August 30, 2010

Test Biased toward Islam

Timothy Birdnow

This from Newsmax, courtesy of Brian:

School Exam Lauds Islam, Trashes Christianity

New York State education officials devised a high school exam containing passages extolling positive accomplishments of Islam while casting a negative light on aspects of Christian history.

The reading selections from the state-wide Regents exam on Global History and Geography contained a passage that said wherever Muslims went in the centuries following the birth of Islam, they “brought with them their love of art, beauty and learning. From about the eighth to the eleventh century, their culture was superior in many ways to that of western Christendom.”

Another passage observed that public lamps lighted roads in Muslim-occupied Cordoba, Spain, seven centuries before there was a single public lamp in London, the New York Post reported.

But an excerpt discussing Christianity’s introduction in Latin America stated that “idols, temples, and other material evidences of paganism [were] destroyed,” and “Christian buildings [were] often constructed on sites of destroyed native temples.”

It also said that “Indians supplied construction labor without receiving payment.”

Mark MacWilliams, a religious studies professor at St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y., told the Post: “Why does the exam seem to have only documents that portray Islam as a religion of peace, civilization, and refinement, while it includes documents about Christianity that show it was anything but peaceful in the Spanish conquest of the Americas?”

A Brooklyn teacher who administered the exam said, “There should have been a little balance in there.” Referring to the ongoing controversy over the planned construction of a mosque near ground zero in Manhattan, he added: “To me, this was offensive because it’s just too inappropriate and the timing of it was poor.”

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