What is at issue here is not some superstitious aversion to Arabic as a language. The major and demonstrably valid concern here is that the classes will be used as a vehicle for dawah, or Islamic proselytizing, and the one-sided promotion of talking points against the scrutiny of Islam with regard to supremacism, human rights, and jihadist terrorism.
One must recall that the train wreck that is the Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy, a publicly funded charter school in Minnesota, was launched with a curriculum ostensibly designed to focus on the Arabic language and Middle Eastern culture. While that is one school, and the Mansfield, TX program would gradually spread across the district, the “Minnesota Madrassa” nonetheless shows how easily a focus on “Arabic” works as a subterfuge.
It is that much easier when textbooks themselves seek to whitewash Islamic history and beliefs. And there are many of those, along with other documented cases of openly pro-Islamic lessons in public schools.
Several months ago, the Texas Board of Education passed a resolution challenging pro-Islamic bias in textbooks, to predictable ridicule and allegations of xenophobia. But it was the prospect of cases like this that the resolution’s authors had in mind.
“School district delays Arabic studies,” from United Press International, February 9:
MANSFIELD, Texas, Feb. 9 (UPI) — Officials in a Texas school district say an Arabic studies program will not begin until the entire curriculum has been opened to public discussion.
About 200 parents turned out Monday night for a meeting on the program at Cross Timbers Middle School in Mansfield, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. Willie Wimbrey, an assistant principal, said there was a range of views.
“We had people who were animatedly fearful of anything to do with Islam,” he said. “Others want their children exposed to everything. Others who say, we teach about Christmas, why not other religions? All cultures and major religions are taught throughout the state.”
The Mansfield district has received a $1.3 million Federal Language Assistance Program grant. Officials planned to start the Arabic program at Cross Timbers this semester, expanding to other intermediate and elementary schools and then to Summit High School in 2012, but that schedule has now been set back.
“Nothing will be taught in the classroom until the curriculum is rolled out,” Richie Escovedo, a spokesman for the district, said.
The district’s taxpayers have the right to demand a truly open, transparent, and complete discussion of the curriculum with the additional right to demand revisions, and not just a perfunctory process of going through the motions while elitists tut-tut at the locals for their supposed multicultural shortcomings.