Education or Indoctrination?

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Brigitte Gabriel, the author of two New York Times Best Sellers “Because They Hate” and “They Must Be Stopped.” She is also the founder and president of ACT! for America, the largest national security grassroots organization in the U.S. with over a quarter of a million members, 750 chapters nationwide and a full-time lobbyist on Capital Hill. She just issued a report titled: Education or Indoctrination? The Treatment of Islam in 6th through 12th Grade American Textbooks.

FP: Brigitte, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

Congratulations on issuing your new report, Education or Indoctrination. What inspired you to embark on this project?

Gabriel: When I was doing research for my second book “They Must Be Stopped,” I came across numerous instances where information that was being put in school textbooks or taught in classrooms was inaccurate, sometimes outright false, and at times sounded more like indoctrination than education. ACT! For America Education executive director and I discussed this at length in 2009, because when we traveled and spoke to groups about this they were very concerned. We investigated the issue more closely and found there had been a handful of previous studies done on this, but we believed much more needed to be done. We also knew that if we did a report, we could leverage its impact by drawing on the strength of our growing grassroots organization. So by late 2009 we drafted a plan, created the budget to do it, and embarked on the research in early 2010.

FP: How broad was your research?

Gabriel: We retained a top-notch team of experts with years of experience in this area. They selected 38 textbooks based on how widespread they are used in the schools and how much they address the topic of Islam. To give you an example of the breadth of the research, our team spent two years conducting the research, and comparing what they found with credible historical sources as well as Islamic sources. The results were astonishing, even to those of us who are familiar with this issue.

In some books the errors were less frequent and egregious, but in most of the books errors of the commission and omission occurred with such frequency that it was clearly evident the average student today is receiving a rewrite of history that paints a rose-colored picture of the history and central doctrines of Islam that is not supported by the facts. The report is painstakingly and thoroughly documented, with nearly 375 footnotes and a bibliography of nearly 275 sources.

FP: What type of topics do you address in your report?

Gabriel: The report examines everything from the founding of Islam and its early history, up through modern times. The report addresses a broad range of topics such as:

- Muhammad and Jerusalem

- Relationship between Muhammad and the Jews of Medina

- Sharia law

- Status and treatment of Jews and Christians under Islam

- Jihad and the early Islamic conquests

- Islam and women

- Islam and slavery

- Islamism

- The Crusades

- The Holocaust

- The Arab-Israeli conflict

- Terrorism

- 9/11

FP: Share a few examples with us.

Gabriel:

1) Slavery: While the books went into great detail exposing and condemning the Atlantic slave trade run by Europeans, they were all either completely or nearly silent on the Islamic slave trade, which began eight centuries before the Atlantic slave trade and continues in some parts of the world today. This double standard treatment of Islam vs. the West was fairly common in the books we reviewed. The danger here is that students are led to draw conclusions about the West with respect to slavery that they aren’t led to draw when it comes to Islam.

2) Islamic Conquests: Book after book used phrases like “Muslim conquerors treated those they conquered with tolerance.” Some books claimed, falsely, that conquered Jews and Christians retained religious freedom. One book said, “Full religious freedom.” Another said the Muslim conquerors were “extremely tolerant.” Such a rewrite of history, when there is so much historical data that contradicts these false assertions, could well be termed educational malpractice. And like the issue of slavery, look how it leads students to rosy, positive views of the history of Islam that simply don’t square with the facts.

3) Treatment of Women: The books typically either devoted little attention to this subject, or when they did, they overlooked or downplayed the second-class treatment of women under Islamic law and in Muslim cultures. Actually the word downplayed is an understatement. Some even claimed that women had more rights than they did. Again, this was consistent with a narrative the books created about the supposed tolerance and goodness of historical Islam.

4) Jihad. Not surprisingly, the books generally toed the politically correct line that “Jihad” is essentially a “struggle to be a better Muslim.” I like how my friend Dr. Walid Phares describes this description of Jihad as “Islamic Yoga.” Students get almost no understanding of the centrality of Jihad to the historical advance of Islam through conquest and the creation of the Islamic Empire. They are therefore conditioned to agree with the apologists for radical Islam and the talking heads from groups like CAIR who describe Jihad completely differently from what happened in history and how the vast majority of ancient and contemporary Islamic scholars define Jihad. Again, this fits the narrative the books have created about historical Islam that simply isn’t accurate.

5) 9/11. This is especially disturbing. It’s one thing to rewrite ancient history. People can debate about the reliability of various historic accounts. However, we all know, except for the conspiracy crowd and politically correct deniers, that 9/11 was an act of Jihad perpetrated by 19 Islamic jihadists. Yet almost without exception, the textbooks we reviewed did not tell the students this. They called them “Terrorists,” some referred to Al Qaeda (but didn’t describe what it is), but they completely ignored any reference to the terrorists as “Muslims” or Jihadists.” One book described them as those who believe they are fighting for a noble cause! It would be as if school books written in 1951 described those attacking Pearl Harbor as an enemy fleet without ever telling students who they were or why they did it. It is an astonishing rewrite of modern history done obviously to appease the forces of political correctness – but it’s not historical education.

