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ERIC Number: ED475822
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Pages: 36
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Islam and the Textbooks. A Report of the American Textbook Council.
Sewall, Gilbert T.
How widely adopted world history textbooks cover Islam and the history of the Middle East is a timely and important subject to explore. In 2001 the American Textbook Council began a comprehensive review of middle school and high school world history textbooks. The Council relied on respected historians and standard sources, influential articles and essays, and diverse bulletins. The Council compared the content of these sources to lessons and textual passages in seven widely adopted world history textbooks used between the 7th and 12th grades. It also conducted an extensive Web search of Islam-related source material intended for classroom use. What the comparison revealed were content distortions and inaccuracies that have not occurred by accident. These lessons and the process by which they are put into U.S. classrooms raise serious concerns about the integrity of world history as a subject. On controversial subjects, world history textbooks make an effort to circumvent unsavory facts that might cast Islam past or present in anything but a positive light. Islamic achievements are reported with robust enthusiasm, but when any dark side surfaces, textbooks run and hide. Domestic educational activists who call themselves multiculturalists seek a revised world history curriculum. If world history is to examine all cultures, non-western civilizations should be subject to the same standards of achievement and criticism, codes of right and wrong, and ideals of social justice as the west. Appended is: "Teaching Islamic History: An Outline" (Fred M. Donner). (Contains 26 notes.) (BT)
American Textbook Council, 475 Riverside Drive, Room 448, New York, NY 10115. Tel: 212-870-2760; e-mail: For full text:
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Textbook Council, New York, NY.
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts