CAIR Attempting to whitewash 9-11 in textbooks
The events of Sept. 11, 2001, leapt with remarkable speed from dynamic daily news reports to the static pages of history books. By the following fall, millions of students across the country were reading about the terrorist attacks in social studies texts put out by the nation’s major publishers.
With every school year that passes, increasing numbers of students and parents come across the lessons on 9/11. Now, as the fifth anniversary approaches, reactions are mounting to the textbooks’ treatment of this high-profile act of terrorism.
Some Muslims say the texts unfairly paint all people of their faith as terrorists. They say frequent references to “Arab terrorists,” “Muslim terrorists,” “Muslim extremists,” or “Islamic fundamentalists” give schoolchildren a negative impression of their religion.
“Because these terms are repeated so many times, it’s very alarming,” said Maren Shawesh, of the Sacramento chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations. “We don’t want these younger students to grow up with that perception of Islam and Muslims.”
The Islamic community has an Identity problem. The only individuals defining what Islam is, happen to be the same people who advocate wiping a sovereign state off the map, detonating car bombs in crowded markets, or fly air planes into office buildings. For those Muslims who are not terrorists, and yes they are out there, it is well past time for you to step forward. Take a stand against the terrorists among you, and define Islam for what it is you believe it to be. If the only ones defining Islam is the terrorists then all of Islam will be viewed as terrorists.
Chapter 8 of “World Geography,” published by McDougal Littell, opens with a large, iconic photograph of firefighters hoisting an American flag above the World Trade Center wreckage. The facing page describes what happened on Sept. 11, first from the perspective of a 15-year-old student who was evacuated from his high school four blocks from the twin towers.
Then the book says: “19 Arab terrorists hijacked four airliners.” Umbashi says the description is too broad; instead he thinks the book should be more specific about which countries the hijackers were from.
A few paragraphs down, the book says investigators began to identify who directed the attacks. “The evidence pointed to a global network, or worldwide interconnected group, of extremist Islamic terrorists led by Osama bin Laden, a Saudi Arabian millionaire,” the passage states.
Khaled Umbashi, who is originally from Libya and is a practicing Muslim, questions whether Muslims are really behind the plot and he doesn’t like the term “extremist Islamic terrorists.” Umbashi took his concerns to the local chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations, known as CAIR. The group is developing a national strategy to change the way Muslims are portrayed in American textbooks, said Shawesh, a board member of the Sacramento Valley chapter of CAIR.
“Right now there is communication between the Muslim community and the publishing companies,” Shawesh said. “They have to come to a complete understanding that a lot of the information that’s being printed is misconstrued.”
History cannot be sugar-coated in order to appease individual groups. Facts are facts and the facts about 9-11 are that 19 Islamic extremists executedan attack on this country that murdered nearly 3,000 innocent people. If CAIR or any other Islamic organization wants to change the perception of Muslims in this country they need to start by rooting out the terrorists among them, including those that on their board which have intimate links with Hamas.
Perhaps CAIR’s role in fundraising scams related to 9-11 charities should also be included in textbooks. Shortly after the 9/11 attacks, CAIR’s website solicited donations for what it called the “NY/DC Emergency Relief Fund.” However, clicking on the donation link led to a website for donations to the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), a charity whose assets were later frozen and confiscated by the United States Department of the Treasury because, according to United States Secretary of the Treasury Paul O’Neill, HLF “masqueraded as a charity, while its primary purpose was to fund Hamas.”
I also want to point out that U.S. Representative John Murtha has 100% approval rating with the Council on American-Islamic Relations.