Yesterday the Iranian-American writer Amil Imani published a piece, “Governor Perry’s Islam Connection,” which retails the same false information about the Perry/Aga Khan curriculum on Islam for Texas schools that we have debunked here at Jihad Watch several times, but since Imani’s piece is making the rounds, it is all worth repeating.
Another line of argument implying Perry”s Islamic leanings, if not an out and out supporter of it, pertains to inclusion of Islam in the state”s educational curriculum. I looked closely into that claim, because it is indeed a critical juncture where young minds can indeed be influenced.
The nuggets of the Muslim history curriculum Perry helped coordinate in Texas are summarized below. It says:
1-Countries of Western Civilization have secular governments, which means great toleration of cultural and religious differences. [...]
No matter how I tried, I couldn”t reach the conclusion that this inclusion promotes Islam or it is pro-Sharia. It seems that the mere fact that Islam is included in the curriculum represents supporting it.
The only problem with Imani’s analysis is that he isn’t examining the actual curriculum. You’ll note that Imani relies for his information about the curriculum on Alana Goodman’s piece at the dhimmi publication Commentary, and that Goodman in turn relies on David Stein’s claim that the Perry/Aga Khan curriculum was written by one Ronald Wiltse, a retired San Antonio high school teacher. In contrast, Pamela Geller and I have been working from teacher training session material that bears the legend “the curriculum for this project was developed at Harvard University and modified at the University of Texas at Austin,” and which, in contrast to Wiltse’s material, is a dhimmi whitewash of Islam (see here for details).
So which is the real curriculum? The one drawn up by Wiltse, or the one drawn up by Harvard and UT-Austin in collaboration with the Aga Khan Foundation?
What do you think?
With all due respect to Mr. Wiltse, how likely do you think it is that Harvard, UT-Austin, and the Aga Khan Foundation would choose a retired high school history teacher to write their curriculum, and publish his work under official auspices even though it contradicted the tone, thrust, and editorial line of their own teacher training sessions? Harvard and UT-Austin are no doubt full of dhimmi academics — including the ones who actually produced the teacher training material. Wiltse’s lesson plan does show up on the (now scrubbed) Aga Khan/Perry teacher training curriculum pages, but only in a section headed “Lessons and Strategies,” which included other lesson plans and was clearly just a repository site for the individual lesson plans that teachers who attended the teacher training program (as Wiltse did, according to David Stein) developed in response to an assignment asking them to create such plans.
That means that to represent Wiltse’s lesson plan as the official Perry/Aga Khan curriculum is like representing a 9th grader’s history paper as the official curriculum for his school district. Was Wiltse actually hired by UT-Austin and/or the Aga Khan Foundation to develop their Islam curriculum for Texas schools? Of course not, and even David Stein, who has never retracted his false claims about the curriculum, doesn’t claim that.
It is a shame to see someone like Amil Imani, who generally sees things clearly, not only fall for this deception but retail it himself. I expect the dhimmi dim bulbs at Commentary to spread falsehoods, but I expected more from Amil Imani.
And let’s not lose sight of the larger question: Rick Perry is demonstrably closer than other candidates are to Grover Norquist, and has sponsored the institution of a whitewashed, misleading Islam curriculum into Texas schools. Instead of demonizing those who have called attention to this, Perry supporters need to start asking their man some hard questions. But here again, I won’t be holding my breath.