Islam's recruitment in
America's schools rages on
The Two Faces of Islamist Educators
by Jen Shroder
Watchful parents were successful in circumventing another Islamic campaign
attempting to recruit their children in public school. In Tulsa,
firestorm was brewing. Local residents reported that
Michael DelGiorno, radio
host of KFAQ(AM 1170) courageously led the charge:
"Allah is not the God of this nation, but this is exactly the
agenda of Islam: to change our government from within, through politics
and through tolerance and inclusion -- alter our culture. But make no mistake about it, their goal is not to be one of many
gods and one of many religions, itís to be THE god and THE religion of
the entire Earth."
The controversy began when the Middle East Policy Council (MEPC)
started pitching the "Arab World Studies Notebook" curriculum to
Tulsa school officials, according to parents. One parent said, "When
[radio host] DelGiorno read from the first lesson today, I nearly
dropped my coffee."
William J. Bennetta, President of The Textbook League,
gives a description
of tactics used in the notebook similar to the ones battled over in
California's curriculum. He said the notebook is not aimed at most
teachers, but "aimed at that sorry subpopulation of teachers
who, for want of education or want of intelligence, will believe
almost anything and will question nothing. It is aimed at teachers who
never have absorbed the concepts of evidence and reason, who know
nothing of historiography, and who can be treated as dupes."
The Thomas B. Fordham Foundation appears to agree. In
a study titled "The Stealth Curriculum: Manipulating America's History
Teachers," they conclude their review of the "Arab World Notebook":
"One can only wonder if this has ever been questioned
by the teachers who use its materials, or if they feel they must agree
to any claim made by Muslims as an 'alternative perspective' or risk
being labeled insensitive, Eurocentric, or racist."
Sandra Stotsky, former senior associate commissioner of the
Massachusetts Department of Education, described the "Arab World
Studies Notebook" as "propaganda."
Controversy erupted over the 540-page book with claims
that Muslim explorers preceded Christopher Columbus to North America,
married into the Algonquin tribe, resulting in the births of tribal
Chief Abdul-Rahim and Chief Abdallah Ibn Malik.
Director of the Algonquin Nation Secretariat, Peter DiGangi, called
the book "preposterous" and "outlandish," saying nothing in the
tribe's written or oral history support the claims.
DiGangi said the guide's author, Audrey Shabbas, and
MEPC were unresponsive to his objections for six months until
Shabbas said "the passage was removed immediately from subsequent
copies," and that she was "giving careful and thoughtful attention" on
how to notify the 1,200 teachers who have been given copies of the
book in the past five years.
"There was no [scholarly] peer review," said Mr. DiGangi, who says
he was never contacted after lodging his complaint. "It was so
outlandish. It never should have gone to press."
When confronted by Campus-Watch, Shabbas gracefully wrote, "I bow
to the knowledge of the Algonquin Nation about their own history," but
posted on al-Jazeerah's website, Shabbas "questions the motives of
those who censured the offending paragraph." She said, "The Arab World
Studies Notebook is exactly what its meant to be, and no apologies
need to be made for it." She also said, "What's interesting is the
motive of the folks that brought this to the attention of the
Bennetta toured the MEPC website
and found more inconsistencies that roused his suspicions. The website said that the
notebook is a "work so highly regarded that educators in California
were permitted to purchase it with state funding."
Bennetta contacted Suzanne C. Rios, California DOE Administrator.
Rios said her office has no record of any approval and called the
MEPC's executive director on September 22, told him that the claim in
question was false advertising, and told him that they "wanted it
taken off IMMEDIATELY!" However as of October 7, the advertising
Chester E. Finn Jr., Fordham Foundation president said, "We know
staggeringly little about how good these materials and workshops are."
Shabbas defends the notebook with words too often bandied
"We are first of all educators committed to multiculturalism ...
that is allowing people to speak for themselves and making our
classrooms a safe place where all voices can be nurtured and heard."
But watchful parents in Tulsa were not buying what Shabbas was "trying to
nurture" in the hearts and minds of their children. They quickly
mobilized and voiced their objections to the superintendent. At least
one parent had contacted the Pacific Justice Institute, a Christian
legal organization. However legal procedures were not necessary. After
an onslaught of emails and phone calls about the curriculum, the
superintendent announced the school district had no intention of
incorporating any new books concerning Arab World Studies.
Congratulations to the vigilant parents in Tulsa. Would that all
Americans would seek to protect their children as you have. In the
words of Michael DelGiorno,
"Christians you better start speaking up, and standing up for whatís
right, itís all ready too late in MichiganÖ How much longer before it's too late right here at home?"
News Coverage of Islam in Public Schools