Newsletter #49 – Islamists Transforming Tennessee Schools

While we were asleep, Islamist education activist organizations were busy implementing the Muslim Brotherhood plan for our country.  Part of the “grand jihad” expressed in the 1991 Muslim Brotherhood memorandum uses our school systems, materials and students because they are considered  “fertile grounds where the seeds of Islam can be sowed inside the hearts of non-Muslim students.”  In the education context, this means rewriting school textbook content, rewriting curriculum standards, and slowly and incrementally, bringing U.S. students to a narrative that dismisses the what and why of 9-11.

What students are taught and the ideological framework that influences their education will dictate our country’s future.  If for no other reason than this, we should all be gravely concerned.

The Council on Islamic Education – transforming curriculum and textbook content

Critical to state curriculum standards, textbook treatment of Islam and what is taught in public school classrooms about Islam, is the role and influence of the Council on Islamic Education (CIE).  Founded in 1991 by Shabbir Mansuri, the CIE was created specifically for the purpose of influencing K-12 textbook publishers and education on Islam in the public schools.   It has been described as one of the most powerful influences on U.S. textbooks.

CIE influences textbook content by helping to rewrite state curriculum standards.  “Supplementing curriculum with materials and accurate information” is just one rationale used by groups like the Tennessee American Muslim Advisory Council (AMAC) to present topic scripts prepared by the Islamic Speakers Network (ING) to school staff and students.  ING is a Muslim Brotherhood inspired organization working closely with several Muslim Brotherhood organizations. (see Newsletter #41). Charles Haynes, listed as a Senior Scholar of the Vanderbilt University First Amendment Center, is listed as an ING Board member.

As stated on its website, CIE has expanded its objective to reach well beyond the classroom into the wider community.  In an effort perhaps to sound more secular and gain wider acceptance in “faith communities, media and civil society”, CIE changed its name to the Institute on Religion and Civic Values (IRCV), and lists Mansuri as its founding director.

As with virtually all the Islamist organizations, the more that is known about their genesis and relationships, the more their true objectives are revealed.

Background on CIE

As reported on the Saba Trust website, (Saba Trust Education & Welfare Society), founders Saghir and Bushra Aslam, immigrants from Pakistan, helped to establish CIE, the Mulsim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).  Mr. Aslam is listed as the CFO on IRCV’s 2008 – 2010 990 Forms.

Sidenote – CAIR was founded by the Hamas linked Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP).  The IAP is listed in the 1991 Muslim Brotherhood Memo as one of the “organizations of our friends”.  CAIR was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the federal 2008 Holy Land Foundation trial, the largest terrorism financing prosecution in the U.S.  In 2009, a federal judge in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that CAIR’s status as an unindicted co-conspirator would stand since the government had extensive evidence tying CAIR to Hamas.

In 2000, CIE was given an award by CAIR Southern California for trying to “eliminate Muslim stereotypes.”

CIE and Sound Vision

CIE is often cited on the Sound Vision website.  For additional information about Sound Vision and what it promotes as ways to advance Islam within the public school setting, see Newsletter #41 and the attachments.  In fact, one entry on the Sound Vision website titled “Islam: Getting involved in public school is a religious obligation!” attributes that sentiment to CIE’s founder, Mr. Mansuri.  This is the same Mansuri who described Sound Vision as “a bloodless revolution inside American junior high and high school classes.

Given the orientation of Sound Vision’s advice to Muslim families with regard to seeking religious accommodations in public schools, endorsement and encouragement to engage in dawa in schools, and more, it makes perfect sense that Sound Vision would likewise endorse all of CIE’s endeavors.

CIE’s Tennessee connection completes an “interesting” circle

“Teaching About Religion in National and State Social Studies Standards” is a widely circulated publication authored by CIE’s Susan Douglass (more on her below), in collaboration with Charles Haynes, a Senior Scholar of the Vanderbilt University First Amendment Center, and an ING Board member.

