(KTN) KINGSPORT, TN — Most of the Tennessee middle school social studies standards involving Islam have been removed from new draft standards undergoing public comment in Tennessee through Oct. 28.
In seventh grade, where studies of Islam are concentrated in current standards, the whole section of “Islamic World, 400 A.D./C.E. – 1500s” has been removed in the draft, which went online from the state Board of Education for public review and input on Sept. 15.
For years, the standards involving Islam have drawn controversy and charges of indoctrination, following terrorist attacks by the Islamic State, and study of Islam continues to be controversial. A new law in effect this year specifically prohibits proselytizing for any religion. Individuals at the Sullivan County school board meeting claimed that the current seventh-grade social studies text as proselytizing for Islam.
Gone from the draft “Islamic World” are 11 standards, ranging from the physical location and features of the Arabian Peninsula to the expansion of Muslim rule and cultural diffusion of Islam and the Arabic language, the origins of Islam and the life and teaching of Muhammad, including the historical connection to Christianity and Judaism. Also gone is a standard about understanding the Qur’an and Sunnah, different sections within Islam, the Sunnis and Shi’ites, contributions of Muslim scholars, trade routes of Arab society, art and architecture, including the Taj Mahal, the importance of Memed II the Conqueror and Sleiman the Magnificent and writing an explanatory text about the Sha Abbas and how his cultural blending led to the Golden Age and the rise of the Safavid Empire.
Some Muslim history remains in the seventh-grade draft standards, including in West Africa: 400-1500s C.E., where a standard is that students must be able to “explain the importance of the Malian king, Mansa Musa, and his pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324. In addition, Southwest Asia and North Africa: 400-1500s C.E., expects students to be able to “describe the diffusion of Islam, its culture, and the Arabic language.” (Continue reading)
This isn’t too surprising.
As a former Tennessian, I’m more surprised this didn’t happen sooner.
For the past few years, and here recently about once a week, the US has seen attacks from radical Islamic terrorists.
It’s understandable that people are a little wary of Islamic history is being taught to their kids.
But is it really a good idea to edit our kid’s history books?
I get the indoctrination/proselytizing part, and some schools have gone way over the top with force-feeding Islamic teachings on students in an attempt to remain as PC as possible.
But you can’t just remove a thousand years of world history and pretend it never happened.