Intolerance in Texas SBOE reminds us all of our imperfections and what happens when we try to impose our narrow views on others. The following includes excerpts from Ericka Mellon’s Houston Chronicle article.
Texas school board vote calls for limits on Islam in textbooks
Houston & Texas News | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle:
By ERICKA MELLON
Sept. 25, 2010, 7:58AM
AUSTIN — Publishers were put on notice on Friday when a divided State Board of Education vowed to reject textbooks with a pro-Islamic and anti-Christian slant, sending a message that critics say promotes fear and prejudice.
The resolution, approved by a 7-6 vote, says that multiple world history textbooks are tainted with views that demonize Christianity and favor Islam.
The vote — which does not bind future boards — was a victory for the current social-conservative majority, which took a hit in the March primary elections.
The board’s minority bloc tried to kill the resolution, to postpone the vote to check its accuracy and to revise it so Islam wasn’t singled out, but all attempts failed.
‘This resolution just seems senseless,’ said board member Rick Agosto, of San Antonio. ‘It makes this board look like we’re cuckoo, which we are.’
‘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,’ she said.
Mary Bruner, a retired educator from Mineola who addressed the board, applauded its warning to publishers.
‘It is easy to see textbook writers have a political agenda when they devote much more space to Islam than to Christianity,’ she said.
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