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California Schools Proselytize for Allah By: Kalavai Venkat
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, February 07, 2006


If your child is unfortunate enough to study in California, he or she will be taught Islam is a fountain of modernity, liberty, and feminism. More importantly, he will be taught every aspect of the Islamic faith is historically accurate.

The Houghton-Mifflin textbook, currently in use in many schools, lists one Shabbir Mansuri, Founding Director of Council on Islamic Education, as its consultant. Mansuri is a businessman with a degree in chemical engineering, and not an academic. That did not prevent the California State Board of Education (SBE) from inviting Mansuri to a closed-door meeting, apparently to advise the board on Hindu edits, on January 6, 2006.

 

Revelation as history

 

The textbook presents Islamic beliefs as verifiable history. A paragraph, introducing the origins of the Quran, begins innocuously, “The first verses of the Quran, believed by Muslims to be the written record of God’s words,” and makes the subtle shift to add, “were revealed to him at that time.” From there on, the textbook abandons any pretense of objectivity and begins indoctrination:

 

Then, in the cave, something more far-reaching happened. A being he [Prophet Muhammad] later identified as the angel Gabriel, or Jibril [juhBREEL] in Arabic, came to him, telling him to read, or recite. Trembling, Muhammad responded that he didn’t know how to read or what to read. [p. 58]

 

As the text progresses, the authors are absolutely convinced that revelations to Muhammad were indeed historical events: “Muhammad’s revelations occurred from 610 until his death in 632.” [p. 61]

 

For the followers of Islam, the Quran completes the earlier revelations of Old Testament prophets and Jesus. The Quran is the final revelation, just as Muhammad is the final prophetBut Muslims considered these other religions [Christianity and Judaism] to be less correct. That is because the Quran teaches that the Bible has suffered loss and change with time.  [p. 62]

 

California children will now grow up assured that revelations are a historically verifiable phenomenon – and other faiths (perhaps those of their families for generations) are inferior.

 

Holy Muhammad

 

Textbook authors portray Prophet Muhammad as a righteous and just man and demonize those who refused to follow the diktats of Muhammad – even if these people may never have existed:

 

Failing to convince Muhammad and his followers to give up their beliefs, the Quraysh leaders refused to trade with them, causing the Muslims great suffering…Quraysh leaders plotted to kill Muhammad. [p. 59]

 

The basis for this “fact” is a 16th century Islamic hagiographic text written by chronicler, Ibn al Dayba`, who accuses the Quraysh of treachery after admitting that the Quraysh feared violence at the hands of Muslims. [Motzki, Harald: The Biography of Muhammad – the Issue of the Sources, p. 163]. Textbook writers did not bother to ascertain facts when they decided to demonize the Quraysh, solely based on this dubious claim.

 

The demonizing of the Quraysh is contrasted with the complete sanitizing of Muhammad’s conduct, after he seized Mecca in 630 A.D.:

 

One of the first things Muhammad did was to forgive all those who had opposed Muslims for long. He also removed the idols from the Kabah. [p. 60]

 

Muhammad “forgave” these less powerful people by invading their shrines and desecrating their idols. Likewise, a proposed textbook from Prentice-Hall depicts Muhammad as a virtuous man who militated against “depraved” pre-Islamic society:

 

But he [Muhammad] was critical of Meccan society. All around him, he saw greed, corruption and violence. Arab traditions of honor and duty were being ignored. [p. 69]

 

Historical facts about how Muhammad and his party raided caravans and butchered defenseless people are now interpreted as the struggle of a righteous man against the knave.

 

Whitewashing Terrorism

 

The textbook also apologizes for the violent Muslim terrorism of jihad:

 

An Islamic term that is often misunderstood is jihad [jeeHUHD]. It means “to struggle,” to do one’s best to resist temptation and overcome evil. [p. 64]

 

Having disingenuously defined jihad, the textbook continues with the sleight of hand:

 

The Quran and Sunna allow self-defense and participation in military conflict, but restrict it to the right to defend against aggression and persecution, Jihad, for example, was first carried out against the Meccans who had forbidden Muslims to practice or preach their religion.

 

In the early periods of Islamic conquest, Muslim forces gave others 24 hours to choose between Islam and death. California students now learn that Muhammad’s demolishing the idols of Kaba after terrorizing his opponents was as much “self-defense” as “forgiveness.”

 

Islam, the tolerant religion

 

In the Orwellian world of California textbooks, destroying idols is self-defense, and forced marriage and conversion are tolerance:

 

While Islam forbade forced religious observance in the 600s, most rulers in the world at the time decided what religion their subjects would follow and persecuted those who refused. [p. 64]

 

Muhammad attacked the Jewish settlement of Khaybar, looted its wealth, massacred most of its men, and took as his “wife” [read: sex slave] the beautiful 17-year-old Safiyyah b. Huyayy, who had been wed for merely a month when Muhammad massacred her husband and father in cold blood. [Lings, M.: Muhammad, His Life Based on the Earliest Sources, p. 268] What does one make of the Quranic injunction urging Muslims to slay the pagans [9:5]?

 

The Prentice-Hall textbook has similar things to say about the spread of Islam:

 

Another factor helping Arabs was their tolerance for other religions. The Arabs generally allowed people to practice their own customs and beliefs. Before capturing Damascus, the Arab general Khalid ibn al-Walid made the following promise:

 

“This is what Khalid would grant the inhabitants of Damascus if he enters therein: he promises to give them security for their lives, property, and churches. Their city wall shall not be demolished, neither shall any Muslim be quartered in their houses. Thereunto we give them the pact of Allah and the protection of His Prophet. So long as they pay the poll tax, nothing but good shall befall them.” [p. 79]

 

Islam spread by imposing the debilitating poll tax, or jizya, on those who refused to convert to Islam under duress. They were reduced to dhimmitude, and in places like India, Syria, and Egypt, subject to terrible humiliations. They were nearly as “tolerant” as the Taliban.

 

Islam for progressive women

 

Islam did not just grant rights to infidels; it was also a forerunner of Gloria Steinem:

 

In contrast to some other societies of the time, Muslim women were also given clear rights in marriage and the right to an education. They had the right to control the earnings from their work, to make contracts, and to serve as witnesses in court. [p. 64]

 

Marital rights for Muslim women came with a few insignificant caveats:

 

If the wives of Muhammad do not “behave” themselves, Allah will replace them with others [66:5]. You cannot possess a woman against her will, except when she is “guilty” of lewdness [4:19]. Since, Islam ordains a woman to be veiled [24:31, 33:59], she should have been prone to be charged with “lewdness” as often as a man wishes. It does not appear that the lovely maidens with wide eyes and fair complexion who dwell in the Islamic heaven enjoy any marital rights, as Allah has reserved them [44:54] for the fidayeen, who are on the Islamic heaven-bound cargo, post-mortem, after crashing a 747 into some infidel’s skyscraper. Of course, while a woman is married, she is a tilth unto her husband, who can go to her as he wills [2:223].

 

So what if the textbook does not reveal that a woman “enjoys” half the property rights as a man [4:176], or that a woman’s worth is half of a man’s [2:282]? These are minor compromises one needs to make to transform Islam into a feminist religion for progressive women.

 

And Californian school children.

 

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Kalavai Venkat is an India-born, Silicon Valley-based orthodox, practising, agnostic Hindu.


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