Textbook Pubs. Warned Against Pro-Islam Viewpoints

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A social conservative bloc of the Texas State Board of Education has drafted a resolution saying textbook publishers should limit what they print about Islam in world history books.

    The board is scheduled next week to consider the resolution, which warns publishers not to push pro-Islamic, anti-Christian viewpoints in world history textbooks, The Dallas Morning News reported Wednesday.

    The resolution cites world history books no longer used in Texas schools that it says devoted more lines of text to Islamic beliefs and practices than Christian beliefs and practices.

    "Diverse reviewers have repeatedly documented gross pro-Islamic, anti-Christian distortions in social studies texts," reads a preliminary draft of the resolution, which would not be binding on future boards that will choose the state's next generation of social studies texts.

    Kathy Miller, spokeswoman for the Texas Freedom Network, a religious freedom group, called the resolution "another example of board members putting politics ahead of just educating our kids."

    "Once again, without consulting any real experts, the board's politicians are manufacturing a bogus controversy," Miller said. No textbooks cited by sponsors of the resolution are being used in Texas schools, she said.

    The resolution concludes by warning publishers the "State Board of Education will look to reject future prejudicial social studies submissions that continue to offend Texas law with respect to treatment of the world's major religious groups by significant inequalities of coverage space-wise and by demonizing or lionizing one or more of them over others."

    Conservative board member Don McLeroy of College Station -- who will cede his seat on the next board after losing a March primary to a moderate Republican -- said he also had asked for changes in the most recent world history books that were adopted in 2003, which he said originally contained less coverage of Christians than Muslims.

    He said the books have been modified and made more balanced, but that he still sees a "serious problem" with bias in history books.