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Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
Friday, September 10, 2004 Whitewashing Islam in the schools
Massachusetts teachers casting about for positive Muslim cultural achievements to highlight in PC classroom presentations on Islam have found the task so challenging they've gone so far as to draw on the otherwise very-un-PC discovery of America by Christopher Columbus to cite the skill of Muslim sailors. (The Barbary Pirates weren't available?)
Here's a Shrewsbury, Mass., teacher describing how he plans to sanitize reality to his middle-school world-history class in the name of "clearing up misconceptions" about Islam:
Many student's perspective on Muslims comes from what they see on the news and from movies and television shows. Dunn hoped to find an Islamic nation he can use as an example of where women have rights more like those in the United States, to dispel some misconceptions.
"Students come in with preconceived notions about things," Dunn said. "I'm looking for a country to choose that has progressive Islam."
Keep looking, Mr. Dunn.
Not likely to be included on the syllabus is Victor Davis Hanson, who presents a more unvarnished – and sadly, more accurate – picture:
Much of the Islamic Middle East continues to blame others for its own induced catastrophe, apparently unaware — thanks to the lever of oil it didn't discover, doesn't know how to develop, and uses to intensify rather than alleviate its poverty — that its entire culture is becoming an international pariah. Islamic young men on European flights are looked at with distrust; they are not welcome in Russia. China wants none of them. They are wary of visiting India. Australia learned from Bali. The whole world is watching — in disgust.
In short, the suicide bomber, the improvised explosive device, the car bomb, the televised beheading, the wacko fatwa, the sleazy propaganda streamer on the Internet, the new cult of death — all cowardly and lethal phenomena — these are now the innovations that the world associates with the Middle East in lieu of gene research, car production, or computer breakthroughs. If you look for gender equity in the Middle East, you won't find it in Arab Olympic delegations, Saudi schools, or the Iranian government, but in the opportunity for young women to blow themselves up right beside men. Indeed, killing infidels is the nascent women's-liberation movement of the radical Muslim world.