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20 years

t was one of those cyber stories that just popped up on the Internet one night a week or so ago. Initially it seemed destined to remain there. It was one of those “right-wing” stories that, even though it had a certain ring of truth to it, it seemed almost too extreme to be true.
     Since 1947 the United States Supreme Court has hammered any school, or school teacher, in America who has ever entertained the idea of promoting religion in the classroom. The wall of separation between Church and State that has now become an “iron curtain” was initially conceived in the minds of the nine old men on the high court in 1898. It has pretty much been the “rule of law” since Everson v Board of Education in 1947 and McCollum v Board of Education a year later. That fact notwithstanding, it was now being reported by various Internet sources that a public school system in California was mandating that all students—even fundamental Christian and Jewish students whose ideology would be diametrically opposed to Islam—must study the Muslim faith in the classrooms. Of course, since it is construed as a violation of the Constitution to mandate any religious studies in the classrooms of America’s public school systems, this was one of those stories that seemed too incredulous to believe.
     Of course, astute Americans have long realized that the “wall of separation” between Church and State in the United States has always been an extremely selective “wall.” It has been focused specifically and exclusively on Christianity. When you examine the landmark Supreme Court cases on religious rights and the abridgment of those rights you will quickly discover that in every instance where religious rights were abrogated the rights lost were lost to Christians—and in every instance where religious rights were broadened they were expanded to non-Christian faiths such as Buddhism, Islam...or witchcraft (which is the religion of Satan).
     The State of California has long been viewed by the more “straight-laced” Christian community as “Sodom on the Pacific,” with San Francisco—America’s first homosexual haven—serving as Gomorrah. Hollywood, together with its morality-challenged movie actors and actresses who view life through a warped rose-colored prism, doubles as Sodom. It is no wonder then that a program demanding the forced “study” of Islam could be mandated in the California school system.
     The first inkling that something was “constitutionally amiss” with the California school system came shortly after the Christmas/New Year’s break when students in San Luis Obispo, Byron and Brentwood, California returned to their classrooms to discover that they would be forced to “study” Islam during a three week program. What infuriated Christian parents most is that those same students who were being forced to study a religion which denies the deity of Jesus Christ were denied the right—by the same school board—to wear crosses or other symbols of Christianity or Judaism because that jewelry defied the Supreme Court’s standing “separation” theory (even though, by the widest stretch of the imagination—and based on case law—students cannot be construed as the target of the separation doctrine. The separation doctrine deals exclusively with government or quasi-government or public agencies or offices—such as the public school system that cannot legally mandate that their students “study” the Muslim faith (even under the guise of “ancient culture”). It is amazing that, since 1947, the separation doctrine has been flipflopped to apply only to the people in a twisted Orwellian fantasy in which the government serving as the arbitrator of theological discretion.
     The first inkling that something was wrong in Sodom came when students brought home handouts that discussed what was being taught in their classrooms. Adding insult to injury after the September 11 tragedy, parents discovered that their children were forced to wear an Islamic robe, adopt a Muslim name by which they would be addressed throughout the course of study and, in one school in San Luis Obispo, to stage their own Jihad. In this post-September 11 era, parents argued most vehemently that forcing their children to pretend they were Muslim warriors fighting for Islam was wrong. In addition, students were required to stage a make-believe pilgrimage to Mecca. One angry parent complained to the Washington Times (the only major newspaper in the nation to report the story) that they ‘...could never teach Christianity like this.”
     Students who cannot bring a Christian Bible to school, or quote Scriptures from their Bibles without running the risk of being suspended, were forced to memorize Islamic scriptures from the Koran (Qu’ran) (the Muslim bible) in a course on Islam that is one of eleven “special education” units that has been added to California’s social studies classes that is now being taught all over the State. In other words, the initial reports which suggested that the Islamic training course was isolated to a few counties, was incorrect. The class, which is now included in California’s curriculum standards, was approved by State officials in 1998.
