As children across the nation soon return to the classroom after the summer break, it is an excellent time for parents, grandparents and other loved ones to become aware of what our children are learning. This is especially critical regarding the religion of Islam.
It is certainly valuable in our increasingly global economy to understand the dynamics and culture of other parts of the world and learning about religions as part of that study is an integral part. As Christians we must insist however that any study of other religions is done in a way to fairly and truthfully educate students and make sure it is indeed education instead of indoctrination.
ACT for America has done an excellent, extensive review of the treatment of Islam in American textbooks. They reviewed and analyzed the treatment of Islam in thirty-eight American textbooks ranging from the 6th to 12th grade level. These are textbooks currently in use in public schools across the nation.
Their findings are alarming and need to be addressed by individual schools, school boards and states across the nation. Overall the amount of information in textbooks about Islam has increased while the amount about Christianity has decreased.
One example of a completely false statement is from the text, World History – Patterns of Interaction. The text says, “Shari’a law requires Muslim leaders to extend religious tolerance to Christians and Jews.” Another text, World Explorer – Medieval Times to Today, says, “Christians and Jews had full religious freedom. They built churches and synagogues, and several were financed by the state. The state did not ask Christians and Jews to perform military service, but it required them to pay a head tax called jizya…”
Both of these statements are false. Shariah law imposes many burdens and restrictions on Christians and Jews. Under shariah law Christians and Jews cannot build new houses of worship or even make repairs to existing ones. They cannot bear arms, ride horses, pray (if the prayer can be heard by a Muslim) or give testimony in Islamic courts. During certain periods of history, Christians and Jews were required to wear clothing or a badge signifying their non-Muslim status.
Unfortunately, American textbooks are full of examples like this. In our society where Christianity is continually attacked for being “intolerant”, children across our nation are being taught inaccurate, and sometimes blatantly misleading information about a religion, which truly is intolerant of other religions. If you have a child in school, take the time and investigate the information regarding Islam in their textbook. ACT for America’s report can be downloaded at this address.
PRAYER FOR EDUCATION
- Pray that our schools will be used solely for the purpose of education and not indoctrination.
- Pray that parents around the nation will begin to demand an accurate portrayal of Islam and other religions in our schools.
- Pray that students across the nation will begin to see that there is a difference between the teachings of the world’s major religions and will be drawn to Truth.