A textbook with a pro-Islam bias used in Advanced Placement history classes in Florida schools is "bigoted because this book only wanted to not offend one particular group," State Rep. Ritch Workman tells Newsmax TV.
"I want my kids to learn history exactly the way that history has it," Workman, a Republican who describes himself as a Christian, tells Newsmax in an exclusive interview. "I want my kids to know all the wars and disgusting things that my faith did through the ages.
"I want them to know all the horrible things that took place — whether it was the Christian Crusades or the Jews or Muslims — their horrible atrocities in the name of their god, then teach it that way.
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"Don’t sugarcoat one of them because you're afraid they might complain that you were mean to their Mohammed," he says.
Workman, who represents Melbourne in Brevard County, along with a group of parents, contend that the book — "Prentice Hall World History" by Ellis Esler — shows partiality to Islam compared to its coverage of Christianity and Judaism.
The book, for instance, devotes 36 pages to Islam versus only several paragraphs to Christianity, he says.
They criticized the book, which is published by the London-based company Pearson PLC, at a Brevard County School Board meeting last month.
Workman is expected to meet with Pearson officials this week.
"This book went out of its way not to offend one category of human beings," he tells Newsmax. "It reports history as history when it talks about the Crusades or the good and bad of the Roman Catholic Church, when one city or another was conquered by the Jews — and it talks about how there were massacres and death and horrible atrocities in the name of Jesus Christ or the Jewish God.
"But when it moved into Islam, it was very careful on what words it uses," Workman continues. "It goes into great detail on the Koran. It goes into great deal on the five pillars of Islam. It goes into great detail on how Islam made equality among women — but it stops short of saying the word 'massacre.'
"History is history — and history was clear that when Mohammed took Medina, those that did not convert were massacred. This book doesn't say this. This book actually says that they joyfully followed Mohammed.
"It's a warping of history in order not to offend — and that, quite frankly, offends me," he says.
Workman says he is considering legislation that would require citizen input on books being considered for statewide use in schools.
"If this state is going to approve books like this, I want people to know beforehand," he tells Newsmax. "I want the public to have input. I'm not a scholar. I'm not a history scholar, but I can read this book — and I know that one group is being called 'massacres' and others are not, yet the atrocities are the same.
"They were very careful not to offend — and that offends me," Workman adds. "We want to make sure the public has input in the future because, obviously, this one was overlooked."
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