Texas School Board To Ditch Pro-Islam Textbooks

The Texas board of education voted Friday to to reject any textbooks which paint Islam in too favorable of a light, vowing to curtail what it sees as a "pro-Islam/anti-Christian" bias in school books. The move comes months after the socially-conservative board enacted new social studies standards which championed capitalism and Republican party values and questioned whether the country was truly founded on the separation of church and state. Texas is the largest textbook market in the United States and its rules influence what children across the country will learn at school. The resolution adopted Friday cites "politically-correct whitewashes of Islamic culture and stigmas on Christian civilization" in current textbooks and warns that "more such discriminatory treatment of religion may occur as Middle Easterners buy into the US public school textbook oligopoly." It vowed to reject any future textbooks which devote more space to teaching about Islam than Christianity, include "sanitized definitions of 'jihad,'" or display bias by describing Christian crusaders as "invaders" when Muslim "conquest" is called "migration" by "empire builders." Critics said the resolution, which passed 7-6, was a further attempt to politicize education and was based on false claims. "It is hard not to conclude that the members who voted for this resolution were solely interested in playing on fear and bigotry in order to pit Christians against Muslims," said Kathy Miller, president of the Texas Freedom Network, which aims to counter the religious right and protect individual liberties.