"Medieval and Early Modern Times
captures each student's imagination by starting every chapter with a story."
The McDougal-Littell Website
"While seventh-grade textbooks describe
Islam in glowing language, they portray Christianity in harsh light....
Islam is featured as a model of interfaith tolerance...."
Textbook Council, [2,p.19]
"When the sacred months are over slay the
idolaters wherever you find them."
Tom* enrolled his seventh grade son in a local Christian school this year. But
he felt a bit uneasy when he saw the new history text. And as he leafed through
the pages of World History: Medieval
and Early Modern Times (a standard
nationwide textbook), his concern grew.
images, evocative suggestions and interesting group assignments would probably
prevent boredom, but what would his son actually learn? How accurate
were the lessons? And most important: What kinds of values would they instill?
4 (in the section on "Strategies") told students to "Try to visualize
the people, places, and events you read about."
With all the inspiring stories and pictures, that should be easy! Group dialogue
and peer consensus would help seal those biased impressions! This was
not what Tom expected from a Christian school!
unit dealt with the Roman Empire. It had nothing nice to say about Christianity
-- not a word about the courage, commitment and charity of the persecuted Christians.
unit covered "The Growth of Islam." It began with an inspirational story that
built a positive context for the rest of the chapter: Thirteen-year-old Ayesha
and her family went on a hajj [pilgrimage] with "nearly 100,000"
fellow Muslims ("a gross exaggeration"[2,p.19])
to Mecca back in 632 A.D. After the long, hot journey, "Ayesha tells [her brother]
Yazid that the trip has been very hard, but it was also satisfying. They agree
with their parents that being near Muhammad was especially meaningful."[4,p.83]
warm introduction to Muhammad was followed by stirring descriptions of Islam's
miraculous beginnings, noble beliefs, vast conquests, amazing scientific discoveries,
and exceptional tolerance toward unbelievers. But were they true?
actual facts are far less flattering. Back in the 7th century, large
Muslim armies fanned out in different directions, forcing their way through
the Middle East, Central Asia, northern Africa and southern Europe. Resisters
were massacred or enslaved, while the vast "unbelieving" masses became taxpaying
subjects at the mercy of Muslim rulers. Jews and Christians [dhimmis]
were held captive to the restrictive and demeaning rules of dhimmitude
["protection']. Here's a brief explanation from The Myth of Islamic
"Jews and Christians are termed 'People of
the Book' in the Qur’an—that is, communities that have received a genuine
revelation from Allah. That’s why they’re offered this 'protection' in an
Islamic state. However, the Qur’an also teaches that both Jews and Christians
have incurred the curse of Allah (Sura 5:60 and others) for their refusal
to receive Muhammad as a legitimate prophet and his Qur’an as a book from
Allah.... In fact, the Sharia
dictates that such a 'protection' agreement... 'is only valid when the
subject peoples follow the rules of Islam..."
rules included special dhimmi clothing that shows the Christian's low
social status, a ban on proselytizing or building new churches, showing humble
submission to Muslims everywhere, and many others. The constant threat of punishment
(i.e. loss of "protection" which often meant death or slavery) -- along with
the crushing tax for "unbelievers" -- broke down resistance to Islamic conversion.
In vast regions around the Mediterranean, Christian communities were virtually
textbook tells students that the conquered masses were generally impressed by
Islam and willingly converted:
"For more than 20 years, Muhammad had spread
the word of Allah across the Arabian peninsula. He had begun to establish
a Muslim Empire. ... Islam brought order, justice, and hope of heaven
into their lives."[4,p.99]
"There was much blending of cultures
under Muslim rule. Over time, many peoples in Muslim-ruled territories converted
to Islam. They were attracted by Islam's message of equality and
hope for salvation."[4,p.101]
To make sure students don't miss that last point,
it's repeated on page 105:
"By 661, the Muslim Empire had been expanded
to nearly four times its size by Muhammad's successors. It then included
all of Southwest Asia and stretched into North Africa. ... Many conquered
people became Muslims. They found Islam's message of equality and
Tom was stunned! Why this idealization of Islam?
There was no such support for "Christianity."