FP: What can people do — especially those who are very concerned about this and have kids in schools?

Gabriel: They should go to www.actforamericaeducation.org, and read either the executive summary or the full report or both. They can download and print either or both. There is an action item option on that page where they can find out things they can do. We mailed the executive summary to over 70,000 state and local school board members, and this year a number of our chapter leaders and members met with school board members and school officials to bring their attention to this report. We are going to continue this effort over the next two years, and our goal is to convince as many of the book publishers as we can that they need to revise their books so that they treat the history and central doctrines of Islam more accurately. We’re not opposed to teaching about the major religions in the public schools, as this is part of our history and culture. But the teaching should be accurate, and when it comes to Islam, most of the time it simply isn’t.

FP: Brigitte Gabriel, it was an honor to speak with you. Thank you for everything you do for the cause of freedom and liberty.

We encourage all of our readers to go to actforamericaeducation.org and to read the report and then to spread the word and make a difference.

Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.  

  • Larry

    Re slavery, when the Europeans arrived on the west coast of Africa looking for slaves they merely tapped into the pre-existing muslim slave trade in that area.
    The muslim slavers sold local animists to the Europeans as a way of getting their cash faster than taking them across the Sahara to the Mahgreb and Egyptian slave markets. In the same way, if an East African, such as the Obamas, is a muslim, it is because they too were slavers. That didn't just own slaves, they were the ones out there actively collecting and selling them.

  • Rob

    Weren't all muslim slavers at one time a slave, at least in their lineage? Probably all muslims were, at one time, at least in their lineages, a conquered people.

    • Larry

      No, a lot of them became muslims so they wouldn't end up as slaves. Nothing kills your business as a slaver like delivering a load and being included in it because you aren't a muslim.

      All the sub-Saharan muslims prior to European colonisation were slavers, the actual arabic meaning of Zanzibar is "Island of the Slaves", because until the British shut it down it was the clearing house for the East African slave trade. Go hunt up the numbers on eunuchs coming out of Zanzibar and how many survived the process, it is absolutely horrifying, and also explains why there aren't African-Arabs floating around the Middle East.

    • kafir4life

      Interestingly….It turns out that our President and his muslima are more realted than by marriage. President Stinky's (BO) ancestors were involved in assisting Moochie's family find transport and employment in the New World. When Stink's great great great great grandpappy met the mooch queen's great great great great grandmammy, there was some old fashioned "belly warmer" action involved.
      That why the left finds it abhorant that decendents of slaves can find their way into positions of power. They consider Stinky's DNA (the words of Harry Reid and Bill Clinton evidence this) to be properly "tempered" with white DNA. They also abhor "full blooded" black people as well, as evidenced by Stinky's mom, and their rejection of the likes of Hermain Cain and Mia Love.

      • kafir4life

        …….related…..not realted….
        We need an "edit" function David.

      • Larry

        No, Stinky's ancestors were collecting and selling them on the east side of Africa, from whence they went to places like Egypt, Arabia, etc, etc. There they were not allowed to have children, and when they reached the end of their useful life were slaughtered like lives stock. Any children born of slaves were killed, unless said child was the product of an owner and a sex slave.

        • Mary Sue

          wow, that's even worse than how the worst North American Slave Owner treated their slaves! Far worse! That's like, so much infinitely worse, it would make Simon Legree blush!

  • http://www.adinakutnicki.com AdinaK

    IF American parents knew the half of it they would march en mass on Washington or pull their kids en mass out of the schools – whichever gets the job done!

    As to the public schools, see Texas as an Exhibit of horror – http://adinakutnicki.com/2012/12/17/u-s-rep-miche

    And then meander into private school territory – http://adinakutnicki.com/2012/10/25/first-they-ca

    And when done, see how the silencing continues apace -http://adinakutnicki.com/2012/12/15/shariah-law-its-silencing-of-all-dissent-its-encroachment-into-the-entire-west-commentary-by-adina-kutnicki/

    The west is (near) bowed.
    Adina Kutnicki, Israel – http://www.adinakutnicki.com/about/

  • Rivkah F.

    I teach Jewish history to mostly American university students. When lecturing on the Arab/Islamic conquests of the 7th & eighth centuries, I present the years and progression of military conquests. The students are often in shock to learn that the "spread of Islam" actually was a conquest. They know little about the dhimmi status of Jews and Christians and about the jizya poll tax imposed upon them, and very little about Islam itself. Thank you Ms. Gabriel for giving me their school background. Now I understand why they are so clueless and so ignorant.

    • Indioviejo

      You must consider the intent of the warped educational process. Teachers and professors are our worst enemies.

    • Jonathan

      That's a bit of an improvement because from my experience from grade school and on up, absolutely nothing was learned about the Islamic Crusades.

