By Tabitha Korol
The year was 2011, and a freshman in Newton South High School, in Newton, Massachusetts, asked her father if it was true that the “Israeli occupation forces” had “imprisoned, tortured and killed” hundreds of Arabic women who had been “active in the Palestinian resistant movement.” Her father, Tony Pagliuso, asked for the source of this misinformation. It was her 540-page Arab World Studies Notebook, a highly explosive textbook filled with fabrications, shown to contribute, at least in part, to the marked decrease, from 84 to 57 percent, in student sympathy for Israel. In another textbook, The Cultural Landscape: An Introduction to Human Geography, a question reads, “If a Palestinian suicide bomber kills several dozen Israeli teenagers in a Jerusalem restaurant, is that an act of terrorism or wartime retaliation against Israeli government policies and army actions?” These are not unique.
The editor, Audrey Park Shabbas, employed by Arab World and Islamic Resources and School Services, authored the volume to improve the Arab image because the truth is unpalatable in Western society, and the Israeli image is scapegoated in the process, consistent with the 1400-year Islamic war against Jews and Western civilization. Schools also distribute Scholastic’s maps that omit Israel from the modern Middle East.
Other education sources used across America are the Internet’s Flashpoints: Guide to World Conflicts, which identifies Jerusalem as the capital of (the non-existent) Palestine; handouts that omit the numerous and deadly Arab terrorist attacks on Israel; and A Muslim Primer that presents a deceptive, sugar-coated version of the subjugated Muslim woman’s life. Biased textbooks in use throughout America are World History: The Human Odyssey; World History: Human Legacy; World Civilizations: The Global Experience; A Muslim Primer: Beginner’s Guide to Islam, and more. I have personally reviewed four textbooks and written exposés accordingly, and many concerned professionals and members of the public are working hard to combat the manipulation of our youth, but the disinformation continues to proliferate.
More than 10,000 teachers attended Shabbas’s hundreds of three-day teacher-training sessions from 2000 to 2006, and were thus persuaded and made skillful at reaching and indoctrinating more than 25 million students over ten years. Additional corroboration comes from visiting biased speakers, such as the notorious anti-Israel Noam Chomsky, an aficionado of the Iran-supported, world’s most powerful terrorist group/army, Hezbollah, responsible for large-scale bombings and suicide attacks on Americans and Israelis; Linda Sarsour, anti-Semite, jihadi and proponent of FGM (Female Genital Mutiliation); and academia’s Paul Beran, then-director of Harvard University’s Outreach Center, now leader of SHARIAsource, recognized for promoting BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) against Israel to the Presbyterian Church.
It took alert parents and involved citizens and intense investigation and reports by The Massachusetts Board of Education, Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT), the American Jewish Committee and Verité Educate to expose Newton High’s ethical violations and unacceptable practices and to finally have the school admit the Outreach Center’s strong influence. Key criticism was leveled at Harvard International Review’s Hatem Bazian’s fallacious portrayal of Palestinians as the indigenous victims and Jews as the colonialists; at the textbooks for their academic dishonesty through inaccuracies, false information, plagiarism, deceptive editing, and hate-filled, religious-proselytizing websites; assignments designed to prejudice students toward a suicidal one-state solution for Israel/the West Bank/Gaza, revealed in Miriam F. Elman’s “Palestinian Propaganda is Infiltrating US Public Schools”; and biases against Israel and the US while sanitizing Islamic ideology and terrorism, explained by Rafael Medoff in Breaking Christian News.
Examples of other schools across the country that inculcate Islamism and unfairness in the classroom include Bellaire High, in Houston, Texas, cited for extreme claims about Israel’s history; Carlmont High in Belmont, California, which invited Linda Sarsour and other anti-Semites to advocate BDS and tutor radical positions against Israel; and La Plata High, a Maryland public school that forces the children to learn about Islam, memorize the Five Pillars of Islam, and recite the Shahada, the Islamic oath of conversion. By contrast, there is a considerable lack of parallel information being taught about Christianity and Judaism because Islamists precedently announced their aversion and umbrage. This generation of children is being fed an egregiously biased version of an ideology that is incompatible with democracy and corrosive to our beliefs, morals, and ideals. Let us be clear: their ultimate purpose is the conversion of our children.
