLIM TERRORIST ACT inseparable from the entire concept of the Islamic religion and this so-called "jihad," however.
More telling are the comments.
I love reading comments on news stories, before the "site editors" get to them. Reading these comments reinforces the notion in my own mind that people fall into a much wider spectrum of thought than the AP publishers and the like seem to acknowledge. Major news orgs. tend to look only at two opposing viewpoints, and their "man on the street" interviews also make the man on the street to appear to fit one of the two neatly-outlined viewpoints. The man on the street discusses the gold standard and its effects on inflation in great detail, but the resulting quote on the news wire goes something like, "An' that's real bad, Bubba." Which your interviewee *might* have said verbatim after some extensive and educated discourse. A few comments with their readers pseudonyms included with my comments following in purple.
Examiner Reader wrote:
Parents of children in this school district have the right to remove your children from any class that you deem harmful to your child. You may do this on religious grounds or any other ground. If this goes into effect, request when it will be taught and simply go out of your way to remove the child from the school when the lessons are being taught. If enough parents do so the lesson will most likely be dropped. Or, the teachers will be teaching to an empty classroom. If they don't stop, at least your child will not be there. You do not have to expose your children, the young minds you are tasked with developing, to anything you fee[l] is detrimental.
Yup, I'm sure parents are able to read every textbook for every class, for every child of theirs that attends public school. And I'm sure the public schools are *always* forthright about their curriculum choices and would neeeever insert additional on-the-spur teachings ad lib.
Can't Believer wrote:
By the way, Mr. Aslan [religion expert], you don't need to suffer all of this hassle and grief over these textbooks. The islamization of America would occur much faster if you simply beat a path down to the Rio Grande and converted illegal Mexicans at the border on their way through. I wonder how many converts you'd get by paying the coyote fees. You could have, like, two for Tuesday specials....
OK could you imagine someone THIS quote in the "man on the street" section of the newspaper? No? Why not? Just because it's a little asinine doesn't mean this guy shouldn't be covered with the same meticulous reporting we give to the culture behind the new Indiana Jones movie.
Or how about THIS quote making the "man on the street" interview in your local paper next week?
World Watcher wrote:
Look..these are public schools that are funded by citizen taxes. These idiots running the schools actually work for us!! It's time for all of us to put our foot down and say "ENOUGH"! This is exactly how Islam takes over countries and they've already weaseled their way in to 58 countries so far! Parents please go to your local council meetings, get on the phone and start calling your congress and senate and DEMAND separation of church and state be applied! Do whatever it takes to get the job done! Our children are our future and I'll be damned if it's going to be an islamic one! GET THEM OUT NOW!!! Do it before it's too late! And one other thing, make sure you're not voting in any muslims to your local school districts or any governmental office. This is how they literally "eat up" lands and peoples.
It's too bad that everyone is this fired up about one middle school textbook and sex education and "health" class is left alone in this article. How about a little piece about how homosexuals are bullied in some horrible ways as students, and yet in others adult gays are able to dictate the curriculum? The evolutionists are able to dictate science curriculum and "Christian scientist" is just an oxymoron or a cult.
How about this: Have a reporter go through the entire curriculum from a local school district and then interview the parents on what's inside, round-table style. "Did you know that on page 437 of your child's text book it calls all Christians anti-homosexual? How about this picture your child was shown last week in health? What do you think about that? Did you have a comment, ma'am?"
Maybe they'd better bring some smelling salts to that interview, along with some ice-water and Kleenex.