Addressing “education activists and several dozen Muslims” in a 2008 symposium, Haynes stated that “The Muslim community is breaking new ground …in how we think about religious freedom….Muslims are at the forefront of the movement to changing our ideas about religious accommodation in public schools….. 9/11 has effected the atmosphere of religious accommodation, Mr. Haynes stated that 9/11 has had a profound effect on this issue for the Muslim Community and that the Muslim community has been suffering the backlash since that event… [Haynes] is hopeful that the work of the Freedom Forum and the knowledge of one’s rights will lead to fair religious accommodation and the proper representation of Islam in the public school system, thus painting a true picture of Islam.”

These are among the very same reasons the ING affiliate, Tennessee AMAC used to get Governor Haslam and Commissioner Gibbons to agree to work with them.  And it is the same reasons the AMAC will use to support why they should be permitted to speak to school staff and students, adding that they have the Haslam administration’s support for speaking out.

CIE’s “accomplishments”

CIE is credited with influencing textbook publishers to omit “anything that would enable students to understand conflicts between Islamic fundamentalism and Western liberalism”. 

In 1992 CIE sponsored an “Islam in textbooks conference” for publishing company representatives and their writers.  The CIE website reported that this “marked the beginning of a sustained relationship between CIE and K-12 publishers.” 

In July 1994, CIE released a “review and analysis” of draft standards for “national standards for world history, grades 5-12” and a third draft of proposed California history and social science textbook standards.  In October 1995, they published the 3rd edition of “Teaching About Islam and Muslims in the Public Classroom”.

It was also CIE that helped to prepare the California history curriculum manual that had students “pretending” to be Muslims.  A federal judge held that it “is not indoctrinating students about Islam when it requires them to adopt Muslim names and pray to Allah as part of a history and geography class, but rather is just teaching them about the Muslim religion.”

Susan Douglass and CIE

CIE’s “Affiliated Scholar” and principal researcher and writer, Susan Douglass (a convert to Islam), also wrote social studies textbooks published by the International Institute on Islamic Thought (IIIT).  The IIIT is one of the 29 organizations specifically listed in the 1991 Muslim Brotherhood Explanatory Memorandum.  IIIT was raided by federal authorities as part of a terror financing investigation.  Douglass is most noted for drafting standards for teaching about religion in public schools; she and Charles Haynes co-authored the “Teacher’s Guide to Religion in the Public Schools” which has been adopted and published by the Freedom Forum in Nashville.

Douglass identifies herself as heading the educational outreach program at the Saudi – backed Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center at Georgetown University and taught for many years at the Islamic Saudi Academy in Alexandria, VA., a school with a troubling history of associations with Hamas and Al Qaeda. (also discussed in Poole’s article).

Douglass also sits on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) publication “Islamic Horizons” and speaks at ISNA conferences alongside none other than Maha ElGanaidi of the Islamic Networks Group (ING).  The ING is now working hand in glove with the TN American Muslim Advisory Council (AMAC).

The Douglass-ElGanaidi duo spoke at the 2006 Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center conference on “Islam and Curriculum Reform” (Teaching How to Teach Islam).

And most recently the September 2012 “California 3Rs Bulletin- F2F & 3Rs 9-12, included an invitation to California educators to attend Susan Douglass’ program designed to teach teachers how to teach about Islam.  ING’s Maha ElGanaidi sits on the California Three Rs Advisory Committee.

Marcia Beauchamp, formerly with Vanderbilt’s First Amendment Center Freedom Forum, was the lead program coordinator for the California 3Rs project.  The 3Rs project is sponsored by the First Amendment Center and is a project finding its way to other states.  In 2002, Ms. Beauchamp moderated a panel at the First Amendment Center that featured Susan Douglass as the speaker to talk about state education standards and teaching about religion in public schools.  Ms. Beauchamp told the audience:

“I do want to tell you that over the course of the years that I worked with the First Amendment Center and had many opportunities to work directly with Susan, and she is one of the most intellectually precise, committed and caring people I’ve ever worked with on these issues.”

Wonder how long it will be before Tennessee gets a 3Rs program?  After all, Tennessee already has the ING connection, the First Amendment Center connection, and of course, the AMAC.

Given Governor Haslam’s nod of approval to the AMAC, does he understand that this is also going to be part of Tennessee’s education reform?