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Religion is History

Reader comment on item: Spreading Islam in American Public Schools
in response to reader comment: Islamic Indoctrination in Scottsdale, Arizona Public School

Submitted by S.B. (United States), Aug 10, 2006 at 03:37

As a seventh grade history teacher is California, it is difficult for students to gain an understanding of Medieval world history without learning about religion. I am familiar with the Teachers' Curriculum Institute History Alive textbook and believe it portrays a factual unbiased presentation of the various religions during this 1,000 year time period.

The text focuses on Christianity during the Middle Ages as well as the Crusades, plus Islam, Confucius, Buddhism, Daoism, Maya, Inca, Aztec, and West African religions. The reason why the textbook goes into the life of Muhammad (and not Jesus, etc.) is because Muhammad and Islam was only major religion founded during the Medieval time. Since 9/11, I have had to be very sensitive to the various viewpoints about Islam that my students come to school with (Muslim students to students with very anti-Muslim views.) During this incredible time of conflict in the region, to me it is more important than ever to understand the beginnings of Islam and the history of the Middle East.

Having a better understanding of the deep-rooted, religious conflicts can allow students to make informed, critical decisions as we move forward in this shrinking world of ours. (Understanding that Sunni and Shiite Muslims have a long-standing, historical conflict will help Americans have a better understanding of why the situation in Iraq had not had a simple solution.) The best advice I could offer is to simply sit down and talk to your child's teacher to find out what is being taught as well as in what context they are being taught.


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