In the section on the Crusades (to retake the "Holy Land"), Christians were
presented as violent attackers. The fact that
Jerusalem was central
to both Jewish and Christian history was ignored. While most Crusaders tended
to be mercenaries rather than "Christians," such bias against semblance of "Christianity"
References to slavery were just as misleading.
"While Christian belligerence is magnified, Islamic inequality, subjugation,
and enslavement get the airbrush," wrote Gilbert T. Sewall in an excellent report
titled "Islam in the
Classroom: What the textbooks tell us." After examining the six main World
History texts for junior high students, he and
Textbook Council concluded that--
"Textbooks mention Islamic slavery only obliquely...
or not at all. Enslaved Africans and Slavs were transported to Muslim lands
from the eighth century on. Slaves were accumulated through conquest, tribute,
"Muslim enslavement went on from the Balkans
to Africa and Central Asia, and the estimated fourteen million slaves taken
captive by Muslim rulers all over the world was a larger population than
the eleven million Africans exported to the New World before 1850. In the
holy cities of Mecca and Medina, in the late nineteenth century, an estimated
twenty-five thousand slaves were traded annually."[2,p.23]
In the chapters on "European Renaissance and
Reformation" the light of political correctness shone briefly on the Protestant
Church. To help students internalize a new view of Christianity, the text included
a story about Martin Luther -- an excerpt from a biographical children's book
by the notoriously liberal pastor,
Harry Emerson Fosdick.
Dr. Fosdick led Manhattan's
large interdenominational Riverside Church
built by John D.
Rockefeller, Jr. No wonder his excerpts misrepresented the courage and convictions
behind Luther's battle against theological corruption. Missing were Luther's
famous words, "Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God."
to the negative and confusing treatment of Christianity, the "Five Pillars of
Islam" got plenty of positive attention. This set of basic rules was repeated
several times throughout the book. Page 95 explains their significance:
"Muslims try to connect their personal and
religious lives. They live their religion and serve their community by following
the Five Pillars of Islam. These are the five duties all Muslims must perform
to demonstrate their submission to the will of God."
"Muslims believe the Quran is the word of
God as revealed to Muhammad. Jews and Christians also believe that God's
word is revealed in their holy books. But Muslims believe that the Qur'an
is the final book. They also think that Muhammad is the last prophet."[4,p.95]
Since Muhammad was the "last prophet," his teachings
supposedly supersede the teachings of Jesus. And in spite of the textbook's
assurances of hope and tolerance, Islam's global aims and militant threats are
every bit as real today as in the seventh century. Whether living in the East
or the West, its leaders still envision global Islamic dominion and religious
supremacy -- and the
Qur'an still calls Muhammad's followers to jihad:
"And fight with them until there is no more
persecution and religion should be only for Allah."
"Fight those who do not believe in Allah... ."
"Surely Allah loves those who fight in His way..."
"...surely the unbelievers are your open
"...take not from among them friends until
they fly in Allah's way; but if they turn back, then seize them and kill
them wherever you find them..." (Sura
This recent article from the British
illustrates this ongoing threat:
"The first brick was thrown
through the sitting room window at one in the morning, waking Nissar Hussein,
his wife and five children with a terrifying start.... The victim of a three-year
campaign of religious hatred, Mr. Hussein’s car has also been rammed and
torched.... His car, walls and windows have been daubed in graffiti: 'Christian
"Mr. Hussein... is one of a
growing number of former Muslims in Britain who face not just being shunned
by family and community, but attacked, kidnapped, and in some cases killed.
There is even a secret underground network to support and protect those
who leave Islam.... For police, religious authorities and politicians,
it is an issue so sensitive that they are accused by victims of refusing
to respond to appeals for help....
who lose their faith face execution or imprisonment, in line with traditional
Muslim teaching in many Islamic countries including Saudi Arabia, Pakistan,
Egypt and Yemen. In the Netherlands, the former Muslim MP Ayan Hirsi Ali
had to go into hiding after renouncing her faith on television....
"Yasmin [another convert to Christianity]
has helped to set up a series of support groups across England, who have
adopted a method of operating normally associated with dissidents in dictatorships,
not democracies.... The family of an 18-year-old girl whom Yasmin was helping
found that she had been hiding a Bible in her room, and visiting church
secretly. 'I tried to do as much as possible to help her, but they took
her to Pakistan ‘on holiday’. Three weeks later, she was drowned..."
