Santa Monica Malibu School Board Approves Textbook Filled With Factual Errors
One of the missions of the CJC is to speak the truth to persons in high places. Last week three people affiliated with CJC went to the Santa Monica Malibu School Board offices to alert them to the forty-three factual errors in their candidate seventh grade world history textbook, “History Alive!” In their 2017 review of all the candidate textbooks for California, the Truth in Textbook volunteer organization gave this book an “unacceptable” rating. The State Board of Education ignored the warnings and failed to see to it that the errors were corrected. The SMMSB position was that they believed the textbook had been thoroughly vetted by the state, and their own review team approved the book.
Two people addressed the regular School Board meeting on May 16, just before their vote on the book. Here are excerpts from their remarks:
In 1975 representatives of Saudi Arabia entered into a $6.4 million contract with the Stanford Research Institute to determine how to change Americans’ perception of Islam. SRI determined this was best accomplished by re-writing history in elementary and high school textbooks. To generate academic sources for these re-writes, they would need to fund academic chairs in Middle Eastern studies at major universities. So began a long process with large endowments going to UCLA, UC Berkeley, Princeton, and Harvard. Harvard, for example, got over $20 million. Think tanks like the Council for Islamic Education worked hand-in-hand with publishers to tweak the textbooks to shine favorable light on Islam.
When these distortions became obvious and egregious, volunteers began to systematically screen candidate textbooks for errors. In 2013 a group of 50 volunteers called Truth in Texas Textbooks reviewed the 38 candidate textbooks for that state, and found 1500 factual and bias errors. Working with the State Board of Education, these volunteers were able to get 60% of these errors corrected by the publishers before the final editions were released. Several other states, including Florida, Tennessee, and North Carolina have had their textbooks corrected through the same process.
The textbooks for California were reviewed in 2017. Truth in Textbooks reviewed twenty-eight K through 8 textbooks that were submitted by the publishers for consideration. The volunteers generated 30 page reviews for each textbook, and these reviews were submitted to the State Board of Education in November, 2017. A summary “report card” of those evaluations is attached to this statement. [See: http://truthintexastextbooks.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/CA-Report-Card-2017.pdf ] The History Alive textbook was deemed “unacceptable.” I have distributed a condensed list containing 43 factual errors. [See below.] Rather than work with the publishers to correct the errors, the State Board of Education short-circuited the process by announcing they didn’t have time to oversee revisions. To illustrate how flawed the review process was, there were 400 individuals who signed up to make public comments. Each person was given 1 minute to address the Board. Truth in Textbook’s representative, who was covering 28 candidate textbooks, was speaker number 180. You can imagine his impact on the Board.
School districts and teachers believe that their textbooks have been properly vetted and the errors have been corrected. They are wrong. Students and parents can easily find these errors using their computers. What does this do to the credibility of the teachers and the school administration when students are taught obvious falsehoods as historical facts?
This week a Certiorari petition was submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court to challenge the widespread Islamic indoctrination occurring in our public schools. Some of the teachings in History Alive are addressed in this lawsuit. It would cost the school district dearly if that textbook were determined to be prohibited indoctrination. [See: https://leohohmann.com/2019/05/15/scotus-asked-to-determine-how-far-public-schools-can-go-in-promoting-islam-while-disparaging-christianity/ ]
Here is a listing of the forty-three factual errors. Readers who want a more detailed explanation of any of these errors can contact CJC for more information.
History Alive — Factual Error Summary
|P 115 Map||Map shows “Islamic Lands” in 750||· Mecca was not settled as a city until around 900 AD|
|P 117 ¶3||Mecca was a trade town on a caravan route.||· The first mention of Mecca in external literature is 741 AD. (Holland, Shadow, p. 471)
· The first sources to mention Mecca fails to locate it in Arabia.
|P 117 ¶3||Abraham had built the Ka’bah||· The Biblical account of Abraham’s life does not support this belief.|
|P 117 ¶4||By the time Muhammad was born, Mecca was a prosperous city.||· There is no archeological support for these traditional beliefs.|
|P 122 ¶3||Muhammad asked his followers to respect Christians and Jews. Muhammad asked that they be treated as lawful members of society.||· Muhammad expelled 2 of the Jewish tribes from Medina and slaughtered 600-900 men of the 3rd (the Qurayza), taking the women and children as slaves.
