(TAMPA, Fla., Jan. 21, 2014) — The Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-FL) today welcomed a supplement to a world history textbook prompted by an anti-Islam campaign.
The Brevard County School Board committee tasked with reviewing the book presented its findings today and said concerns about the textbook's alleged “pro-Islam” bias proved unfounded. The supplement offers additional lessons that teachers can use, including videos, news articles and websites.
CAIR-FL representatives met earlier this month with Brevard County school officials to share the Muslim community's concerns and to review the supplement approved by the Brevard County School Board Teachers Committee.
Based on the review of the proposed supplemental material, CAIR-FL found that the teachers had adopted a balanced educational approach.
“The supplemental materials seem to incorporate an unbiased and academically rigorous approach to teaching that will help students connect with and understand key issues and trends in recent global history,” said CAIR-FL Community and Government Relations Director Ghazala Salam, who met with school officials. “We commend the teachers for remaining neutral and exercising sound judgment in selecting resources that utilize a comprehensive and accurate approach, despite the stereotypes and anti-Islamic rhetoric promoted by the textbook's critics.”
Salam noted that the anti-Islam hate group ACT! for America is responsible for this and similar manufactured controversies in school systems in Florida and nationwide.
Other school systems have rejected anti-Islam propaganda by voting to keep the current textbooks in use with no supplements.
CAIR recently assisted the Muslim community in Alabama in its challenge to an ACT! for America anti-Islam campaign targeting textbooks in that state. The Alabama State Board of Education last week dismissed allegations that 11 textbooks on the state's new list for social studies material are too pro-Islam.
“While we do not believe that concerns of known hate groups like ACT! for America should be given serious consideration, we are pleased to see that the school board has decided to offer a supplement that includes even more accurate information on Islamic history to reinforce the textbooks,” said CAIR-FL Executive Director Hassan Shibly. “The more students know about the diverse faiths and cultures that make up the fabric of our society the better.”
Shibly said he is pleased that anti-Muslim bigots have failed to censor textbooks and that academics, students and school boards from Volusia to Alabama have rejected “baseless concerns fueled by misinformation and xenophobia.”
CAIR is 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.
CONTACT: CAIR-FL Executive Director Hassan Shibly, 813-541-4321, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, email@example.com; CAIR Communications Manager Amina Rubin, 202-341-4171, firstname.lastname@example.org