By Herb Denenberg,
Friday, January 30, 2009
There’s growing evidence that America may be meeting its educational Waterloo and that our educational system is being captured by radical Islamists. As Robert Spencer put it so well in his classic book, The Stealth Jihad, radical Islam is subverting America without guns or bombs.
The radical Islamists have scored dramatic victories in determining what students are taught in America about Islam, and we don’t even seem to know what is happening. The radical Islamists have managed a massive penetration of our educational system that teaches everyone from the youngest students all the way up to students at our colleges and universities.
Here is what the radical Islamists are doing at all educational levels, according to Mr. Spencer:
“Of all the arenas in which the stealth jihad is advancing, one of the most crucial is in our schools, where stealth jihadists have found a welcoming environment among teachers deeply steeped in the credo of multiculturalism. With the mandate of ‘tolerance’ robbing many educators of their ability to evaluate non-Western cultures critically, teachers are highly susceptible to an organized campaign by U.S.-based Islami c organizations and their primary benefactors, Saudi Arabia, to present a view of Islam that whitewashes its violent history and intolerant religious imperatives.”
In other words, if you can’t evaluate other cultures and decide whether our culture is better, you’re hardly in a position to defend your own culture against the rising tide of its enemies, including the radical Islamists also known as islamofascists.
You can’t effectively defend your culture if you think all cultures are pretty much the same.
The radical Islamist have launched a two-pronged assault on our educational system at the pre-college level:
1. In Islamic academies in America, with teaching materials from Saudi Arabia and other sources, the academies indoctrinate unequivocal hatred toward non-Muslims, and deep suspicion of our Western values.
2. The opposite approach is taken in our mainstream schools. U.S.-based Islamic groups place lesson plans and other educational materials that are about the opposite of the antagonistic materials placed in Islamic academies. In the mainstream public schools this is what Mr. Spencer says takes place: Islamic instruction “presents a picture of Islam that is so pristine and peaceful that it sometimes crosses the boundary from mere pro-Muslim bias to outright Islamic proselytizing.
So the radical Islamists are not only indoctrinating young students but may well be on the road to converting them to Islam.
The findings of a study released in June 2008 by th e American Textbook Council, an independent national research organization that evaluates the quality of textbooks, finds where we are now with educational materials used in our schools. Mr. Spencer says here is what it found about what ten of the most widely used middle school and high school social studies textbooks teach. They “present an incomplete and confected view of Islam that misrepresents its foundations and challenges to international security.” Mr. Spencer writes, “The report found that the books present highly tendentious constructions as undisputed truth, making common cause with West-hating multiculturalists to bowdlerize the presentation of Islam, denigrate or downplay Christianity and Western civilization, and transform many public school textbooks into proselytizing tracts.”
Incredible as that is, even more incredible is that this tendency has only intensified since 9/11.
California seventh graders use a text that defines jihad as follows: “Muslims should fulfill jihad with the heart, tongue and hand. Muslims use the heart in their struggle to resist evil. The tongue may convince others to take up worthy causes, such as funding medical research. Hands may perform good works and correct wrongs.”
Mr. Spencer writes, “It gives no idea that Muslims have ever viewed jihad as involving, in whole or part, warfare against unbelievers, or have ever waged war on that basis. Muhammad, meanwhile, far from exhorting his followers to subjugate unbelievers, ‘taught equality’ and was a prototypical compassionate liberal who instructs Muslims ‘to share their wealth and to care for the less fortunate in our society.’”
In other words, this is classic Orwellian inversion of the false into the true. What’s even worse, the Textbook Council found, “While seventh-grade textbooks describe Islam in glowing language, they portray Christianity in harsh light. Students encounter a startling contrast. Islam is featured as a model of interfaith tolerance; Christians wage wars of aggression and kill Jews. Islam provides models of harmony and civilization. Anti-Semitism, the Inquisition, and wars of religion bespot the Christian record.”
Mr. Spencer asks whether publicly-funded schools and even private schools should be allowed to teach doctrines that flatly contradict the Constitution, as Sharia does? Should our students be taught to remove all obstacles to the spread and dominance of Islam? Should students be indoctrinated with an anti-Christian and anti-American bias?
