Group Sues Rick Scott to Prevent Pro-Islam, Anti-Evolution Bias in Public School Textbooks

Categories: Politicks
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Citizens for National Security, a Boca Raton-based group that's dedicated itself to identifying pro-Islam bias in textbooks, has filed suit against the state of Florida, Gov. Rick Scott, and the state's Department of Eduction, claiming that a new law concerning the review of textbooks would not do enough to make sure that Florida students don't get any sort of funny ideas that Islam isn't dangerous. Oddly, the group is also concerned that the same textbooks may try to ignore evolution.

Yes, we're aware that anti-Islam and pro-evolution groups usually find themselves on different sides of the aisle.

SB 2120 was signed into law by Scott in May after being passed by the Florida legislature. Among other things, the bill reduces the current 10 person statewide textbook review committee to two experts selected by a committee. If the two disagree about the appropriateness of a book, a third expert is brought in.

"It is not possible for two people to review all the textbooks in Florida within a 4 month period of time," states the lawsuit, "and thus Senate Bill 2120 renders it impossible for the Defendants to provide high quality education to all children in Florida as required by law."

Except, sorry Citizens for National Security, that's not what the law says at all. The law requires the commission to select different experts for different subjects. So, two singular people will not be reviewing all of the textbooks in Florida. Furthermore, the bill also requires each individual school districts to appoint teachers or content supervisors to review textbooks as well.

Yet, Citizens for National Security's main goal seems to be keep pro-Islam material out of schools. Their website claims they've undertaken a 14-month investigation of textbooks in Florida.

"We found and documented numerous passages in a variety of history and geography textbooks that blatantly enhance Islam while demeaning Christianity and Judaism," reads the site. "We have identified more than 80 textbooks that contain clearly offensive passages of this nature."

Though, the group does seem somewhat concerned about fundamentalist Christianity as well.

"The present danger of fundamentalist religion is often obscured, the negative influence of fundamentalism is downplayed and the teaching of one of the greatest scientific breakthroughs of all times, i.e. evolution, is often ignored, questioned or denied due to the failure of this State to properly monitor its textbooks," reads the suit.

For their part, Scott's administration isn't concerned about the lawsuit and claims Scott shouldn't even be listed as a defendant.

"This isn't the first time Gov. Scott has been inappropriately added to a lawsuit where he's not a proper defendant," Scott spokesperson Lane Wright told The Buzz. "This is all just a ploy to get media splash, and any good lawyer would know better."

Meanwhile, we're more concerned that teachers in Florida have enough funding, training, and support to make sure their students thoroughly read their textbooks rather than finding any sort of hidden Muslim extremist textbook conspiracy.

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12 comments
muslimteaparty
muslimteaparty

People need to understand it's not "southern yahoos" that are doing this... Boca Raton is a hotbed of Israel-before-America sentiment. Social liberalism is big in this circle, but so is an adherence to AIPAC/Likud principles. There are two primary reasons these groups defame Islam and Muslims 1) By painting all muslims and stone throwing Taliban barbarians, Americans will be more supportive of Israel's no-negotiation stance with Palestinians (be real... the status quo allows Israel to continue to build settlements and buffer previously expanded areas) and 2) By painting every single one of Israel's neighbors as barbarians, Americans are okay with sending billions and billions of dollars in military aid, equipment, tecnology, and interest-free loans in the name of "defense"

Meadows Autumn
Meadows Autumn

I am not christian, I am not Teaparty or republican and I don't like Islam but for that matter I don't like any religion in our education system. Separation and Church and state is in the constitution for a reason. You want to pray, you want to wear religious garb, you want to believe in magic sky fairies grant your wishes do it at your place of worship. Its not just Christians that are fed up with everyone giving Islam "special treatment" because of the "feign" oppression Agnostics, Athiest, Hindus and several others are sick of it too!! When is Scientology mentioned in our school text books?? when is Wiccan mentioned in our school texts books or Hinduism and Buddhism??? Its not Islam itself that people are sick and tired of..its the special treatment it gets while all other minority religions and none religions don't get squat for accommodations?? I don't see any other religion demanding prayer time in public schools?? or foot baths in our colleges?? any time there is some kind of religious demand in the public guess who!!! Its Islam!! Get a grip and grow up already.. no one wants your religion shoved in our faces!!