The Intense focus on Islamic subjects is carefully selected. For example, the status of women is profoundly misrepresented, the origin and purpose of their sharia-compliant clothing falsified and unsupported by scholarship. One author asserts that “Islam and the Quran created major improvements in the status of women,” when the truth is otherwise. The worst conditions for women are concealed, including the practices of genital mutilation and honor killings; accusations of adultery and stoning; their treatment as property and legal inferiority; endorsed beatings by their husbands; the fact that a woman may have no rights to show her face, walk alone, drive a vehicle or attend schools. International speakers and experts who offer genuine facts, such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Anni Cyrus, Brigitte Gabriel, and Noni Darwish, are not among the invitees.
The textbooks elevate Islam over Judaism and Christianity, one being John Esposito’s Islam, the Straight Path, in which he declares that revelations given to the Jews and Christians were false. By contrast, he cites as truth, rather than belief, that God sent Muhammad as his final messenger and that God’s sacred language is Arabic. Students write about Moslem pilgrimages, including to Jerusalem as “your homeland,” when Jerusalem is never mentioned in the Koran. Many textbooks explain the rise and spread of Islam as being a successful acceptance of ideas, rather than the result of persecution and wantonly destructive conquerors who beheaded the non-believers, kidnapped the women for forced conversion and sexual slavery, and enriched themselves with appropriated bounty.
The textbooks’ definition of jihad varies from the benign, the spiritual struggle within oneself against sin, to the traditional, the struggle against the enemies of Islam, but the goal is always the same – that of bringing the whole world under Islamic law, as explained by Bernard Lewis. Omitted is the account of hundreds of members of the Jewish Meccan tribe, the Quarayza, beheaded in 627 AD for rejecting Muhammad as Prophet, and the more than 109 verses in the Quran that decree violence and death to Jews and Christians, and the destruction of Israel.
Not found in textbooks is Israel’s history – not 1948, when five surrounding Arab states declared war on the new state of Israel and lost, or 1967, when the Arabs again attacked Israel and lost, leaving behind Arabs who stayed and accepted Israel citizenship and Arabs who fled and remained as stateless pawns, neglected by their brethren. Mislaid is the number of Jews – between 800,000 and one million – who fled for their lives from Islamic countries, and were absorbed by Israel. Missing are a timeline that would verify Israel’s attacks as retaliatory to the Arab leaders’ calls to annihilate Israel, and a correct definition of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as “religious,” as declared in the Quran, confirming that anti-Semitism is integral to the Moslem culture. The textbooks do not explain Islamic terrorism and radicalism as religious precepts of jihad, or the incitement to hate that permeates Palestinian and Islamic society. Palestinians extol terrorism, praise terrorists as heroes and deceased murderers as martyrs after whom streets, cultural events, and public squares are named, and for which parents are handsomely rewarded – with “humanitarian aid” funded by UN countries. Anti-Semitism is endemic to the Koran, and none of this is mentioned.
The correct definition of Islam, with its religious, legal, political, economic, social and military components is a 100% system of life, and the greatest threat to the world. There are organizations that work to free our schools of Islamic propaganda, but the programs of study have been bought and paid for by the Saudis, and theirs is the agenda. Hence, the lessons are plagued with poor scholarship, revisionism, and blatant anti-Israel bias, and supported by a corrupt media that fuels the skewed perspective.
It is now evident that we are at war, a war that is being waged in the classroom, with its weaponry aimed at our children’s minds. The diligent work, “Indoctrinating our Youth,” by CAMERA, Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, has resulted in the removal of some curriculum materials, but not all. Despite parental rights to know what their children are learning, teaching staff does not provide full disclosure. And, for every school that removes falsehoods, there are a hundred more that are continuing its use, now beginning at 3rd grade level. It is up to us to pursue what must be stopped for the sake of our survival as a republic. Go to www.schoolbias.org or call CAMERA, at 617-377-6911. To quote a popular phrase, “If you see something, say something.”