     Jennifer Schroeder, the parent who sought help from the Pacific Justice Institute, was told by the principle of the San Luis Obispo school principle that she could not “opt out” of the program on religious grounds. Clearly, if the school board in San Luis Obispo had decided to hold a three week study on Christianity and a principal denied the parents of an Islamic student the right to “opt out,” several things would have happened. First, such an egregious act would have headlined the evening news on every television network. Second, the principal would have been fired before breakfast the next day. Third, the American Civil Liberties Union would have filed a multi- million dollar lawsuit against the school board. Fourth, the U.S. Justice Department would have launched an investigation. Finally, Maxine Waters, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan and the Islamic Council for Religious Something-or-other would have been fighting each other for air time to denounce the Christian bigots who were proselytizing for converts in the Islamic pool.
     Peggy Green, the superintendent of the Union School District in Byron told the Washington Times on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2002 that her schools are only “teaching” about Islam, not promoting Islam as a faith. “We are not teaching religion,” Green insisted. “We are teaching the California state-mandated standards with state-adopted textbooks. Dressing up in costume, role-playing and simulation games are all used to stimulate class discussion and are common teaching practices used in other subjects as well,” she said, adding, “There’s nothing to get upset about.” Green added that “...her schools teach all religions in the same way.”
     By that, Green apparently meant all non-Judeo-Christian classes since California—like the other 49 States—believe that teaching anything about Christianity (even the basic tenets of that faith) violates the constitutional precept of separation as devised by nine old men who apparently never read the 1st Amendment.
     Learning that the Washington Times was investigating the myriad of Internet reports on the Islamic brainwashing, Roger Wolfertz, the deputy general counsel for the California Department of Education told the newspaper that promoting any religion in a public school would violate State code. Of course, everyone knew that. Wolfertz should have sat in the class. Just as forcing students—regardless of their theological perspective—to read the Holy Bible could, and very likely would, be construed as promoting a religion, it is hard to understand how Wolfertz or Peggy Green could, with a straight face, insist that forcing students of any theological perspective to read, and memorize, Koranic scripture could be construed as anything other than promoting a religion.
     What the State of California did in 1998 is expressly forbidden by the 1st Amendment. By mandating a “course” in Islam, the State of California legislated a state-sanctioned religion and then tried to disguise it as a course in “ancient culture.” Critics of the program who learned about the course from Internet reports initiated by the Pacific Justice Institute and an article written for Assist News Service by Assembly of God pastor and former PTL associate Austin Miles were outraged when they learned that California schools were forcing Christian students to “study” Islam. “I don’t think 7th graders should be reading the Koran,” Phyllis Schlafly, president of Eagle Forum told the Times. “They shouldn’t be playing games with another religion...It’s just an outrage.” Ken Conner, who replaced Gary Bauer as president of Family Research Council agreed with Schlafly. Conner told the Times that if students were to dress up like Pilgrims and give thanks to God in the classroom, civil rights activists “...would be apoplectic. [It] reflects a terrible double standard. Anything that smacks of Christianity is systematically excluded in the classroom, but everything less like Wicca to Islam is welcomed. This case exhibits all the more that Christians find themselves in a disfavored class of religion...”
     Conner’s assessment was, unfortunately, all too correct.
     The California liberals have shown, all too graphically and much too frequently, that it is not the free exercising of religious liberty which they find objectionable, it is the exercising of Christianity which they find distasteful.
     The California State School Board used such secrecy and stealth to implement the new class, called World History and Geography: Medieval and Early Modern Times that only teachers with a “need to know” were “in the loop.” Elizabeth Christina Lemings, a school teacher in the Union School District, was one of those not important enough to be in the loop. She found out about the program when her son Joseph, a student in the school where she teaches, brought home one of the handouts. Angered by the double standard, she contacted Assist News. Miles interviewed her at her school. “We could never teach Christianity like this,” Lemings told him. “We can’t even mention the name of Jesus in the public schools, but over there...” she pointed to the adjacent building, “...they teach Islam as the true religion—and students are taught about Islam and how to pray to Allah.”
