Do you think the school system in a Muslim-majority nation would happily embrace booklets informing Muslim students how great Christianity is, or Judaism? Do you think any positive curriculum about non-Islamic faiths is found in Muslim-majority school systems? Somehow I just don’t think so.
Yet that is what our Western Islamophiles want done here. They want Western school kids taught all about how great Islam is, and how Australians are just a bunch of racists. Yes, you heard me right. Some eggheads think our school children must learn how to properly love Islam while they properly loathe Western culture.
Here is how one press report covers the story: “Every Australian school student would be taught positive aspects about Islam and Muslims – and that Australia is a racist country – under a proposal by an education think tank. The plan is outlined in the Learning From One Another: Bringing Muslim Perspectives into Australian Schools booklet, published during the week by the Australian Curriculum Studies Association and the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Excellence in Islamic Studies.
“It says there is a ‘degree of prejudice and ignorance about Islam and Muslims’, and Australian students must be taught to embrace difference and diversity. The booklet refers to the al-Qai’da of Osama bin Laden as ‘a famous name’ synonymous with the traditionalist movement in Islam. It makes no reference to terrorism.
“It says ‘most texts used in Australian English classes still have a Western or European perspective’. Its authors are offering free seminars to teachers, which promise to ‘provide avenues for you to introduce Islam- and Muslim-related content in your classrooms’ and ‘equip you with the skills to meet the needs and expectations of Muslim students in a multi-faith classroom’.”
There are of course all sorts of anomalies surrounding this story. As I mentioned, it is all one way traffic: you will never find similar things being proposed in Muslim nations. And what about those feisty secular humanists? They scream bloody murder if we ever seek to have Christian teaching in the schools. Will they also make a big stink about this?
And what sort of brainwashing are these eggheads proposing anyway? The 120-page document, which is available online, contains plenty of misinformation, Islamic propaganda, and outright deceptive content. The booklet is as notable for what it does not say as for what it does say. For example, it lists the five pillars of Islam – the main Islamic religious practices (pp. 87-91) – but it fails to tell us that many Muslims insist on a sixth pillar: jihad, or holy war.
There is a section on “Parental expectations and rebellion” (p. 68) which speaks of Muslim children rebelling against the religious beliefs of their parents. What it fails to tell us of course is how Islam demands the death penalty for apostasy. Any Muslim who chooses to leave Islam is viewed as a traitor who must be put to death.
The booklet speaks about Islamic achievements, such as the development of algebra. (p. 21). I have written about these supposed scientific accomplishments elsewhere, eg: billmuehlenberg.com/2010/07/06/islam-and-science/
Suffice it to say that although the term ‘algebra’ is an Arabic word, algebra itself goes back to the ancient Greeks, as well as to earlier Indian mathematicians. The booklet says this: “Muslim scholar Alkhwarezm is known as the founder of algebra. His work, from around 813–833, forms the basis of algebra today.” The booklet does not tell us about the Alexandrian Greek mathematician Diophantus from the third century who is referred to as “the father of algebra”.
The booklet also serves up a good dose of interfaith baloney, as it seeks to make Islam look like it is on a par with Christianity: “The God of the Muslims is the God of all, including Jews and Christians. The only difference lies in their understanding of God and His Actions” (p. 100).
That bit of religious deception I have also dealt with at length elsewhere, including here: billmuehlenberg.com/2007/08/19/no-we-do-not-worship-the-same-god/
Its take on terrorism and jihad is equally fallacious and laden with Islamist propaganda. It says this about the topic: “Islam only allows a just war, often in self-defence. Any offensive should be for the greater good” (p. 100). There is far too much disingenuous info to be properly covered here, but let me point out a few things.
Traditional just war theory has nothing in common with the Islamic understanding of holy war and the use of force. Also, readers should be aware that “self-defence” in Islam means something far different than what we take it to mean. And it of course does not explain to us what the “greater good” entails in offensive wars.
This topic I have also written up. See these pieces for example:
And consider this howler: “In Islam, men and women are equal before God.” This topic I also cover in some detail:
Andrew Bolt has also checked out this booklet, so let me draw upon some of his remarks: “How impudent for a largely immigrant community, comprising a very small minority, to demand English classes now be taught more from their perspective rather than the communal perspective of the country to which most chose to come – a communal perspective that reflects the values and institutions that have made this country worth coming to in the first place. It is particularly offensive in that the host nation is demonised as racist while the very real and in some cases lethal challenges posed by the newcomers are glossed over.
“This National Centre of Excellence for Islamic Studies document is the well-meaning – but dangerously foolish and deceptive – work of Dr Eeqbal Hassim, a former research fellow in Islamic Law at the University of Melbourne, and Jennet Cole-Adams, director of Curriculum Services at the Australian Curriculum Studies Association.
“Most tellingly, it has only passing and vague references to Islamic terrorism, which is the key explanation for Australia’s alleged ‘racism’ towards Muslims – something that might in many case might be more properly described as a natural caution, and one limited to Muslims here than to Buddhists or any other largely immigrant group that seems curiously immune to our ‘racism’.”
When the document does speak about Islamist terrorist groups, it suggests that “Islamist terrorism is created by Western arrogance more than any sickness within Islam itself or Arabic cultures”. Moreover, “There is no mention at all of the Islamist killings of some 100 Australians in Bali, or of the Muslim terrorist plots in Australia itself, which have seen 20 people jailed.”
And the booklet contains plenty of historical revisionism: “Oh, and the Crusades are presented largely as noble Muslims defending holy lands from barbaric Christians. You’d never guess that Christians thought they were recapturing holy lands from Muslim armies that had overrun them militarily.”
If time permits, I will do a thorough evaluation and assessment of this misleading and mischievous document. For the time being, suffice it to say that this is little more than a pro-Islam indoctrination tract, and Australian students do not need this sort of propaganda being fed to them, all via our tax dollars.