(SACRAMENTO, CA, 7/12/16) – On July 14th the California chapter of CAIR alongside the South Asian Histories for All (SAHFA) coalition will seek to have the California State Board of Education adopt edits to California School Curriculum on History & Social Sciences for 6th, 7th and 10th grades that is being adopted by the State Board of Education (SBE). We are concerned about the blatantly inaccurate portrayals of Islam, Sikhism, Dalits and the South Asian caste system presented in the current framework. The coalition will present a revised proposal for the textbooks at the next hearing on July 14th. This final hearing will conclude with the adoption of a framework that will become part of the curriculum across California and will be in effect for up to 10 years.
WHAT: California State Board of Education Hearing
WHEN: Thursday, July 14, 2016 at 9 AM
WHERE: California Department of Education
1430 N Street, Room 1101
Sacramento, CA 95814
On May 19th, an interfaith and inter-caste coalition of over 80 members across California and the United States attended a hearing to present edits to California's Instructional Quality Commission (IQC). The IQC was presented with many edits, but voted to accept only a handful of them, but the SBE will vote upon the final framework on July 14th.
Examples of the Islamophobic text that is found in the textbooks are:
Current Text: “Muslims often did not force Christians or Jews, “people of the book,” to convert, but people of other religions were more often forced to convert.” – Chapter 11 (Grade 7) Pages 265-266, Lines 554-559.
Our Recommendation: Replace with “The Qur'an explicitly forbids forced conversion to Islam. Despite that, some Muslim rulers did force some non-Muslims to convert at times, while certain Umayyad rulers actively discouraged even voluntary conversion to Islam.”
“The currently proposed edits being considered by the State Board of Education do not provide an accurate representation of several marginalized identities within South Asian history,” said Saad Sweilem, CAIR-Sacramento Valley's Civil Rights Coordinator. “Students of all faiths deserve safe and nurturing educational environments, where diversity is celebrated. The current accepted edits to Islamic references in the curriculum framework will increase sentiments of Islamophobia in educational institutions and will lead to increased bullying and discrimination against Muslim students. Our hope is the State Board of education will reconsider these edits and follow a much more inclusive process that takes these important groups into account going forward so that our youth have a holistic and accurate understanding of history.”
CAIR-CA is a chapter of CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.