The Texas State Board of Education has just approved a resolution aimed to “correct a ‘pro-Islamic/anti-Christian bias’ in history textbooks.” The resolution passed rather narrowly, securing a 7-6 vote shortly after a contentious debate regarding whether or not current textbooks are “whitewashing” certain impacts that Islam has had in American and world history.
The proposed changes involve editing sections involving Christianity and Islam in a way that pleases the conservative members of the Texas State Board of Education. Yet the resolution doesn’t affect just Texans; considering the state’s massive population and its “adoption state” status — which means public school textbooks are mandated by the state, rather than by individual districts — its decisions are greatly influential to textbook publishers and are likely to affect students across the nation.
Before the vote, board member Dave Welch, who is also head of the Texas Pastor Council, implored his colleagues to “look at this very carefully… there are problems, there are imbalances.”
After the vote, fellow board member and president of the left-leaning Texas Freedom Network Kathy Miller expressed her uneasiness with the newly passed nonbinding resolution:
Board members rejected numerous opportunities today to pass a resolution that called on publishers to treat all religions with balance and accuracy in their textbooks. It is hard not to conclude that the members who voted for this resolution were solely interested in playing on fear and bigotry in order to pit Christians against Muslims.
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