Confused About Who the Bad Guys Are?

If you’re not confused, give America’s largest teachers’ union time to work on a few more lesson plans, and you can be sure that the next generation will be. As though it’s not enough that we have revisionists writing fiction and calling it history, now we have the National Education Association’s (NEA) deformed perspective to contend with.

It seems the NEA has looked at September 11 and decided to finger the wrong people. That’s right, the bad guys were not Muslim terrorists, as every lucid person on the planet knows full well, but Americans who inflicted themselves.

The NEA’s suggestions for lesson plans recommend that teachers “address the issue of blame factually.” “Blaming is especially difficult in terrorist situations,” says the NEA, “because someone is at fault. In this country, we still believe that all people are innocent until solid, reliable evidence from our legal authorities proves otherwise.”

In other words, let’s not blame the people who did it—Saudi nationals in league with Osama bin Laden. Rather, let’s pick transgressors more in line with our liberal political philosophy. They didn’t have to look far.

In another suggested lesson plan appearing on the teachers’ union health information Web site titled “Remember September 11,” educators are urged to “discuss historical instances of American intolerance,” such as the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II and the alleged resentment of Arab Americans during the Gulf War, so that the American public avoids “repeating terrible mistakes. . . . Teachers can do lessons in class, but parents can also discuss the consequences of these events and encourage children to suggest better choices that Americans can make.”

Perhaps the president of the United States should consult a panel of elementary schoolchildren to get their “better choices” before dealing with the likes of such archterrorists as Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden or Taliban mass murderers.

To their credit, many American teachers have bristled at the idea that they skirt the issue of blame and that they suggest American “intolerance” may in any way have justified the attacks. Whitley Finn, a seventh-grade social studies teacher in Westport, Connecticut, said, “I want to prepare them [students] for the truth, and the only way to do that is to keep talking to them and making sure that they have the correct information about what happened that day.”

Students were to simulate fighting mock battles of jihad against “Christian crusaders” and other “infidels.”…wear Muslim clothing, study and recite from the Quran, adopt the speech of pious Muslim believers, and use such phrases as Allah has power over all things.

James McGrath Morris, a twelfth-grade social studies teacher, said his lesson plan will trace the historic rivalry among the three dominant Western religions—Christianity, Judaism, and Islam—and tell the students that the terrorists who flew planes into the World Trade Center and Pentagon were Muslims.

A spokesperson for the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) registered that union’s disagreement with the NEA, saying, “The AFT does not support a blame-America approach in particular and wishes to distance itself from the entire document.”

It is refreshing to know there is still a solid core of teachers and organizations in American education dedicated to teaching truth and resisting politically correct, liberal propagandizing.

But there is, unfortunately, a radical group of social engineers who fancy themselves the avant-garde of the current movement to tolerate everything at the expense of objective truth and common sense.

Last summer there was the issue of the three-week curriculum produced by Interaction Publishers, Inc., designed for schools across America. The course, geared for seventh-graders, encouraged the following: “Become a Muslim warrior during the crusades or during an ancient jihad (holy war).” Students were to simulate fighting mock battles of jihad against “Christian crusaders” and other “infidels.” Their cry of victory was “Praise Allah.” Students also were to wear Muslim clothing, study and recite from the Quran, adopt the speech of pious Muslim believers, and use such phrases as Allah has power over all things.

The Thomas More Law Center questioned the legality of the course and filed a federal lawsuit to prevent a California school district from using it.

The More Law Center had good reason to doubt the legality of promoting Islam and glorifying jihad. “Muslim warriors” are slaughtering Christians and Jewish people by the thousands the world over. Given the fact that even the mention of the name Jesus Christ in a public school is forbidden and posting the Ten Commandments is considered an intolerable transgression, the freedom to shout praises to Allah in public classrooms adds a new page to the chronicles of radical reverse-discrimination.

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