Clearly a textbook with an agenda — but an agenda that far too few people even recognize as such.
The parents of children at Houston Elementary School plan to complain to the school board about concerns they have with a seventh-grade history textbook, which they feel pays an undue amount of attention to the teachings of Islam.
When Jim Self asked his son last week what he was learning in school, he was surprised to hear his 12-year-old boy say that he was learning about the Prophet Muhammad.
That night Jim Self and his wife, Korina, flipped through their son’s textbook, “History Alive!: The Medieval World and Beyond,” and found at least three chapters dedicated to the Islamic faith, including an entire chapter dedicated to the Prophet Muhammad.
Since then, the couple has started a campaign to remove the textbook from their child’s classroom. The book is used in classrooms throughout the district.
“I don’t think we would have an issue about it if (it wasn’t so) in-depth,” said Jim Self, who fought in Iraq as a Marine from 2003 to 2004.
Among the Selfs’ concerns about the textbook is its definition of the word “jihad,” which is described in the book as “the human struggle to overcome difficulties and do things that would be pleasing to God.”
Other concerns stem from a passage on page 86 of the textbook, which quotes the angel Gabriel’s words to the Prophet Muhammad.
The Selfs said the textbook mentioned Jesus only twice, and other major religions were only given a paragraph of explanation.
One of the Selfs’ biggest concerns, though, is that such detailed explanation of Islam is a violation of the separation of church and state.