  • objectivefactsmatter

    "The students are often in shock to learn that the "spread of Islam" actually was a conquest. "

    Islamic imperialism is the most evil totalitarian system on the planet. They've infiltrated our institutions.

  • pierce

    Our young people today are not being taught reading , writing , or how to put 2 plus 2 to come up with 4.
    They are being indoctrinated in accepting homosexuality, in what is Islam, in accepting that there is Global Warming, that there is no god, that being an agnostic is okay. They are being taught these things for a reason that escapes me. There is no usefulness in what they are being taught. Parents WAKE UP before it is too late.

  • really concerned

    In case u don't know in new york maybe 3 yrs ago they opened the first public muslim public school and yes funded by the tax payor. They can pray but christians can't. What am I missing here. Yes parents need to get involved. . The sch works for us.

  • Barry

    Jamie, keep up your terrific work by keepin us informed.

  • dickymo johnston

    For a very interesting and informative book on the Muslim slave trade, I highly recommend the book entitled White Gold. I had no idea just how aggressive the Muslims were when it came to turnng Euroeans into slaves. The coasts of Britain were terrorized. If a slave converted to Islam, i'e, "submitted," his treatment improved but was still horrific.

  • cassandra

    Read this book and you will learn a lot about Muslim slave trade in back Africa. "the legacy of Arab-Islam in Africa" by John Alembillah Azumeh. And also I read my grand son history book before I read the report by Brigitte Gabriele and I came to the same conclusion she did.The chapter on Islam and Mohammed is especially distorted.
    Thanks Brigitte for all the good work.

  • Heidi

    This is true. And I saw it to a lesser extent in the history curriculum of K12, inc., with our online charter school. Now, the K12 curriculum is excellent and far better than standard public schools. They offer world history from 1st grade to 4th grade–more in depth than public h.s. history courses. I do like how K12 includes major world religions in their history lessons. They have a few lessons on the Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Norse, African mythology. But there were more lessons about Muhammed and Islam than the other religions.

    It’s nice that online school at home invites parents to learn the lessons along witht their kids, so they know what their kids are learning, AND parents have the option of skipping lessons, which is what we did. We skipped half the Muslin lessons, and my kid still aced the unit test. I highly recommend online charter schools, or paying for the K12 curriculum yourself if you’re able to for a private school experience at home. Something I learned while auditing my kid’s online history lessons was that most of the slaves in the Americas (90%+) were brought by the Portuguese to Brazil. I didn’t learn that in my conventional h.s.

    At any rate, it’s very important for parents to have a say and a choice in their childrens’ education.

    We’re homeschooling now, and I recommend that even more.

  • PAthena

    The anti-slavery movement came from the West, from Great Britain in particular. See John Locke, Second Treatise of Civil Government.

    • nightspore

      Yes, and those outside the Western tradition of individual human rights (in Africa and in the Muslim world) couldn't make any sense of the campaign to abolish slavery in the West.

      • Robert4

        I don't think slaves had any problems understanding why slavery was horrible.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          "I don't think slaves had any problems understanding why slavery was horrible."

          Is that a good reason to lie about history? To attack the most benign culture, that actually created the movements for universal human rights while white-washing Islam?

  • Thomas Wells

    A major problem with our current "education" system is that too many students enroll in the pre-prison program.

  • reader

    My son's (private) high-school had a Middle East reference(!) book, one of the most popular, study-friendly books. It is also used by a host of other government and cultural organizations ( "The Middle-East and South Asia", by Malcolm B. Russell, Lebanese, a book "updated" every year). My son had to write a paper about Hamas. The information he received was that Hamas were "freedom fighters", period, and Israel was, of course, the villain. The lies against Israel, Zionism, the Holocaust, were countless. I wrote several letters to the school's principal. They went unanswered. All the while, my poor son was terrified of being penalized in one form or another, and I think that he was. I often volunteered at the library, and the librarian was sympathetic. With her help, I was able to achieve the withdrawal of the book from the reference section, and buried elsewhere amongst the many other texts on the Middle East. But I was not able to make them withdraw the fraudulent text entirely on my own. A drop in the ocean, and a lot of work. But I can't think of anything more important on the issue of the eventual Islamization of America and the West than this, our children and their books.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      Good work. We all need to pitch in.

  • Indio Viejo

    Our socialist/progressive/communist teachers have been in the business of indoctrinating Children for at least 6 decades. Well done for your report Mrs. Gabriel. The most obvious evidence is the palpable results obtained by dumbing down the American Culture to produce more manageable useful idiots. How else could entire generations embrace progressivism.

  • JacksonPearson

    Brigitte Gabriel is awesome. Her knowledge on the Middle East is second to none. Muslims have always been in the slavery business, including today, disgustingly, with little boys.

  • BLJ

    My 3 kids go to Catholic schools. I still have made to sure to educate them on what Islam really is. Not doing so would be unthinkable.

  • Ghostwriter

    Oh boy,this isn't good.