It’s time these questions are studied, discussed, and acted on by an informed citizenry. Otherwise, we stand to lose our culture and America, as we know it. We are in the process of surrendering our children and our nation to radical Islam and we seem to be unaware of what is happening.
If that’s not disheartening enough, I’ve told only half the story of what is going on in our educational system — only at the pre-college level. Our colleges and universities are also go ing down the tubes and are being turned into centers of anti-Americanism, indoctrination of students to favor Islam, and placing thought and debate on this subject in an ideological straitjacket favoring Islam.
Our colleges and universities have abandoned their function and are now in the business of radical Islamic propagandizing. Here is what universities are supposed to do, according to a University of California at Berkeley’s Academic Personnel Manual. This section was inserted by President Robert Gordon Sproul in 1934.
But don’t be encouraged by what has been called a ringing affirmation of the commitment of the university to education, not propaganda. The universities are now in the business of propaganda, of brain washing, and indoctrination. It is no accident that this ringing affirmation of the true function of the university has been removed from its academic manual, as of 2003:
“The function of the university is to seek and to transmit knowledge and to train students in the processes whereby truth is made known. To convert, or to make converts, is alien and hostile to this dispassionate duty. Where it becomes necessary in performing this function of a university, to consider political, social, or sectarian movements, they are dissected and examined, not taught, and the conclusion left with no tipping of the scales, to the logic of facts.”
What goes on at our colleges and universities can be communicated in a case study of Professor Omid Safi, who should be called Propagandist for Radical Islam Safi. One of his assignments given students called for critical reports on Islamophobes, neo-cons, Western triumphalists, etc. included on a long list that named some of our greatest scholars and most distinguished authors such as Bernard Lewis, considered the West’s greatest authority on Islam, Samuel Huntington, Alan Bloom, Leo Strauss, Bat Yeor, Patricia Crone, William Bennett, William Kristol, Charles Krauthammer, and many others.
Notice that Professor Safi labeled these people as Islamophobes or some other pejorative term to put them in the worst possible light. This is not teaching, but indoctrination, brain washing, and propagandizing. It is certainly not conducive to freedom of thought.
Would students evaluate these people on their own merits knowing that the professor is harshly condemning their work? Would a student say Bernard Lewis is a great scholar and his work represents some of the most important scholarship on Islam?
This is not a list of people to be evaluated on their merits. It is the professor’s enemies list and students are likely to write accordingly. You don’t get an A by proving your professor is a fool even if he is.
Professor Safi has abandoned all the traditional professorial ideal of pursuit of the truth, and is in the business of propaganda and thought control. He should have been fired immediately. So what happened?
He was teaching at Colgate, but his propagandizing soon meant he had a position at a more prestigious university, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Yes, our universities have come to that – academic promotions for propagandizing professors who have abandoned all the principles on which university education should be based.
Mr. Spencer says Professor Safi may not be a stealth jihadist, but he is certainly serving the cause of the stealth jihadists: “Professors who prevent their students from learning about Islam in an objective manner, and those like Safi who place an ideological straightjacket on their students, are performing a valuable service for the stealth jihad.
For in this manner Professor Safi signaled to students that any investigation of Islamic supemacism, violent or non-violent, would be classed as ‘Islamophobia,’ ‘unrepentant Orientalism,’ ‘Western triumphalism,’ and even ‘neo-conservatism’ — all the worst epithets in today’s academy.”
Professor Safi is all too typical of the propaganda professors and political agitators who have taken over many university departments and who are facilitating the programs of the stealth jihadists.
Professor Safi joined a whole team of like-minded people at the University of North Carolina. The school was in the news in 2002 when incoming freshmen were assigned a book on the Quran that focused only on passages that suggest relative tolerance and mutual coexistence between Muslims and nonbelievers. However, the doctrines of jihad and dhimmitude (second-class citizenship for nonbelievers), which mainstream Islamic scholars say supersede the more tolerant passages are not included in the book. So the passages that have proven so oppressive and even fatal to Christians Jews, and other non-Muslims throughout history are not in the book.
