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Florida town in a heated debate over school textbook that flat-out lies about Islamic women’s rights

Photo: Malcolm Denemark/FLORIDA TODAY.

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A Florida town is in a heated debate over a textbook that, some allege, paints Islam in an untruthful, positive, light.

The Space Coast chapter of ACT for America alleged that the Pearson World History textbook makes it appear that Islam was not oppressive toward women.

The controversy began when two Brevard residents, Doug Murphy and Lee Boyland , spoke publicly at the March 14 school board meeting and complained that the textbook ignores the actual history of Islam, USA Today reported.

Murphy pointed to passages in the Quran that show how oppressive the religion can be toward women and cited a part of the textbook that read “Islam extended rights and protection to women by affirming the spiritual equality of all Muslims,” he told the board.

“Does this sound like social justice?” he said. “This is political correctness. Not at the expense of the truth, please, our young adults deserve the truth.”

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At the next meeting the local chapter of ACT and the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and area residents, came prepared for battle.

“If we change history and we omit the facts that are insulting to some people, then we wouldn’t have described Hitler the way that we did,” Roger Gangitano, president of ACT’s Space Coast chapter, said. “We would have only have addressed the issue and his life prior to the Third Reich and that, of course, would be wrong.”

The Orlando Regional Coordinator of CAIR-Florida, Rasha Mubarak, called ACT a “hate group” and argued that it was only interested in spreading an anti-Islam message.

“They are not concerned with how well Brevard County’s students perform nor about their futures,” she said. “They are using our students for their one intention and that is to push their anti-Islamic agenda.”

“I can’t tell you how infuriating it is to have someone from an organization that was founded by terrorists call me a hate group,” Gangitano responded.

The school board faced an identical problem in 2013 and said the textbook has been improved since then.

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“I’ve got to imagine that every history book has some omissions in them or the books would be so thick you couldn’t carry them around,” board member Andy Ziegler said. “We could probably find problems with every textbook, so how big a magnifying glass do we use to try to find problems and fix them?”

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Carmine Sabia


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