     Sounds like a violation of the Church and State doctrine to me. Of course, to the politically-correct liberal who actually believes that racism can only be practiced by whites against blacks and never blacks against whites, they can’t see a violation of the separation doctrine unless the religion being “taught,” “hawked,” or worshiped is Christianity.
     Like Jennifer Schroeder, who told the Pacific Justice Institute that the new text book used in that short term course presented Islam in a positive manner but depicted Christianity in a negative light, Lemings saw the same thing and confessed her frustrations to Miles. References to Christianity were centered on martyrdom during the Inquisition and the Salem witch hunts—the text of which was printed in bold face type to make certain Christianity was very clearly and noticeably depicted as a vindictive, punitive religion that used fear to keep its followers in line. No mention was made of the Muslim propensity to cut off the hands and feet of petty thieves, and the beheading of murderers, adulteresses, homosexuals, or those despised by the Islamic community—in particular those attempting to convert Muslims to Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism or Hinduism.
     The textbook, Across the Centuries, was printed by Houghton-Mifflin. Showing its liberal bias, the textbook presents the “miraculous events” Muhammad claimed led up to his writing the Koran (Qu’ram) as fact. When miraculous events are described with respect to Christianity, disclaimers are used in every instance to mitigate them, thereby denying Christian miracles the credibility afforded Muslim claims that lack physical evidence.

The Houghton-Mifflin Role and the Oil Foundations
     As radio commentator Paul Harvey might say, “...and now for the rest of the story.” It was not accidental that the book Across the Centuries suddenly appeared on the market. Nor was it an accident that it was an inflammatory anti-Christian text that presented Islam as the one true faith. Nor was it by accident that the book was purchased by the California State Board of Education for inclusion in its curriculum.
     While most of those who read copies of the Austin Miles cyber article published by Assist News Service or emails containing hyperlinks or excerpts from the news release posted by the Pacific Justice Institute immediately thought that the “special course” was speedily concocted by politically-correct National Education Association bureaucrats in California to mitigate anti-Islamic sentiment in the United States after the 9.11 tragedy. Not true.
     By Saturday, January 19, 2002 California school authorities and the news media were attempting to justify the program as a post-September 11 initiative that was necessary due to the volume of threats against Arab and other Islamic Americans. Reports of hate crimes and harassment against Arab-Americans flood Islamic advocates’ offices although only one incident of actual violence against someone thought to be an Arab American and one threat of violence against five Islamic students in Palmdale, California in retaliation to 9.11 was reported to, or confirmed by, police departments anywhere in the United States in the wake of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks. Nevertheless, based on reports issued by Islamic groups, the media reported that hundreds of instances of harassment, intimidation and violence had occurred.
     In Portland, Oregon, parents of Islamic students at the Muslim Educational Trust School asked city police to station officers at the school to prevent retaliation for the September 11 attack. The police, after carefully noting that there had been no violence against the Portland Islamic community, nor had there been any threats to Islamics in the Portland area, increased patrols in the school zone but declined to post ‘sentries.” The parents filed intimidation reports with the Council of American-Islamic Relations which immediately reported the “incident” as another example of Islamic harassment. The school’s administrator recruited parents to walk the school grounds throughout the day to prevent “retaliation.”
     In Palmdale, California there were threats. Angry students posted an Islamic “hit list”
that contained the names of all five Islamic students in Palmdale High School. All five students were temporarily removed from the school. Two of them—Indonesian Muslims—were brothers, Abdul and Hanif Bachmid. Until the September 11 attack the Bachmid brother’s mother, Aisha Attamimi, said the family had never experienced any form of discrimination in the United States. It was the Palmdale incident that brought Department of Education Secretary Rod Paige into the fray. Paige sent a “dear colleague” letter to every educator in the United States urging teachers to implement classroom discussions and assemblies honoring the victims of 9.11 and educating the student bodies not to foster hate or target Arab-American students for harassment or blame.