A North Carolina professor produced that sanitized version of the Quran. Another wrote a book, which said any criticism of Islam, was based on Jungian projection, i.e., the critics are projecting their negative characteristics onto others. Mr. Spencer asks whether 9/11 and a long list of other Islamic atrocities were somehow imaginary and merely projected onto the Islamists by critics.
The distorted thinking at the University of North Carolina is also illustrated by an experience Mr. Spencer had after speaking there on the threat of the stealth jihad. A University of North Carolina professor wrote a paper on Mr. Spencer’s appearance. That professor did not and perhaps could not challenge what Mr. Spencer said on the merits. So he said Mr. Spencer’s books were published by conservative publishing companies and were non-scholarly.
This shows how universities such as North Carolina have become propaganda mills, not true universities. The professor could not discuss Mr. Spencer’s ideas on the merits. He could only point out that they were published by a company that may be on the wrong side of the ideological fence.
North Carolina makes a perfect case study for another reason. That’s because on March 3, 2006, a 22-year old Iranian student drove his SUV onto the North Carolina campus and tried to kill people. He did injure nine people. After the incident, the student was pleased with himself and said he was “thankful for the opportunity to spread the will of Allah.”
In a letter, he explained why he set out to murder the residents of Chapel Hill “by running them over with my automobile and stabbing them with a knife if the opportunities are presented to me by Allah.” In the letter he says he is just “a servant of Allah.” He justifies his acts by saying in the Koran “Allah states that the believing men and women have permission to murder anyone responsible for the killing of other believing men and women … After extensive contemplation and reflection, I have made the decision to exercise the right of violent retaliation that Allah has given me to the fullest extent to which I am capable at present.”
He said further, “Allah’s commandments are never to be questioned and all of Allah’s commandments must be obeyed. Those who violate Allah’s commandments and purposefully follow human fabrication and falsehood as their religion will burn in fire for eternity in accordance with Allah’s will.”
Mr. Spencer says this tragedy might have been averted if the North Carolina professors would have stopped denying the jihadist ideology and the Islamic supremacism found in the Koran and elsewhere, and called on local Muslim groups “to develop comprehensive programs teaching against the jihadist ideology and Islamic supremacism.” If the North Carolina professors had acted as professors instead of propagandists for jihadists the tragedy might have been prevented.
To understand how this is all happening, Mr. Spencer says follow the money. Saudis and others have been pouring Islamic money into our colleges and universities to buy up professors and departments to propagate their propaganda lines. Elite institutions, such as Harvard, Columbia, and Georgetown have demonstrated they are for sale, and have been sold to these anti-American, pro-jihadist forces. Our universities have become intellectual houses of prostitution for sale to any high bidder.
For more details on what is going on, you should read Mr. Spencer’s book, Stealth Jihad. You will be shocked to the core, and also be shocked into realizing it is late in the game, and we better act now if we want to protect our nation, our culture, our freedoms, and our security.
Mr. Spencer says some of our first steps is to discard the politically correct orthodoxy that values “tolerance” of non-Western cultures above any objective search for truth.”
He says we are so far gone in the blindness of political correctness that “The mere suggestion that the jihadists’ hatred for us is rooted in the Qur’an [Koran] and other fundamental Islamic texts is simply not tolerated in academia. As a result, many American citizens as well as policy makers continue to cast about in vain for a way to satisfy our enemies’ grievances.” One such deluded policymaker is Barrack Hussein Obama who wants to talk to Iran and sweet talk them out of their firmly engraved objectives and ideologies.
Unless he is the Messiah the mainstream media claim he is, I can assure him his talking cure for terrorism and genocide is a waste of time and will simply give Iran more time to build a nuclear bomb.
Herb Denenberg is a former Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commissioner, and professor at the Wharton School. He is a longtime Philadelphia journalist and consumer advocate. He is also a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of the Sciences. His column appears daily in The Bulletin. You can reach him at email@example.com.