Why? How can this be happening in Europe! What
has happened to Western objectivity, conviction and freedom?
The American Textbook Council helps
answer that question. After a thorough examination of the primary US textbooks
and their publishers, it concluded that--
"Textbook editors try to avoid any subject
that could turn into a political grenade. Willingly, they adjust the definition
of jihad and Sharia or remove
these words from lessons to avoid inconvenient truths that the editors fear
activists will contest. Explicit facts that non-Muslims might find disturbing
are varnished or deleted....Terrorism and Islam are uncoupled and the ultimate
dangers of Islamic militancy hidden from view.
"None of this is accidental. Islamic organizations,
willing to sow misinformation, are active in curriculum politics. These
activists are eager to expunge any critical thought about Islam from textbooks
and all public discourse. They are succeeding, assisted by partisan scholars
and associations. It is not remarkable that Islamic organizations would
try to use ready-made American political movements such as multiculturalism
to adjust the history curriculum to their advantage. It is alarming that
so many individuals with the power to shape the curriculum are willfully
blind to or openly sympathetic with these efforts.
"Multiculturalists are determined that social
studies curricula do not transmit 'Eurocentric'... presuppositions about
Western history and society. Middle East centers on campuses promote an
uncritical view of Islam, often with a caustic anti-Western spin.
Historians actively interested in taking world history curricula in this
direction are prominent in textbook authorship. Encouraged to do so by reputable
authorities, textbook publishers court the Council on Islamic Education
and other Muslim organizations—or at least try to appease them."[2,p.9]
In this context of planned change, "Christians"
such as Harry Emerson Fosdick fit right in. Like Muslims, he accepted the
reality of a "Jesus" but denied His deity, resurrection, and miraculous
birth. No wonder he was favored by the
He was no threat to their vision of
Though Islam is incompatible with the vision
of multicultural solidarity, it's still one of the world's most effective
weapons in its battle against absolute Truth. It provides globalist change
agents with (1) an energizing crisis, (2) the diversity and tension needed
to stimulate the dialectic process, and (3) an active partner in the
war against Biblical Christianity.
Why is this important?
A spiritual war is raging! And the primary
target in today's march toward a New World Order is Biblical Truth. It's
no accident that the European media describes Christians as "hardliners"
but hardly dare mention the violent power behind the rising Muslim establishment.
Or that the British government now allows Muslims to impose
in their communities.
Or that countless critics have been assaulted or killed for their convictions.
Or that "Hate Crime" laws may soon
silence American dissenters.
Let me repeat two Scriptures that I often
quote these days. We can't afford to ignore them:
"Put on the
whole armor of God, that you may
be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not
wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against
powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual
hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole
armor of God, that you may be able to withstand..." Ephesians 6:10-12
"Do not be discouraged...
For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” 2 Chronicles 20:15
Not his real name. We changed it to protect him from recrimination.
Explaining our references to "Christianity:
In the textbooks, as well as in our culture,
Christianity means different things. While the references to Islam refer to
a religious and political system based on the Qur'an, the historical meaning
of Christianity varies. It may mean "cultural Christianity," politicized Christianity,
or Biblical Christianity. See
Biblical versus Cultural Christianity
The McDougal-Littell Website at
Gilbert T. Sewall,
Islam in the Classroom:
What the textbooks tell us, American Textbook Council, 2008,
pp. 19 and 11. http://www.historytextbooks.org/islamreport.pdf
3. The Holy Qur'an,
Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library.
World History: Medieval and Early Modern (McDougal Littell,
5. The Myth of Islamic Tolerance:
How Islamic Law Treats Non-Muslims,
edited by Robert Spencer (Prometheus Books, 2005), p. 535.
7. Wolfgang Polzer,
"Germany: Evangelicals Portrayed as Dangerous Elements," Christians in Crisis,
September 30, 2008.
8. Richard Edwards,
courts operating in Britain,"
Telegraph, September 16, 2008.
9. "Why "Hate crime"
laws would ban Biblical Christianity,"
Index of Scriptures