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ACT! For America Continues Fight Against The Study of History in Alabama

Ancient-Civilizations

In December we covered the crusade by Islamophobes against the study of history in the South, one organization, Brigitte Gabriel‘s ACT! For America isn’t giving up.

The following story in “All Alabama” by Evan Belanger links to our coverage of Gabriel and her group though he writes she is critiqued for being “anti-Islam” which is incorrect. As the link to our article shows we expose her for her racist views on Arabs, “they have no soul,” “are barbarians,” and the fact that she is a “radical and hateful Islamophobe.”

Birmingham conservative group not giving up fight against alleged pro-Islamic textbooks

By Evan Belanger (All Alabama)

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — The Alabama State Board of Education dismissed last week allegations from conservative groups that 11 textbooks on the state’s new list for social studies material are pro-Islamic and diminish Christianity.

Now, the founder of one of those groups says he’ll continue to fighting to keep the textbooks out of Alabama classrooms, encouraging local school boards to reject textbooks.

“It’s not anti-Islamic as such. It’s the indoctrination and propaganda and false information about Islam — primarily its history on how their cultures interacted with others,” said Larry Houck, founder of the Birmingham chapter of ACT! for America.

The conservative organization, founded by journalist Brigitte Gabriel, calls for increased protection of freedom and security in America. However, it has been criticized as anti-Islamic based on Gabriel’s views that the religion promotes terrorism and hinders self-expression, self-improvement and empowerment.

In reviews provided to the state board last month, ACT! for America and the longtime conservative interest group Eagle Forum of Alabama, alleged authors had gone out of their way to present Islam in a positive the light.

They also called Islam a violent and intolerant religion and complained the books dedicated more space to the religion as compared to Christianity. Other allegations included that certain statements in the books were offensive to Christians.

The objections caused the state board to delay consideration of the new list during its meeting in December.

[See a list of the 11 books here.]

Houck, who began researching Islam after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, said his fight is not against Islam, but against its false portrayal in textbooks.

“These kids are getting a false picture of Islam and its history, and they’re going to grow up with wrong information,” Houck said following last week’s vote.

“One book said they mixed in a rich cultural stew. Well, they didn’t. They obliterated the cultures they defeated. I’m hugely disappointed.”

For the first time since the debate started, the school board heard last week from a member of Alabama’s Muslim community.

“I think we should focus on education, not make an issue about religion,” said Aya Zaied, a Montgomery resident and student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

“I feel like this opens the door to hate,” she said of the debate. “We should be teaching tolerance and diversity.”

Houck vowed to continue fighting the books’ use in Alabama classrooms, alleging they are part of a “civilizational jihad against America.”

“We’re going to keep at it,” he said. “To the best of our ability, we likely will go to the individual school boards and districts.”

Last week’s vote to include the 11 books in the more than 500 social studies books on the list drew dissenting votes from school board members Stephanie Bell of Montgomery and Betty Peters of Kinsey.

“It’s not that I have any problem whatsoever with comparative religion. …” Peters said. “I do have a problem when a textbook company presents in once section as fact and in the other as ‘it is said.'”

Bell argued the books did not need to be included because there were still plenty of books on the list that were not being questioned from which local school boards could choose.

“I think the point here is trying to ensure that we have quality and that we have good solid textbooks in the classroom,” she said.

“I think anyone in psychiatry will know that so many of our problems are a result of what children actually see and hear. Some things don’t need to be shared to the extent that they are shared at an age where it is inappropriate.”

State Superintendent of Education Tommy Bice, who recommended the state board keep the books on the list, said he reviewed the groups’ concerns and decided to trust the committee tasked with reviewing Alabama’s textbooks for quality and bias.

Local schools are not required to use textbooks from the approved list, but they will not receive state textbook funding for books not on the list.

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  • Tanveer Khan

    That wasn’t a rant. I found that super inspirational.

  • Mehdi

    Not much to tell you, I don’t know how I would feel and whether I would be able to endure such an environment.
    The one positive thing to point out is that your son is to be (very) proud of, and that kids often know better than (wrongly named) grown-ups, we tend to forget that racism is taught, your son shows the example of how to fight it and you have much to be proud of.
    Glad to see you posting on LW.

  • The greenmantle

    Watch the Film little Miss Sunshine about putting young girls in ” sexy ” outfits . Its a hoot and reveals the true motives .
    Did you know that most mobile phones have a record function bet your son knows how to use them 😉
    Sir David

  • Friend of Bosnia

    The Nazis of old were at first a small number too. So it is better to watch their followers of today very closely and if their numbers grow, suppress them. With all and any means. I know what I’m talking about. See what they did in the 1990s. Had we been able to nip them in the bud, all of this would never have happened, and only a few hundred people would have died (all of them richly deserving it), not hundred thousands.

  • Friend of Bosnia

    Well, Islamophobia is the National Socialism (or Nazism for short) of our days. What else can you expect from them?

  • Lithium2006

    [Houck, who began researching Islam after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, said his fight is not against Islam, but against its false portrayal in textbooks.]

    You know it’s funny how Islamophobes try to justify their bigotry by claiming they have done research. Watching fox news and reading blogs on Islamophobic websites like jihadwtach or atlasshrugged doesn’t consist of research, its only confirming your already bigoted views.

  • Tarig Musa

    “One book said they mixed in a rich cultural stew. Well, they didn’t. They obliterated the cultures they defeated. I’m hugely disappointed.”

    So basically he’s saying all 1.5 billion of us have the exact same culture, bloody hell!

  • Yausari

    the islamophobe that clearly have no knowledge about the world history are trying to “correct it”. And out of all the history of the world, its the one about Islam that needed some correction?
    I’m sure everyone knows what’s going on here. But how exactly are they trying to prove it? What, is there another version of world history? The middle east shaped the western world today. It’s in the history records black and white. Deal with it!

    Are they trying keep repeating lies until everyone believe it’s true?

  • The greenmantle

    Its no coincidence Mindy. Plus the likes of Pammy are pushing home schooling like mad . Why ?
    I have thought its about paying less tax by the rich like pammy but now I wonder who gains out of creating a population of stupid people who will believe any old rubbish.
    Lets create the double dumb down nation and control the population using “news ”
    Sir David

  • mindy1

    Is it a coincidence that most of the states screaming about moooossssllliiimmm takeovers are also states that appear to be against teaching evolution-that cannot be JUST a coincidence.

  • mindy1

    Luckily the number of people foaming at the mouth seems to be a small number.

  • Alejandro Rodríguez

    I don’t understand this hatred and fear that US Americans have towards Islam anyway. There is more evidence of a Hindu takeover than an Islamic one, what with the fact that words like karma and avatar have entered everyday speech, and the huge popularity of yoga and ayurvedic medicine in the USA. Not just that, but the number of Muslims at political offices can be counted by hand, while there are several Jews, and I don’t see anyone going nuts about the Judaization of the United States, so foaming over a textbook that mentions the Islamic civilization is extremely ridiculous.

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