     Inadvertently Paige, who was trying to prevent potential violence from occurring in America’s schools, opened the floodgates that began the spin that Islam is a religion of peace and that only extremists like Osama bin Laden advocated violence. And, also inadvertently, Paige caused the initial reaction expressed by most American Christians and Jews when news of the Islamic “education” program dribbled into the national news over a period of two weeks. They automatically believed it was a post-September 11 “spin” program. It was not. The California program actually began in 1990 when Muslim activist and Sacramento-area businessman Shabbir Mansuri formed the Council on Islamic Education.
     In April, 1986 Muslim advocate Uzma Unus wrote the following in Islamic Horizons magazine: “Most history books present Islam in a very negative way. In one case I heard a teacher compare Prophet Muhammad to Hitler. Another one said that Muslims forced people who followed pagan religions to convert to Islam...About 90% of what is written in the history books is either false or twisted around to make Islam sound like a terrorist religion.” Very clearly, since Israel gained statehood in 1948 the Muslims have confirmed over and over again that Islam is a terrorist religion. If there was any doubt after watching one suicide bomber after another kill innocent Jewish men, women and children, Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda terrorists, Yassir Arafat and his Palestinian Liberation Front terrorists, Hamas and the Hezbollah have more than confirmed the terrorist nature of Islam.
     In 1988 Shabbir Mansuri, a Fountain Valley, California businessman (outside Sacramento), said he decided to do something about what he called “the false description of Islam” in America. Mansuri founded the Council on Islamic Education in 1990 and immediately began to engage in a dialogue with several textbook manufacturers without much luck. The textbook companies in America weren’t too interested in Mansuri’s views; nor were they prepared to challenge the United States Supreme Court by publishing thousands of copies of a textbook that contained a theological dialogue which which most Americans disagreed. Using his Islamic connections in the oil rich Mideast Arabian peninsula nations, Mansuri discovered that oil company foundations who endow most institutions of higher learning in the United States also profited handsomely from their 68% ownership of most of the oil pumped from beneath the sands of the Arabian desert were very interested in his plight.
     The Rockefeller family, which owns controlling interest in the Seven Sisters (that evolved into ten oil companies then slowly began remerging back into the original Standard Oil (under the name Exxon-Mobil in order to exercise more global clout): Mobil, Exxon, Chevron, Standard Oil of New Jersey, Standard Oil of Ohio, Amoco, Sunoco, Conoco, Texaco, Atlantic Richfield, and British Petroleum [now known as BP America]) has, throughout most of its tainted history, been very conscious of the public’s perception of the Rockefeller name since that perception has never been good. The Seven Sisters and Royal Dutch Shell actually own, in partnership agreements with the Arab nations, a piece of almost every oil well in the Mideast, in what is now called Russia, and in the South Pacific with the People’s Republic of China. A secret agreement was signed between Exxon/Mobil, Texaco/Amoco and the People’s Republic of China almost two years ago to “farm” what is believed to be the largest untapped oil reserve in the world in the South China Sea around the Pacific islands America won from Japan in World War II. Those islands: Baker Island, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Johnson Atoll, Kingman Reef, Nassau Island and Palmyra Island were abandoned by the Clinton-Gore Administration.
When residents on those islands petitioned Clinton Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright to re-establish American sovereignty on them, Albright refused to recognize their “American” status. When the Clinton Administration renounced American claims to the islands, the People’s Republic of China claimed sovereignty of over 300 thousand square miles of the South China Sea—precisely where these massive oil deposits were discovered over 20 years ago. Immediately after this occurred, the People’s Republic of China announced a joint IPO with Exxon/Mobil and Texaco/Amoco. Now, in addition to the Seven Sisters being in bed with Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria and our tepid pseudo-allies in the Gulf States, we now learn that the Seven Sisters are also in bed with our most dedicated enemy (and most recent “trading partner” who dumps trillions of dollars of slave labor goods in America every year and uses trades the balance of payments for weapons systems which they have promised to use to destroy us in a nuclear firestorm when they are sufficiently armed).
     Since a growing number of Americans are beginning to realize that American and European oil cartels own a major interest in the Mideast oil fields, do oil companies—whose foundations control the education curriculum of every university they endow—have a growing need to paint Islam as a religion of peace? You bet your life they do.

