What's wrong with
"ACROSS THE CENTURIES"
Houghton Mifflin Social Studies Textbook
7th grade 21st Century Edition, nationwide
I. Unbelievable Leading Assignments to Children:
"Assume you are a Muslim soldier on your way to
conquer Syria in the year A.D. 635. Write three journal entries that
reveal your thoughts about Islam, fighting in the battle, or life in
the desert." (pg 71)
(My son is forbidden from imagining fighting for Allah.)
"Form small groups of students to build a miniature
mosque [place of worship]. You may decide to use cardboard, papier'
mache, or other materials. Have one member do research at the library
to find out what the insides of mosques look like. Have another member
design a building plan. And have two members collect the building
materials. Together, construct the mosque according to your plan." (pg
(My son is forbidden from building places of worship to Allah.)
"You leave your home in Alexandria for the pilgrimage
to Mecca. [previously described as a holy religious event0. Using the
map on page 53 and other atlases, write a letter describing your
route, the landscapes and peoples you see as you travel and any
incidents that happen along the way. Describe what you see in Mecca."
My son is forbidden from imagining he is on a pilgrimage to "holy" Mecca, which is done as worship to Allah.)
"Why do you think the Arabs and others in Southwest
Asia would have been attracted to Islam? Explain your reason." (pg 64)
(This is nothing short of brainwashing! First our children are shown a false god, shown how Muslims worship him, told to imagine being a Muslim, write about it in many ways and then to write what is good about it. All the time claiming this does not proselytize?!?)
II. Islam Belief Statements as Fact:
Occasionally words like "Muslims believe" can be found, but compare how many words of faith compare to the Christian section. (see graph) (see every word of two pages in context)
The following statements are sprinkled throughout as statements of fact and some begin the paragraphs and lessons with NO statements of "Muslims believe."
"The Quran is the final revelation, just as Muhammad is the final prophet." (pg 62)
(new paragraph) "The Arabic word Quran can be loosely translated as 'recitation." In fact, the very first word the angel Gabriel spoke to Muhammad was "Recite." (pg 63) [...in FACT???]
"Ramadan is a holy time, because in this month Muhammad received his first message from Allah." (pg 63)
"He also realized that, with his mission complete, he would soon join Allah in heaven." (pg 65)
"Arabic lettering had a special significance for Muslims, because it was used to write down God's words as they had been given to Muhammad." (pg 88)
(Opening paragraph of Lesson 2 with no "belief"
qualifiers) "In the year AD610, something extraordinary occurred. The
first verses of the Quran, believed by Musilms to be the written
record of God's words, were revealed to him at that time." (pg 58)
(Please look closely at what that sentence is saying. It states the Muslims believe it to be the written record of God's words, but it states as FACT that it was revealed by God at that time. Even the few times "Muslims believe" is noted, it is done in a deceptive way.)
"Then, in the cave, something more far-reaching happened. A being he later identified as the angel Gabriel, or Jibril (juhBREEL) in Arabic, came to him, telling him to read, or recite. Trembling, Muhammad responded that he didn't know how to read or what to read. 'Thereupon [the angel] caught me and pressed me so hard that I could not bear it any more.' Three times the angel pressed Muhammad, finally commanding him to
In the name of your
Lord who created.
Created man from a clot
Read! And your Lord is the Most
He who has taught by the pen.
Taught man that which he
"From Jerusalem, both Muhammad and Gabriel ascended into heaven, where Muhammad spoke to God." (new paragraph) "These revelations confirmed both Muhammad's belief in one God, or monotheism, and his role as the last messenger in a long line of prophets sent by God. The God he believed in - Allah - is the same God of other monotheistic religions, Judaism and Christianity." (pg 59)
"The angel told him [Muhammad] to recite in the name of God." (pg 59)
"The...mosque...allowed Muslims to feel Allah's invisible presence..." (pg 97)
"Muhammad's revelations occurred from 610 until his death in 632." (pg 61)
"Today pilgrims visit the Prophet's Cave on Mount Hira." (pg 58)
"Why did Muhammad think he was a messenger of God?"
(Are they looking for our children to reply, "Because of greed, lust for power, hallucinations? (not once hinted in the text). Or are they trying to compel our children to answer as fact what the text should have taught as a belief. Predetermined questions. My gosh! THINK about what they are leading our children to answer here!
"Since the Muslims did not necessarily encourage people to convert to Islam, why did they bother expanding their empire?" (pg 84)
Further, I object to Muhammad's wife, Aisha, (she
was age 9 when he married her), describing in length what she
believes Muhammad experienced as revelation. Though the textbook
qualifies it as her version, it is still testimony presented as
fact. (pg 58) Conversely, does the Gospel of John, where John gives
the story of Jesus, qualify as textbook material?"
[June 2002 - After writing the above, Houghton Mifflin contended that many statements were out of context. That "Muslims believe" were written around most statements. For the shocking response to that claim click here, or to see full pages in context, click context]
III. What California Mandates, what "Across the Centuries" delivers:
"7.2 Students analyze the geographic, political, economic, religious, and social structures of the civilizations of Islam in the Middle Ages."
Please note that religion ranks as number FOUR out of a list of five given in bold. Following is what the "Across the Centuries" delivers per my word count, listed in order of dedicated text:
|1. Religious Beliefs (not religious politics)||35%||20|
|2. *Arts (poetry, art, medicine, science, etc.)||*18%||*14|
|5. Religious Politics||11%||3|
|6. Geography (Calif's #1 requirement!)||03%||7|
|7. Social Structures||02%||1|
|* not even on list|
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