Mark Montgomery
Mark Montgomery

These southern yahoos just hate Muslims and immigrants, they must be Republican.  Mark Montgomery  NYC, NY  boboberg@nyc.rr.com

Meadows Autumn
Meadows Autumn

Islamic terrorist defame your religion. Your so busy attacking peoples very normal reaction to the 9/11, train bombing in Spain, Bus bombing in London, grade school massacre in Russia, Mumbia mass murder in India, failed shoe bomber, failed christmas tree bomber, failed NY square bombing, failed underwear bomber, foot hood shooting and much much more...such as rioting over cartoons of Mohammad, aducity of putting a mosque named Cordoba (a conquered place in spain by the muslims moors in 711) at ground zero...people have a very normal and legitimate negative reaction to this...your so busy attacking peoples very normal response to all this instead of attacking who is really defaming your religion the Militant Islam trying to impose the sharia on the entire world!

muslimteaparty
muslimteaparty

Your arguments are bewildering and void of any sense of realism.

First off, whether you like it or not, religion is here and it weilds a lot of influence in the world. Although I would argue that most of the influence is positive, I will concede that there are many troubling aspects.

More importantly, this isn't a question of equal time for all religions. Islam is mentioned in the context of World history in, you guessed it, World History classes (just a side note, hinduism and buddhism are usually large parts of the curriculum as well. Agnostisism, atheism, and wiccans may eventually have their place in history... until then, they probably don't have much place outside of units covering heresey in Christendom). American youth need more context.

Further, all Muslims are not demanding prayer time in public schools or foot baths in our colleges. For those Muslims that observe, they ask/request for prayer SPACE. There is a specific time for each of the 5 prayers Mulims are "obliged" to perform. Only one of them is during an average school day (and it's usually at lunch). Would it be out of the question to shift around a muslim studen't schedule to make sure that prayer time is during their designated lunch period? Further, is it unreasonable to set aside an EMPTY clasroom for them? Secondly, I have yet to see a footbath in a non-mosque public space. If institutions want to accomodate it, I don't see the problem. If they don't, I dont' see any issue either.

Why aren't you making the same arguments for getting YOM KIPPUR or ROSH HASHANA off from school? Did you know that every NYC public school and every single Long Island school district get those Jewish days of religious observance off? Did you know that many schools were DEMANDED to provide kosher alternative foods (Muslim's have dietary restrictiosn too. However, when HALAL food is not available, Muslims that observe, will choose fish or vegetatiran alternatives). Seriously, all this myopia is making my head spin. Context is key.

muslimteaparty
muslimteaparty

It's Boca... there are no Southern Yahoos in Palm Beach County. It's a Jewish group that has ties with several synagogues that hosted Geert Wilders. These are the kinds of people that will never allow their sons to join the US Military but be elated when they sign up for the Israeli Defense Forces.

muslimteaparty
muslimteaparty

Ms. Autumn,

I'm not attackign anyone. If anything, I'm defending the perception that it is "Southern Yahoos" that are looking to rewrite history.

You want to attack Muslims for just BEING... Damned if you do damned if you don't. Muslims are very capable of living by example, but you don't even care to notice the example that the great majority of Muslim-Americans set. Instead, you focus on a handful of really terrible actions that were committed in the name of Islam (when they are really politically motivated movements).

If your reasoning holds true, Americans are responsible for the atroscities committed by the Saudi Royal family. We developed their oil fields, provide for their defense, train their soldiers, and have pumped TRILLIONS of dollars to their economy. We have given the Saudi royal family the ability to suppress all dissenters, suppress women, and weild their influence all over the Muslims world. Why don't you and all of your kind rise up and make demands on your representatives?

Oh thats right, because you are too busy living in a bubble. Open your eyes before you criticize.