· Muhammad’s last injunction from his deathbed was, “Let not two religions be left in the Arabian peninsula.”
|P 123 ¶1||Victories against the Meccan troops—and the ideas of charity, generosity, and forgiveness that Muhammad preached — convinced other tribes to convert to Islam.||· Tribes converted because they saw the power of Islam and the loot that could be gained by converting.
· Terror is a weapon that has its origins in these first struggling years of Islam.
|P 123 ¶1||The Meccans agreed to a truce that would allow the Muslims to make their pilgrimage to Mecca. Around 630, however, they broke the truce.||· It was not the Meccans but rather the Muslims who broke the 10-year Treaty of al-Hudaybiya after only 2 years, and attacked them by surprise with a force of 12,000 troops. This is a complete rewriting of Islamic history.|
|P 123 ¶5||Then Muslims began to carry the teachings of Islam beyond the Arabian Peninsula.||· This era of Islamic expansion was by the sword.
· There is no mention in Islamic literature of any initiative taken by Mohammad or later caliphs of sending preachers to Persia, Egypt, and Byzantium for the peaceful propagation of Islam.
|P 125 ¶2||Non-Muslims began to embrace the new faith for a variety of reasons, including personal belief in the message of Islam and social pressure to join the people of the ruling group.||· The celebrated Umayyads actually elevated religious beheadings, impalings, and crucifixions to heights unequaled by any other set of rulers before or after in Spain.
· Christians would convert to escape the condition of dhimmitude, or flee
|P 128 ¶3||Islam is an “Abrahamic” religion just like Judaism and Christianity.||· The link between Islam and Abraham is not supported in holy texts of Judaism and Christianity. Archeological evidence does not support this claim.|
|P 128 ¶3||The God of Muhammad is the same God of Abraham, Moses, and Jesus.||· References to Islam’s god should be changed to Allah. Allah is not Jehovah God of Abraham or the Father of Jesus.|
|P 128 ¶3||Their scriptures, or sacred writings, all include such figures as Adam, Noah, and Moses.||· Quranic stories of Adam, Noah, Moses, and other Biblical figures, particularly Jesus, differ greatly from Bible accounts..|
|P 128 ¶3||Muslims also believe that all three religions worship the same God.||· There is no evidence that Muslims believe Jews and Christians worship their god Allah. Surah 9:29 categorically denies this.|
|P 129 ¶3||The Qur’an used today has remained largely unchanged since then.||· When the Qur’an was collected by Caliph Uthman, and there was not a generally accepted version available: Hadith 525 & 526. Alternate versions were destroyed.|
|P 131 ¶3||People of all classes stand shoulder to shoulder, but men stand in separate rows from women.||· Men and women pray in separate rooms or areas, but not separate rows.
|P 131 ¶4||The imam begins the prayer cycle by proclaiming “Allahu akbar!” (“God is most great!”).||· This is a mis-translation of the Arabic which actually means “Allah is greater!” The Arabic word for Great is كبير (Kebir). The Arabic word for Greater is أكبر (Akbar).|
|P 132 ¶6
|Zakat is similar to charitable giving in other religions.||· There is virtually no similarity between Zakat and the concept of tithing.
|P 135 ¶3||Muhammad said the “greater jihad” was the fight against evil within oneself.||· This hadith has no sources and nobody whomsoever in the field of Islamic knowledge has narrated it. Jihad against the disbelievers is the most noble of actions and moreover it is the most important action for the sake of mankind.|
|P 135 ¶5||Most Muslims reject militant jihad and believe that to deliberately harm civilians, including non-Muslims, is forbidden in Islam.||· Waging jihad is obligatory for all free Muslim males, and that before fighting the infidels, one must ask them first either to submit to Islam and pay the jizya or to convert to Islam.|
|P 135 ¶5||Muhammad told his followers to honor agreements made with foes. He also forbade harming certain people, such as children or the elderly, and destroying property and sacred objects.||· By the breaking of the Treaty of Hubaybiyya, Muhammad established the tradition that a treaty could be broken at any time.
