Middle East studies in the News
Sunnyvale 5th Graders Taught on 9-11 That Israel 'Belonged to the Muslims'
by Aussie Dave
On September 11 itself, the 5th grade of Louis E. Stocklmeir Elementary School in Sunnyvale, California (Cupertino Union School District), had a lesson about 9/11 – probably like many other schools in the US (hat tip: Club Z).
Except this is what they learned (verified from a parent of one of the kids at the school):
Quite the simplistic narrative – and false.
While it is strictly true that Bin Laden did blame US support for Israel, stating that the land belonged to Muslims before Israel was Jewish is wrong and irresponsible. It ignores our indigenous status in the land dating back thousands of years – way before the Islamic conquest in the 7th century – and even the fact the land legally belonged to the British (not the Muslims) before it legally became Jewish in 1948.
This narrative also paints Bin Laden more as a justice seeker than evil terrorist. Especially in the young minds of 5th graders.
This is irresponsible and disturbing.
The article was provided by an outfit called Newsela, and it seems the school did not vet it. After complaints by parents, I am told both the teacher and vice principal were very apologetic and did follow-up with the kids about violence. However, my source tells me they did not discuss again the implications of the article regarding Israel.
As for Newsela, they responded to the criticism by correcting the article. My source has sent me the new version:
While this is a definite improvement, it is also way too simplistic, and paints both the Muslims and the Jews as two equal, warring parties fighting over the land for centuries.
Let's look back at Bin Laden's letter to the American people. He was waging a religious war.
Yet the article paints it as a mere territorial dispute, and goes far to leave Islam out of it. Is it really true to state that "Islamic extremists believe different things from most Muslims"? (Sure, most Muslims are not violent, but that does not necessarily speak to their beliefs). I am not sure – and I don't think Newsela are either.
This is yet another example of very irresponsible conduct on the part of a school we have seen these last few months – conduct that can lead to young minds being poisoned against Jews.Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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