The Right-Wing Now Thinks Texas Schools Are Converting Kids to Islam

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News has been bouncing around the right-wing blogosphere for a while now (and to trustees with Irving ISD) that some 70 percent of school districts in Texas are indoctrinating children with pro-Islam propaganda.

WorldNetDaily, which if nothing else is free of left-wing bias, reports "students are learning the 'fact' that 'Allah is the Almighty God'" as part of CSCOPE, a widely adopted curriculum management program.

A computer presentation utilized as part of a study of Islam includes information on how to convert, as well as verses denigrating other faiths.

According to excerpts, under the heading, "Who Is Allah?," students are told:

"Allah is the Almighty God."

"Allah alone is the Creator. He alone deserves our devout love and worship." Muhammad is described as having become "disillusioned with the corruption in the city and the growing gap between the urban dwellers and the Bedouins (nomadic herders)."

But there is no mention of his documented sex activities with a child or his penchant for beheading entire indigenous people groups.

At this point, you're probably asking yourself something along the lines of "Wait, isn't this Texas, land that's elected to public office self-appointed defenders of the faith like Rick Perry and Greg Abbott? How did they let the tentacles of Islam slip past their ever-watchful gaze and coil themselves around our children?"

They didn't of course. The Texas-schools-are-teaching-Islam trope is being paraded about by the same people who discovered that Texas was teaching that participants in the Boston Tea Party were terrorists.

The author of the WND piece uses that episode to flesh out his portrait of CSCOPE, an apparently innocuous means of helping school districts and teachers draft TEKS-friendly lesson plans, as part of a grand liberal conspiracy to indoctrinate Texas children, which is when the snake really begins to eat its tail.

To prove his point, the writer cites a post on a right-leaning education blog. That post, by way of proving that the story isn't being cooked up by the right-wing media, links extensively to a piece out of CBS Houston with the headline "Texas Schools Teaching Boston Tea Party as Terrorist Act." The sole source for the CBS Houston piece turns out to be The Blaze, Glenn Beck's pseudo-news site.

To its credit, The Blaze does include a link to an actual CSCOPE document, and that document does indeed include a passage describing the Boston Tea Party as a terrorist act:

A local militia, believed to be a terrorist organization, attacked the property of private citizens today at our nation's busiest port. Although no one was injured in the attack, a large quantity of merchandise, considered to be valuable to its owners and loathsome to the perpetrators, was destroyed. The terrorists, dressed in disguise and apparently intoxicated, were able to escape into the night with the help of local citizens who harbor these fugitives and conceal their identities from the authorities.

What The Blaze predictably leaves out is any sort of context. That passage, according to the document posted on the site, is intended to be delivered by the teacher as a news report, which would then be followed by a series of questions -- starting with "Does this event in the news report meet the criteria of a terrorist attack? Why or why not?" -- that ultimately lead to the revelation that the event being described is the Boston Tea Party.

The clear intent of the passage is to challenge the assumption that a) terrorism is easily defined and b) must always be carried out by Muslims.

Which brings us back to Allah. Does the curriculum really teach children that "Allah is the Almighty God"? Only in the sense that that's what Muslims believe, said Wade Labay, a spokesman for the state's Education Service Centers.

"Essentially, it's all another example of everything being taken out of context," he said, audibly exasperated from fielding questions about why his organization was trying to convert children to Islam.

The state's world history standards require students to learn about religion in a historical context, Labay said. As part of that, the curriculum explores the basic tenets of the big world religions: Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, and, yes, Islam. The fact that aspects of the religion are explained doesn't mean the religion is being endorsed.

"There is no agenda, no promotion of any special interest," Labay said. "If someone claims that is the case ... that's erroneous."

He declined to speculate much on how CSCOPE, the content of which is unobjectionable by any rational standard, became the target of a right-wind conspiracy.

"The bottom line is, if there are people who find something, someone's saying 'Look at this, I don't like this, I don't agree with this,' [and they] take it out of context and run with it, it's just gonna lead to those kinds of conversations and postings."

And this is a right-wing conspiracy. Rationality doesn't apply.

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