KOSHER DELIGHT - YOUR JEWISH ONLINE MAGAZINE!
Posted on: January
10, 2006 - י' בטבת, תשס"ו
students question the need to learn history. We
can’t undo the past anyway, why waste time learning
about it? The obvious answer is that through the study of
history we can educate ourselves about our own country and
other countries, as well as learn from past mistakes as
history tends to repeat itself.
happens, though, when history books misinform
or mislead? The damage that is done when children are fed
misinformation and lies is immeasurable. Yet according to
two articles I read recently it seems that there are
Western democracies that are feeding their students
material that is clearly undermining other Western
recent study shows that many of the textbooks
French children use in school teach anti-American
propaganda. In Eleves sous Influence (Students Under
Influence), two authors examined 24 French text books,
most of them written in 2003 and 2004, to see how they
presented the U.S. in the post-9/11 world. They found many
text books with a strong anti-American bias.
books read: "Americanization leads to
deculturalization, populations lose their values if not
their most elementary reference points."
Any country, society, or culture can Americanize. The
democratic way has never been to force their way life onto
others, which the repressive regimes have no problem
doing. 'Americanization' includes tolerance, diversity and
democracy. Is that what France is trying to discourage?
The French should be teaching their students about
suppression, dictatorship and terrorism causing people
losing their identity; not freedom and democracy.
French textbooks often failed to criticize
terrorism as a means to achieve a goal. In fact in what
can be considered frightening, terrorism was presented as
a legitimate response to American policies. If the text
books don't criticize the terrorism being used to fight a
cause, students learn that the end justifies the means.
school book read: "Islamic radicalism
remains an ideology of mobilization against the West for
those who see in globalization a risk of cultural
uniformity and U.S. dominance.”
power provokes outbreaks of anti-Americanism
whose extreme form takes the name of holy war or jihad
launched by bin Laden," states another text,
published by Magnard.
French are ignoring the fact that it’s not
American power per se’ that is attacked, it's any power
other than Islam, as attacks in Jordan, Indonesia, and
Turkey show us. As far as Muslim extremists are concerned,
the French are no better than the Americans - and they
shouldn't try to fool themselves of that by blaming the
United States. France should lay the blame where it
belongs - with the terrorists.
children are influenced by what they are
taught, it is disturbing that French are using their
schools as a platform to teach this subtle
anti-Americanism and undermine another democracy, instead
of focusing on those who do real damage to human rights.
I was disturbed about the anti-American
material being taught in French schools I was truly upset
when I read an October 2005, JTA article called:
“TAINTED TEACHINGS What your kids are learning
about Israel, America and Islam?”
basis of this article is that many American
public schools, sometimes unbeknown to the taxpayers and
school boards, are teaching American children anti-Israel,
pro-Islam material which is funded by the Saudi Arabians.
to the JTA “in thousands of public school
districts across the United States, without ever knowing
it, taxpayers pay to disseminate pro-Islamic materials
that are anti-American, anti-Israel and anti-Jewish.”
The “Arab World Studies Notebook” is one such example.
It was written to supposedly correct misconceptions about
Islam and the Arab world, but the manual for secondary
schools has been criticized for distorting history and
it is the USA who gives credibility to the circulation of
these warped materials since they enter the school systems
with the help of the Title VI of the Higher Education Act,
a 1958 federal program set up to train international
experts to meet the nation’s security needs.
criticism has come from parents offended by the
anti-democratic, pro-Islamic material that their children
are learning. Parental pressure led to some text books
being banned in school districts in places like San
Francisco, California, Tulsa, Oklahoma, Anchorage,
Alaska, and Scottsdale, Arizona.
United States has had a difficult time
understanding the extremists' ideology. Americans don't
like to interfere in the religion of other people. But the
reality is that this isn't religion that is being
promoted, but a politicized radical ideology. As we have
seen in cases where non-Muslims committed acts of terror
in the name of the Jihad, children who are taught this
ideology are prime targets for recruitment by terror
USA, and other democracies, must recognize that
the best way to shape the future is by educating the
children, hence, texts that criticize other Western
democracies and praise terrorist countries don’t belong
in our classrooms.
anti-American bend in French school texts
bothers me as the French should be worried about
suppression and dictatorship, however what happens in
American schools scares me. If we don't understand that
allowing our children to be influenced with
anti-democratic propaganda is a danger we will, G-d
forbid, suffer the consequences.
more articles by Rabbi Hecht
KOSHER DELIGHT - YOUR JEWISH ONLINE MAGAZINE! כושר דילייט - מגזין
החדשות והמידע מהעולם היהודי ומישראל, כולל מסעדות כשרות, בתי כנסת ועוד ועוד