Skip to content

Terrorism and Religion

The curriculum appears to describe biblical reference in only a positive light.  If the curriculum is to include how scripture or beliefs were used in the founding of our great country then it should be done honestly.

Was it not those same founders that did not give African-Americans the right to vote or freedom?  Was biblical reference not used to justify slavery?  Was it Christians who slaughtered the native Americans and violated treaties with them?  Our freedom of speech is important and foundational to our country.  Our forefathers laid the foundation for a great country but we cannot do the disservice to our children to make it sound perfect and over-simplify our history by only attributing positive aspects to biblical reference and discounting or ignoring the less pleasant aspects.

Similarly, it is important for our children to understand that other religions, in particular Islam, was present in the founding of our country.  Many slaves brought over from Africa were Muslim.  Today, much of the American Muslim population is African-American.

Reference to Judeo-Christian values includes an unspoken narrative that it is not Islamic.  Since Islam follows and includes the Jewish and Christian stories, are not those values Abrahamic?  If the Texas curriculum is only selectively choosing which religions they are presenting as upholding those values, then it is being discriminatory.

Yet most, if not all, of these values are universal.  Our forefathers wrote that they held these truths to be self-evident, not merely because they were Christian.  Are they not Islamic, Hindu and Buddhist values as well?

The curriculum singles out Islam by only naming Islamic terrorism.  Gandhi was killed by a Hindu terrorist.  Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by a Jewish fundamentalist and Jewish fundamentalist terrorists commit murder regularly in the West Bank today.

Most believers of all faiths oppose all terrorism.  Yet the Texas curriculum discriminates against Muslims by singling out only Islamic terrorism, in the process implying that Muslims are more likely to harm civilians.  Professor Robert Pape of the University of Chicago studied all suicide bombers from the early 1980s through 2000 and found that the most statistically significant factor in determining a suicide bomber was not his or her religion, education level or ethnicity, but instead whether or not he or she was under occupation by an elected government.  Texas students need to know what drives terrorism from the terrorists themselves and research on the subject.

To be thinkers and ethical citizens in the future, our children need to research and learn whether religion, injustice, or unfettered power and greed is the greatest cause of terrorism.