The religion police
January 25, 2006
Christian creationists aren't the only devout Americans expressing angst over K-12 school curricula. Of late, Hindus, Jews, and Muslims have joined them. In California, for example, Hindus are pressing to change how their faith is described in state history texts. This dust-up started when the state curriculum commission offered for review (as part of California's infamous "state adoption" system) several history textbooks aimed at sixth-grade students. The Hindu Education Foundation (HEF), a Hindu nationalist group, demanded substantial changes. Among them, that the state refute the well-established theory that Hinduism was created not by Indians, but by Aryans from the Central Asian steppe lands. Publishers are also feeling this kind of pressure. Oxford Press altered a textbook (written for American K-12 schools) when Jewish groups complained about its statement that the biblical account of the Exodus isn't supported by archaeology and Egyptian records. Likewise, Prentice Hall has rewritten some of its textbooks based on complaints from Muslim groups such as the Council on Islamic Education. Religious controversy - it isn't just about Darwin anymore.
"New Battleground in Textbook Wars: Religion in History," by Daniel Golden, Wall Street Journal, January 25, 2006 (paid subscription required)
"India history spat hits US," by Scott Baldauff, Christian Science Monitor, January 24, 2006