The Volusia County School Board in Florida, without a formal vote, has decided to keep what opponents are calling a pro-Islam world history high school textbook after hearing more than 80 speakers’ comments on the matter. Many of those speakers expressed concerns that the book, published by Prentice Hall, has sanitized or “whitewashed” Islam’s violent history while diminishing Christianity.

The dispute erupted earlier this month after a Deltona High School parent complained about the book to a friend who then organized a protest rally for a previously scheduled meeting. That meeting was cancelled, according to World Net Daily – by the U.S. Justice Department because of “security concerns.

The Daytona Beach News Journal reported that Walter Hanford, an opponent of the book, claimed the book overlooks the true history of Islam including Muslim linked involvement to the 9/11 terror attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001 as well as the Fort Hood Massacre in Texas.

Florida-World-History-textbThe book contains a 36-page chapter on Islam but no chapters on Christianity or Judaism. It declares that Muhammad is the “Messenger of God” but that only  “some believed Jesus was the messiah.” It instructs students that jihad is a duty that Muslims must follow.

“Jihad may be interpreted as a holy war to defend Islam and the Muslim community, much like the Crusades to defend Christianity,” the book states.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations(CAIR) in Florida has stated the protests are “un-American” and insists that opponents are attempting to create an “environment of intolerance toward Muslims and an environment of hate against Islam.”

Martin Mawyer, president of Christian Action Network, whose group has worked on a study of the curriculum in question, said that among other problems students aren’t being taught about the factual motivations behind the radical Islam movement:

“The impression students are given is that terrorists are misguided fighters against Western imperialism and aggression, who are only wrong in their approach,” he said. “It was amazing how many times the word ‘Palestine’ was used, making it sound like Israel was built on top of a conquered country.”

The textbook in question will remain in use for at least 3 years.

Other Florida counties have recently heard arguments from concerned parents about the same book – all seeming to be upset about the 36 page chapter on Islam. The video below is in regard to Brevard County Florida’s review of the matter from August of this year:

In a DCX report last month titled Who’s Funding Islamic Library Books & $173k for “Meaning of Life” Research? it was revealed that the National Endowment for the Humanities was receiving earmarked funds under the new federal budget for what appears to be “Islamic only” spending purposes. That agency’s “Bridging Cultures Bookshelf Administration” program has already begun to distribute a collection of 25 Islamic related texts and 5 films to nearly 1,000 U.S. libraries encompassing all 50 states. That NEH grant also offers funds to recipients of those works in order for them to hold discussion forums.