Meadows Autumn
Meadows Autumn

I tried to give links but then it blocked me and said it was moderated..Dearborne michagin has put foot baths in its colleges and USA today has an article of muslims demanding prayer rooms in public schools. We have sepration of church and state that means religion stays OUT OF OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS..why do you get special treatment and somehow buddhism, hinduism and wiccanism have to wait for their time in history all of them existed way before any abrahamic religion!! Muslims make up only 1 percent of America, Hinduism .4 percent, buddhism .7 percent and wiccan/new age .4 percent...why should you get special treatment. Would you like wiccans getting their own room to do witchcraft during your kids school class?? How would you feel if your kid saw other kids in wiccan robes and wearing the pentagram and walking around with the book of shadows?? If you demand the Koran in school and prayer rooms don't complain when witches and Hinduis get idols and practice their magik too!!

Meadows Autumn
Meadows Autumn

why is this being moderated all the sudden?? and why isn't my rebuttal showing up?? I am taking screen shots for my responses to turn into the editor of this website that it is bias for blocking free speech discussions.

Meadows Autumn
Meadows Autumn

First of all I am not Jewish.. I am agnostic but favor Wicca or paganism.. Why shouldn't other religions get their place in history?? Wiccans and pagans existed long before any Abrahamic religion ever did?? Muslims in America only make up 1 percent while Buddhism makes .7 percent, Hinduism makes .4 percent and wiccan/new age .4 percent...what makes your religion better than the other minorities?? if wiccans brought their book of shadows to public schools and wore pentagrams and your child came home talking of witch craft what would you do??? School buildings are paid for by the state...there is a thing called separation of church and state?? how would you feel if witches were given a special room to practice their rituals during public school hours and your children came home talking about them leaving during class to go go practice magik?? I bet you would be running to the school and giving the teacher the 3rd degree by exposing your children to paganism!!As for foot baths in our colleges Dearborn Mihigan is just one example http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08...Muslims demanding special treatment in public schools here http://www.usatoday.com/news/n...

muslimteaparty
muslimteaparty

Ms. Autumn,

First, your idea of separation of church and state is skewed. The main issues in that debate are focused on the government's endorsement of an official religion and official religious qualifications for public office. Why is the idea of a foot bath so offensive to you? I'll reiterate, there is a difference between requesting and demanding. If a school is 30-50% Muslim and if it is not an unreasonable burden on the school, what is the harm in providing that accomodation? If you'd like, we can talk about this in the context of tort liability. Instead of washing their feet in a foot bath, imagine of these Muslim students in dearborn continued to use the sink to wash their feet. Now imagine if one of these kids slipped, fell, and cracked his head open. If the school was aware or should have been aware that a great number of students were using the sink to wash their feet, that could open up the door for damages. If it bothers you so much, you don't have to visit Dearborn, MI. Your constitutional argument is absolutely baseless.

Second, if you are going to engage int his debate, you should either look into the realistic legal viability of your claims or consult with an attorney. The court's job is to distinguish between situations and apply common law and statutes to facts. Absolute religious right to practice is not protected in our country. Also, public institutions are not required to accomodate every religious practice. While I'm sure you think you are making a brilliant analogy everytime you bring up wiccans, the courts would have no problem distinguishing. 

Who is demanding the Koran in school? I don't think anyone is asking for public schools to provide a copy of the Koran for students. Further, if children want to bring the Koran to school (or the bible, or a magazine, etc.) they probably wouldn't be restricted to do so (distinguishing from violent, offensive, or overtly sexual materials which would be constitutional restrictable). No one is demanding prayer in school either. Muslim students aren't really restricted even if they aren't accomodated. It's not all that difficult for a Muslim to leave class for a couple of minutes to perform the ritual prayers. Now if there was a large enough percentage of the school that did perform those prayers, there would be nothing wrong for the school to make slight adjustments to the schedule and providng space for students. However, when these "accomodations" get in the way of education, aren't feasible, unreasonable, excessively burdensome, it's okay to make restrictions. Your hypothetical situations do not really address the issues. As an attorney, I would tell you to start asking yourself simple logical questions...

1) If there is a large percentage of muslims who perform the ritualistic prayer (always at set times never takes more then 2-5 minutes) and if there is an empty classrom available, is it burdensome, offensive, or otherwise unreasonable for the school to provide muslims that space?

2) Would shifting and/or adjusting the school's schedule or the individual's schedule be particularly burdensome, offensive, or otherwise unreasonable?

3) Does the ritualistic practice create a hostile or otherwise distracting environment in the school?

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