The Social Science and Global Studies textbooks that have been recommended for adoption by April 23 by Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS), per the email below from LCPS, present an inaccurate and biased view of Islam and the Middle East in their World History unit (see included attachments as an example).
For example, in the section on "Terrorism Around the World," it is important to note that terrorism did not start in 1972, nor did it originate with Islamist movements or in the Middle East. This is a falsehood that will contribute to misinformation and more anti-Muslim sentiment taught to our children at a young age. We are doing them a great disfavor by teaching them a biased and inaccurate history and depicting an unfair picture of a whole region and religion. Let us give them all the facts and have them shape their own perspectives of this part of the world and its people.
In fact, "modern international terrorism" can be illustrated by using many earlier examples in the 20th century such as Bloody Sunday carried out by the IRA in 1920, the 1946 bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem by the Zionist Irgun militia, killing 91 people and injuring 46. Lehi (aka The Stern Gang), another Zionist group, assassinated politicians like Lord Moyne, the British Minister of State for the Middle East, in 1944. As such, the PLO, Islamist movements and the countries of the Middle East should not be singled out as sole perpetrators or precursors.
The point here is that this type of misinformation should not be presented to students, our future ambassadors, as an objective, accurate and unbiased account of terrorism in the world if it does not present historical facts and if it's limited in scope. In fact, in the 20th century, the IRA, Zionist groups such as the Haganah, Irgun and Lehi, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the WSPU all used assasinations and bombings to to fight the British colonizer. Political assassinations such as those of King Umberto I of Italy, US President William McKinley, and Archduke Ferdinand of Austria (setting the stage for WWI), to mention only a few, were common on all continents and amongst all faiths.
Let's act now by reaching out to the LCPS school board, Superintendent Williams, the educational advisory board (list attached) and other officials, parents, teachers, friends, etc. to share and convey our concerns about these latest revisions made to the VA curriculum addressing the Middle East, Islam, Palestine and Israel, as well as help accurately inform and shape the next generation of Americans' perceptions and understanding of critical issues for decades to come.