· The conquest of the Sasanian empire in 651 is one of many examples of severe religious persecution from Muslim conquerors. This included jizyah taxation, mistreatment as dhimmis, enslavement, forced and economically-enticed conversions, mass killings of Zoroastrians, destroying temples, burning libraries and murdering Zoroastrian priests.
|P 135 Upper right||Jihad represents Muslims’ struggle with internal and external challenges as they strive to please God.||· Jihad is primarily known as “Holy War” to force non-Muslims to convert|
|P 137 ¶2||Today, most Muslim countries apply some parts of Islamic law, but Shari’ah continues to develop in response to modern ways of life and its challenges.||· The sharia principles were established in the 7th Century, and those principles determine the “response to modern ways.” Consequently, slavery, women’s rights in divorce, female genital mutilation, and death for apostasy can never be adapted to 21st Century values.|
|P 140 ¶3||For the “People of the Book,” conversion, or adopting a religion not originally their own, could be attractive because it offered certain benefits.||· The social and economic hardships imposed on non-Muslims were the primary reason for non-Muslims to convert to Islam.
|P 140 ¶5||Muslims also produced new scientific, medical, and philosophical texts based on earlier Greek works. Many of these Muslim texts were translated into Latin in the 12th century and became available to western Europeans for the first time.||· The 11-12th centuries saw a turning point in Islam which led the rejection of philosophy and reason. The texts described here and throughout this lesson were destroyed, often burned.
· Many of these works survive only because they were preserved by those who revered them — non-Muslims in Europe.
|P 141 ¶6||Muslims created distinctive forms of architecture.||· In architecture, there is no sign of Arab originality. The dome is of Persian origin.|
|P 142 ¶1||Scholarship and learning were very highly valued in Islamic culture.||· Islamic acceptance of scholarship and learning changed dramatically in the Middle Ages when the most respected and revered Islamic scholars and philosophers became outcasts and their works destroyed.|
|P 142 ¶1||Muhammad is reported to have said, “The ink of scholars is more precious than the blood of martyrs.”||· This is not a reliable hadith. A Muslim response is that the hadith fails on two accounts: the chain of transmission is weak and there are no corroborating hadiths that hold the ink of scholars in high esteem.|
|P 142 ¶2.||A shared language and love of learning allowed scholars in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East to exchange ideas and build on one another’s work.||· It was the Syrians, the Greeks, and the Persians, Islamized by force, who, in spite of the barbarism of the conqueror, produced the effort that has been wrongly ascribed to the Arabs; and this effort was paralyzed, and then completely blocked, when Muslim doctrine, fixed by the doctors of the faith and made absolutely immutable, stopped all innovation, all progress, all adaptation.|
|P 142 ¶3||There (Baghdad), Caliph al-Ma’mun founded the House of Wisdom in 830, where scholars from many lands gathered to do research and to translate texts from Greece, Persia, and India.||· Again, the text ignores the total destruction of Baghdad and the House of Wisdom in 1258.|
|P 142 ¶4||In Spain, the Muslim capital, Cordoba, flourished and became a large and wealthy city. Jews, Christians, and Muslims worked and studied there together.||· The aristocracy, robbed of their lands, the Christian priests reduced to a miserable condition, the Visigoths fallen from power, all detested the invader and preached revolt.|
|P 143 ¶1||Muslims demonstrated an endless curiosity about the world.||· This “curiosity” ended with the Asharite ascension toward the end of the Eleventh Century.|
|P 147 ¶3||Books became a big business in the Muslim world. In addition to copies of the Qur’an, booksellers there sold many volumes of poetry and prose.||· Literature is actually the most undeveloped aspects of Islamic culture. “The cumulative total of translated books since the Caliph Maa’moun’s time (the 9th Century) is about 100,000, almost the average that Spain translates in one year.|
|P 163 ¶1||The Crusades began as a response to the threat posed by the Seljuks.||· The fact that the originating cause of the Crusades was Muslim aggression against Christians can hardly be overstated. The Christian Crusades were attempts to retake lands stolen by the Muslim invaders centuries earlier.|
|P 165 ¶2||Crusaders also waged war against Muslims in North Africa and Europe. During the Reconquista, Christians drove Muslims out of much of Europe.||· During the Reconquista, Christians tolerated the moriscos and allowed them to live in Spain for over 100 years. The continued terrorism by the moriscos finally got them expelled|
|P 168||During its first 12 years, the Inquisition killed perhaps 13,000 people accused of being “secret Jews.”||· The number of people executed in the Inquisition is vastly overstated.
