Originally published on 2.0: The Blogmocracy
Muslim immigrants want to start from the premise that Australia is a “racist” country and not a fit place to raise children. (Also read Richard Fernandez: “The Australian Elections.”)
August 22, 2010 – by Herbert London
Recently the Australian Curriculum Studies Association and the University of Melbourne’s Centre of Excellence for Islamic Studies issued a booklet, “Learning From One Another: Bringing Muslim Perspectives into Australian Schools,” which maintains that “every Australian school student would be taught positive aspects about Islam and Muslims — and that Australia is a racist country.”
Presumably every Australian child should be taught about the fabled past of Islam and imagine the worst of Australia in order to avoid the challenges Islam poses to this peacefully integrated nation.
The report contends that there is a “degree of prejudice and ignorance about Islam and Muslims,” conditions that Australian students should oppose as they embrace diversity as the standard of civic duty. Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden are mentioned as famous names synonymous with traditional Islamic ideas, but there isn’t any reference to terrorism.
The truly remarkable dimension of this report is that a largely immigrant community, comprising a small minority, is demanding that classes be taught from its perspective rather than the perspective of the nation to which most chose to come. Australia is demonized as racist while the real challenges posed by Islam are overlooked. Moreover, it is precisely the communal values and institutions in Australia that made it a worthy destination for immigrants in the first place.
buzzsawmonkey hits the nail on the head in this comment:
“Muslim,” of course, is not a race.
And if Australia is so dreadfully prejudiced against Muslims, why did they choose to move there?
Curriculum corruption is nothing new
The only thing new about it is the degree to which curriculum corruption is being harnessed to the forces of worldwide jihad. For that, we can thank the tranzi-prog/jihadist alliance that makes up the current western political/academic/media elite.
Even back in 1964, physicist Richard P. Feynman noticed how the American curriculum was being debased. He recounted his experiences with evaluating textbooks in his 1985 autobiography, “Surely you’re joking, Mr. Feynman!” The Textbook League makes that chapter, Judging Books by Their Covers, available online, with permission from the publisher. Here is a brief excerpt; it is worth visiting the site (or buying the book) to read the whole thing.
I was giving a series of freshman physics lectures [in 1964], and after one of them, Tom Harvey, who assisted me in putting on the demonstrations, said, “You oughta see what’s happening to mathematics in schoolbooks! My daughter comes home with a lot of crazy stuff!”
I didn’t pay much attention to what he said.
But the next day I got a telephone call from a pretty famous lawyer here in Pasadena, Mr. Norris, who was at that time on the State Board of Education. He asked me if I would serve on the State Curriculum Commission, which had to choose the new schoolbooks for the state of California. You see, the state had a law that all of the schoolbooks used by all of the kids in all of the public schools have to be chosen by the State Board of Education, so they have a committee to look over the books and to give them advice on which books to take.
It happened that a lot of the books were on a new method of teaching arithmetic that they called “new math,” and since usually the only people to look at the books were schoolteachers or administrators in education, they thought it would be a good idea to have somebody who uses mathematics scientifically, who knows what the end product is and what we’re trying to teach it for, to help in the evaluation of the schoolbooks.
I must have had, by this time, a guilty feeling about not cooperating with the government, because I agreed to get on this committee.
Immediately I began getting letters and telephone calls from schoolbook publishers. They said things like, “We’re very glad to hear you’re on the committee because we really wanted a scientific guy . . .” and “It’s wonderful to have a scientist on the committee, because our books are scientifically oriented . . .” But they also said things like, “We’d like to explain to you what our book is about . . .” and “We’ll be very glad to help you in any way we can to judge our books . . .” That seemed to me kind of crazy. I’m an objective scientist, and it seemed to me that since the only thing the kids in school are going to get is the books (and the teachers get the teacher’s manual, which I would also get), any extra explanation from the company was a distortion. So I didn’t want to speak to any of the publishers and always replied, “You don’t have to explain; I’m sure the books will speak for themselves.”
I represented a certain district, which comprised most of the Los Angeles area except for the city of Los Angeles, which was represented by a very nice lady from the L.A. school system named Mrs. Whitehouse. Mr. Norris suggested that I meet her and find out what the committee did and how it worked.
Mrs. Whitehouse started out telling me about the stuff they were going to talk about in the next meeting (they had already had one meeting; I was appointed late). “They’re going to talk about the counting numbers.” I didn’t know what that was, but it turned out they were what I used to call integers. They had different names for everything, so I had a lot of trouble right from the start.
She told me how the members of the commission normally rated the new schoolbooks. They would get a relatively large number of copies of each book and would give them to various teachers and administrators in their district. Then they would get reports back on what these people thought about the books. Since I didn’t know a lot of teachers or administrators, and since I felt that I could, by reading the books myself, make up my mind as to how they looked to me, I chose to read all the books myself. . . .
We came to a certain book, part of a set of three supplementary books published by the same company, and they asked me what I thought about it.
I said, “The book depository didn’t send me that book, but the other two were nice.”
Someone tried repeating the question: “What do you think about that book?”
“I said they didn’t send me that one, so I don’t have any judgment on it.”
The man from the book depository was there, and he said, “Excuse me; I can explain that. I didn’t send it to you because that book hadn’t been completed yet. There’s a rule that you have to have every entry in by a certain time, and the publisher was a few days late with it. So it was sent to us with just the covers, and it’s blank in between. The company sent a note excusing themselves and hoping they could have their set of three books considered, even though the third one would be late.”
It turned out that the blank book had a rating by some of the other members! They couldn’t believe it was blank, because [the book] had a rating. In fact, the rating for the missing book was a little bit higher than for the two others. The fact that there was nothing in the book had nothing to do with the rating.
I believe the reason for all this is that the system works this way: When you give books all over the place to people, they’re busy; they’re careless; they think, “Well, a lot of people are reading this book, so it doesn’t make any difference.” And they put in some kind of number — some of them, at least; not all of them, but some of them. Then when you receive your reports, you don’t know why this particular book has fewer reports than the other books — that is, perhaps one book has ten, and this one only has six people reporting — so you average the rating of those who reported; you don’t average the ones who didn’t report, so you get a reasonable number. This process of averaging all the time misses the fact that there is absolutely nothing between the covers of the book!
I made that theory up because I saw what happened in the curriculum commission: For the blank book, only six out of the ten members were reporting, whereas with the other books, eight or nine out of the ten were reporting. And when they averaged the six, they got as good an average as when they averaged with eight or nine. They were very embarrassed to discover they were giving ratings to that book, and it gave me a little bit more confidence. It turned out the other members of the committee had done a lot of work in giving out the books and collecting reports, and had gone to sessions in which the book publishers would explain the books before they read them; I was the only guy on that commission who read all the books and didn’t get any information from the book publishers except what was in the books themselves, the things that would ultimately go to the schools.