Private citizens, at least one Florida county school board member as well as a state representative are taking a closer look at a world history textbook and not liking what they’re seeing.
The Prentice World History textbook used in Brevard County’s Advanced Placement class is alleged to favor Islam over both Christianity and Judaism — by a margin wide enough to get Florida Rep. Ritch Workman, R-Melbourne, in on the fight, according to Fox News.
“The book has a 36-page chapter on Islam but no chapters on Christianity or Judaism,” Workman said. “It’s remarkably one-sided.”
Indeed, and one might ask what a chapter devoted to any particular faith is doing in any text other than on comparative religions.
The text has been used in the school system for three years after having been approved by the state, and hasn’t received any complaints until lately, when Workman received a copy and looked it over.
“If you don’t see it from the eyes of a parent, kids are going to take this book as gospel and believe that Christians and Jews were murderous barbarians and thank God the Muslims came along and the world is great,” he said.
School board member Amy Kneessy agrees.
“Some of the descriptions of the battles use the word ‘massacre’ when it’s a Christian battle and ‘takeover’ when it’s a Muslim battle,” she told Fox News. “In young minds, massacre paints a very different visual picture than a takeover or occupation – when in fact both battles were very bloody.”
She added, “I don’t want revisionist history. History is history.”
Pearson Spokeswoman Susan Aspey said the company and its authors adhere to “the highest editorial standards when creating course materials, which undergo a rigorous review process,” according to Florida Today.
“The textbook referenced was approved by the state of Florida and meets all requirements for the High School World History Course,” she wrote in an email. “A review of the book shows there is balanced attention given to the beliefs of Islam, Judaism and Christianity.”
Wilfredo Ruiz, attorney for Florida Council on American-Islamic Relations, believes Workman and groups criticizing the text have an agenda to criticize Islam.
“They just want to create an environment of intolerance toward Muslims and an environment of hate against Islam,” he said.
Retired Col. Bill Prince currently lives in Melbourne, and has fought alongside Muslims as well as against followers of radical Islam.
“It is my considered opinion that the textbooks that our students are using in Brevard County do not give a balanced view,” he said. “I think it’s fine to explain the five pillars of Islam, but for us to whitewash some of the really terrible things, about, especially, radical Islam, does a great disservice.”
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