· “During the 350 years of the Spanish Inquisition, between 3,000-5,000 people were sentenced to death (about 1 per month).”
|P 176 ¶2||When Muslims from North Africa ruled the region in the 800s, Sicily’s Greek Christians and Jews were allowed to practice their religions as long as they paid a special tax.||· Citing only the poll tax (jizyah) severely understates the hardships imposed on Jews and Christians. There were at least 19 harsh provisions stipulated in the Pact of Umar.|
|P 176 ¶4||By the time he became king in 1112, Roger was quite comfortable in Sicily’s multicultural setting of people of other cultures and faiths.||· Sicily is often cited as a multicultural paradise, but there was no integration or assimilation. Also, the tolerance lasted only about 128 years, from 1061 to 1189. Muslims fled into the mountians.|
|P 176 Chart||[Chart showing just nine Medieval conflicts between 900 and 1200]||· Historians have recorded over 160 Islamic wars of expansion or re-conquest in the Middle East and Europe from 900 to 1200. The chart vastly understates the extent of the conflicts.|
|P 198 ¶1||Hinduism began to change during the medieval period.||· The Hindu religion dates much earlier than is implied by the text. Saktism 5500 BC, Shaivism (worshiping Lord Shiva) 2700 BC, Vaishnavism 300 BC.|
|P 202 ¶3||Islam was able to spread throughout other parts of India. Missionaries would sometimes destroy temples before rededicating them.||· The text fails to mention that the first Islamic invaders arrived in India 712 under Muhammad bin Qasim, the second in 1000 under Mahmud of Ghazni, and the third invasion in 1175 under Muhammad Ghauri. These were not missionary journeys. Cities were plundered, temples destroyed, and the loss of life was unprecedented.
· Between 1000 and 1500AD some 80 million were slaughtered by Muslim invaders in India alone. Will Durant stated, “The Islamic Conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history.”
|P 236 ¶7||The people of West Africa often blended Islamic culture with their own local traditions.||· Based on the Primary Source in Lesson 12, the excerpt from Book of Roads and Kingdoms by Abu Ubayd al-Bakri, the Muslim community was separated by six miles from the royal town.|
|P 239 ¶5||In West Africa, Arabic became the language of religion, learning, commerce, and government.||· While Arabic is the language of Islam, it is not a significant spoken language in West Africa. The official language of Mali is French, and only 0.7% speak Arabic. The official language of Ghana is English, and Arabic isn’t included in its list of spoken languages.|
P 511 ¶6
|Luther looked to German princes to support his church. When a peasants’ revolt broke out in 1524, Luther denounced the peasants and sided with the rulers because he needed their help to continue his new church’s growth.||· To allege that Luther sided with rulers because he needed their help is an unfair statement. Luther condemned both sides.|
Following the presentation condemning this textbook, the School Board voted unanimously to approve the textbook. This illustrates how important decisions are already made in advance in the “private” sessions of public bodies. However, going on record with the facts ensures that these public bodies cannot claim later that “we did not know.” California’s failure to correct blatant errors and school districts’ willful blindness to presence of Islamic indoctrination in their textbooks will continue to erode the public’s confidence in public education.