June 14, 2008

History Textbooks Unbalanced in Presenting Islam

Does History Alive devote as many pages in its publications to Christianity or to Judaism, the religion which gave monotheism to the world, and from which Christianity, Islam and the Bahá'í Faith were derived? From History Textbooks Unbalanced in Presenting Islam:

Modern textbooks shy away from presenting a positive picture of Christianity and Judaism as important influences in molding America. Thanks to multicultural activism, that caution does not hold for the way many history textbooks now present Islam. History Alive: the Medieval World and Beyond, a middle-school text adopted by California for statewide use, offers a decidedly unbalanced characterization of jihad, a concept invoked by radical Islamists as a rationale for warring against Americans.

"Jihad represents the human struggle to overcome difficulties and to do things that would be pleasing to God," the textbook asserts. "Muslims strive to respond positively to personal difficulties as well as worldly challenges. For instance, they might work to become better people, reform society, or correct injustice."

History Alive devotes five chapters, 62 pages, to putative accomplishments of Islam, complete with an entire chapter on such teachings as the Five Pillars of Faith, lavishly illustrated.