The American Textbook Council has just released “Islam in the Classroom: What the Textbooks Tell Us.” From the executive summary:
- Many political and religious groups try to use the textbook process to their advantage, but the deficiencies in Islam-related lessons are uniquely disturbing. History textbooks present an incomplete and confected view of Islam that misrepresents its foundations and challenges to international security.
- Misinformation about Islam is more pronounced in junior high school textbooks than high school textbooks.
- Outright textbook errors about Islam are not the main problem. The more serious failure is the presence of disputed definitions and claims that are presented as established facts.
- Deficiencies about Islam in textbooks copyrighted before 2001 persist and in some cases have grown worse. Instead of making corrections or adjusting contested facts, publishers and editors defend misinformation and content evasions against the record. Biases persist. Silences are profound and intentional.
- Islamist activists use multiculturalism and ready-made American political movements, especially those on campus, to advance and justify uncritical Islam-related content makeover in history textbooks.
- Particular fault rests with the publishing corporations, the boards of directors, and executives who decide what editorial policies their companies will pursue.