A few members of the Texas State Board of Education believe that the history books in the Texas school systems have a pro-Islamic bias based on Middle Eastern countries investing in textbook publishing companies. The board wrote a proposal this summer that would send a message to the publishers, convincing them that if they want to continue selling books in the American school system, they must keep a balance between Christianity and Islam.
According to a New York Times article titled “A Claim of Pro-Islam Bias in Textbooks,” Randy Rives, a member of the Odessa school board, said he was concerned for the pro-Islam content to the Texas Board of Education.
“If you can control or influence our education system, you can start taking over the minds of the young people,” Rives said.
While it is important to let young adults think for themselves and form their own opinions, making statements throughout a book that call Christians “violent attackers” or “invaders” while expressing other Muslim events in Europe as “migrations” is not going to influence the students’ political or religious beliefs.
A columnist for the Huffington Post said that it seems as though the conservative advocates want the textbooks to tell nothing short of “who God is and what side “He’ is on and that we are all doomed if we don’t subscribe to particular beliefs.” He also wrote that the history of what has happened up to now should be taught exactly how it happened. If that means exploring things that Christians have done wrong, then that’s what needs to happen, and the same goes for Islam.
There is a difference between teaching political and religious history with social studies and trying to make one religion look better than the other. Trying to convince students of which religion is better than the other is not what the textbooks are doing. They are instead pointing out the negative events caused by Christians and downplaying the history of Muslims. Like mentioned before, if these events really did happen, then that is history, and it should be taught.
Courtney Baker is a junior strategic communication major from Fort Worth.