Houghton-Mifflin and the Council on Islamic Education
     By 1999 textbook companies—particularly Houghton-Mifflin—were suddenly very interested in Mansuri’s views. In fact, they were so interested they consented to publishing textbooks from the Muslim perspective—for non-Muslim students in non-Muslim schools. And even more, they decided to publish a textbook that would challenge the separation of church and state doctrine. Houghton-Mifflin had to be convinced that any potential challenges to Across the Centuries in the United States Supreme Court would not be successful before risking a financial loss that would result from printing a textbook that might have to be withdrawn from the market if a successful challenge to its use was launched by the Christian right.
     Mansuri, who describes himself as a “...K-12 resource organization” has been able to do one thing that no Christian educational organization has ever succeeded in doing. The offices for the Council on Islamic Education are housed at Carden Hall Elementary School in Fountain Valley, California. Clearly, since CIE promotes Islam—a religion—and distributes copies of the Koran to California schools from that office, there has never been a more clear violation of the 1st Amendment prohibition of a “State-sponsored” religion—the State’s rhetoric about merely teaching “ancient culture” notwithstanding. The California school system—and therefore the California State government—has legislated a State-sponsored religion by mandating that every student in the California public school system be indoctrinated in that religion—and that they be required to memorize scriptures from the Koran...and, that in at least one instance, students were forced to role play as Islamic “freedom fighters” [i.e., terrorists].
     Mansuri was one of the editors hired by Houghton-Mifflin to put together the textbook Across the Centuries, 21st Century Edition. From that textbook, the Council on Islamic Education created a handbook it now promotes through its website. The spiral-bound book, The Crusaders from Medieval Europe , like Across the Centuries, presents the Crusades from the Muslim perspective with the Christians depicted as the blood-thirsty aggressors and the Muslims as the peace-loving victims of Catholicism.
     The Council on Islamic Education employs scholars in history, religion, education, curriculum development—and teachers. It works directly with textbook publishers like Houghton-Mifflin and local and State school boards to promote their new Kindergarten to grade 12 social-science teaching materials. With an annual payroll now in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, the question—which has not yet been answered—that should be raised is precisely where the Council (which is a 501c3 foundation) gets its funds. Who are its contributors, and how much has each contributor donated?
     Clearly Houghton-Mifflin—which wouldn’t speak to him when he formed CIE in 1990—is sold on Mansuri today. “[The Council on Islamic Education is] very professional,” Houghton Mifflin’s Editorial Director, Abigail Jungreis, said. “[They are] very informed and they have in their heart the same thing we do which is a desire for good, accurate information to children. We’ve had a really good relationship with them over the years.” Jungreis noted that because of the Council on Islamic Education, Houghton-Mifflin textbooks are now able “...to show what the Crusades were like for the Muslims. We’ve been able to give several perspectives on an event like that.” Justifying using an Islamic religious organization (posing as an educational association) to edit textbooks that will be used predominantly by Christian and Jewish students, Jungreis noted that “...the American melting pot also necessitates including different perspectives in textbooks.”
     Unknown to the parents of Christian and Jewish students in the California public school system is the fact that after the school system formally voted on and accepted the Islamic religious textbook, Across the Centuries, the 21st Century Edition, the Council on Islamic Education was retained by the State of California to re-educate 8,000 public school teachers on the best methods to teach Islam in the public school system. In addition, the Council has a speakers’ bureau which has held in-school assemblies where they have promoted the peace-loving Islamic faith to over 100,000 California Middle School students since the September 11 tragedy.
     Interestingly, the Council on Islamic Education attempts to reach American children at about the same age that the Islamic madrassa (Muslim religious seminaries) draw them. They catch them at the most impressionable age when it is easiest to manipulate their minds.

