By Jerry Gordon:
We are increasingly concerned about how secondary school textbooks and world history courses convey disinformation about Israel and Islam. These materials demonize Israel while proseltyzing for Islam. Local advocates here in Florida have drawn attention to misrepresentations of Islam in protests in Brevard and Sarasota Counties-see our post on the subject here. Tennessee parents have also raised objections to similar course material extolling Palestinian suicide bombers. Credit Charles Jacobs of Americans for Peace and Tolerance for taking on the Newton, Massachusetts school board and superintendent for permitting use of texts and course materials that engage in promoting false information. As a JNS news report, notes APT brought it to the attention of both the general and Jewish communities in an aggressive ad campaign:
The Boston-based nonprofit Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT) took out the ads in the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Newton Tab, Boston Metro, andJewish Advocate. The ads cover research by concerned parents and students that has revealed the presence of anti-Israel texts in Newton schools including “The Arab World Studies Notebook,” which claims that Israeli soldiers murdered hundreds of Palestinian nurses in Israeli prisons; “A Muslim Primer,” which claims that astronaut Neil Armstrong converted to Islam, but that the anti-Muslim U.S. government warned him “to keep his new religion to himself or he could be fired” from his government job; “Flashpoints: Guide to World History,” which asserts that Tel Aviv, not Jerusalem, is the capital of Israel, and that Jerusalem is the capital of “Palestine”; and other materials.
An APT press release had more background on parental concerns about the Arab World Studies Notebook:
Dr. Charles Jacobs, head of APT said “the materials in the Newton schools also proselytize for Islam, while denigrating Christianity and women’s rights. One handout cited in the ad from “A World Where Womanhood Reigns Supreme” teaches that gender equality is unacceptable and that American women are repressed because of the way they dress. The handout claims that, “the invisible boundary between men and women is a welcome partition.” Another handout recommends the writings of Sayyid Qutb, the radical Islamist who inspiredOsama Bin Laden.”
In the past school officials have defended including anti-Israel materials as part of an educational effort at ‘global understanding’ and teaching ‘critical thinking skills’ to students. After APT complaints earlier in the year, school officials acknowledged the inappropriateness of one of the noted materials (The Arab World Studies Notebook) and it was removed.
Over the course of the past year the school committee has refused to share the school curriculum with Newton parents. Some supporters of the School Committee have sought to silence critics by falsely accusing them of bigotry and racism.
Read more at New English Review
- Massachusetts: School texts teach Muslim propaganda incl Neil Armstrong converted to Islam (creepingsharia.wordpress.com)
- Boston Area Schools Called Out Over Anti-Israel Materials (algemeiner.com)
- Pro-Israel group calls out Mass. schools district (jta.org)