Texas Board of Education To Consider Islam in Textbooks

Back in May, social conservatives on the Texas State Board of Education angered Democrats and moderate Republicans when they successfully voted to adopt new standards for the social studies curriculum. Next week the board will consider a new resolution drafted by the board’s conservatives that seeks to restrict what is published about Islam in world history books. The resolution would essentially warn publishers not to push texts that would give unequal coverage of the world’s major religious groups, as they would be rejected by the board. Gail Lowe chairs the board and says she will most likely support the resolution.

“As publishers look toward producing instructional materials for us in the future, then I think this at least puts them on notice that we intend that all groups be presented fairly and in a balanced manner.”

The resolution names history textbooks that are more than a decade old and no longer used in Texas classrooms. Conservative members declared those books devoted more lines of text to Islam than Christianity, and offers pro-Islamic, anti-Christian distortions. Kathy Miller is the President of the Texas Freedom Network.

“Their complaints are very superficial and misleading. They ignore entire chapters about Christianity in those textbooks. And they really just do not rely on sound scholarship. Once again we see this board putting politics again ahead of expertise and sound scholarship in our students’ classrooms.”

If the resolution is approved next week, it would not be binding on future boards that will choose the next generation of social studies textbooks to be used in Texas.
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