The Post-9.11 Spin on Islam
     Once again, most Americans who stumbled across what began as a cyber story on the Internet believed the California program was developed by the PC Police in the California Assembly to paint Islam as a user-friendly religion. America was likely more stunned by the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 than it was by the “surprise” attack by the Imperial Japanese Navy on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1941. More lives were lost—and the lives lost on 9/11 were almost all civilians, where on the Hawaiian Islands in 1941, only a small percentage of the dead were civilians. As far as most Americans were concerned on September 11, they wanted revenge—and they wanted it on September 12. Several heads of States who emphatically declared that the Americans needed to be able to prove Osama bin Laden was guilty before waging war on the nation of Afghanistan which had offered bin Laden sanctuary. To those heads of State, most Americans calmly suggested that if they wanted to protect bin Laden that they take a hike—to Kabul or Kandahar where US bombs would soon be falling.
     America was divided...but it was not a 50-50 split. Over 81% wanted revenge...and they wanted it to happen on September 12. Traumatized, even the media liberals temporarily became conservatives. The American flag flew everywhere—even on CNN.
     However, after about ten days the shock wore off and the liberal media realized, once again, they were liberal. ABC and CNN almost simultaneously banned the display of the American flag and even forbade their reporters and visiting commentators from wearing the symbolic red, white and blue ribbon. (Interestingly when CNN and ABC took up the “gay rights” banner a couple years earlier, reporters and visiting commentators were all forced to don the gay rights ribbon even if they were opposed to enhanced rights for people who practiced same-sex sodomy.)
     ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNBC and CNN, like most American international corporations, although they were born and bred in the United States, see themselves as transnational media companies. As such, the management of each earth station and satellite network (except Fox News) decided that displaying the American flag showed “American bias.” Even the constant 9/11 coverage was suddenly viewed by the mainstream TV media as biased.
     Every news item on the major networks that depicted American casualties of 9/11 was accompanied by largely fictitious reports of Afghanistan civilian casualties from the al Qaeda’s television news network in Qatar and a Muslim wire service in Pakistan.
     From that point on, both ABC and CNN attempted to reeducate America on the peaceful nature of Islam by broadcasting one program after another on the Muslim faith or culture, and driving their audiences to the Fox News Network. America had been watching the benevolent nature of the peace loving Islamic fundamentalists in the Holy Lands for the past decade as one suicide bomber after another drove their explosives-laden Mercedes into crowds of Israeli women and children, attacked school buses filled with Israeli children with AK-47s, and randomly assassinated Israeli citizens simply for being Jews.
     By the first of October, conservatives were pretty much tired of the network news’ presentation not only of the 9/11 tragedy but the War on Terrorism which was being portrayed by them as a war on the civilian population of Afghanistan.
     And, even though the cheap plastic American flags with the cheap plastic window mounts were now piling up in the markdown bins at K-Mart and Wal-Mart, America’s sense of patriotism was not diminished, nor had their zeal for vengeance been assuaged. The American people still wanted Osama bin Laden served up on a platter—dead and gutted. There was a fear in America that if he was taken alive that bin Laden might somehow escape death. And, that was totally unacceptable to America—at least, to conservative America.
     On October 5, 2001, Lynne Cheney, wife of Vice President Dick Cheney, gave an address at the Dallas institute of Humanities and Culture. Responding, in that speech, to an article that appeared in the New York Times decrying America’s ignorance of the cultures of the other nations of the world, Cheney rebutted the Times by saying: “Let me suggest that if there is a failure here, it is lack of commitment to this nation’s history.”
     Taking Cheney’s remarks personal as he struggled through the final phases of California’s new “ancient cultures” indoctrination program, Shabbir Mansuri struck back at the vice president’s wife. “What particularly bothered me was that Cheney said, in effect, that we don’t need to know anything about the Muslim world,” Mansuri told the media. “The United States, like any other nation, is part of the global community. We need to know about each other.” Mansuri added that there are now seven million Muslims in the United States. Four million of them are immigrants.
     One is quite naturally forced to wonder—of those four million— how many are “legal” immigrants with valid, non-expired student visas, work visas, or citizenship applications on file with the Immigration and Naturalization Service.


Just Say No
Copyright 2009 Jon Christian Ryter.
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