Many academics are involved in the writing of social studies textbooks, so it’s fair game for us PBC’s to comment on K-16 textbooks.
A highly important dispute is emerging about how these texts portray the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
According to The Sacramento Bee, there is “pressure from Muslim groups to tone down lessons on terrorism carried out with religious motivation,” and some scholars observe that publishers are caving to this pressure. For example, Gilbert T. Sewall, director of the American Textbook Council, says that the treatment of this issue “is short and very dry.” He does not believe the publishers are “calling attention to radical Islam as they should.”
Sewall adds: “The constant complaints [from Muslim organizations] about tone or some kind of imbalance is coming to be a familiar trick…a trick to erase anything negative about Islam historically or in the contemporary world.”
We should keep a close eye on this conflict. Our children must be taught historical truth – be it about Islam or any other subject. Textbook writers and publishers should not pander to any special interest group.