Opposition mounting to history textbook referencing Islam

Protest planned in opposition to history textbook referencing Islam

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DELAND, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -

A tenth grade history book is at the crux of a controversy brewing in the Volusia County school district. 

At issue is Chapter 10, dedicated to the Muslim faith and teachings of Islam, with detailed interpretations of the religion's tenets and its text -- the Quran.
 
Deltona City Commissioner Webster Barnaby says the issue is not the religion itself, but rather the dominant focus on Islam compared to other religions.
 
"The majority faith in this nation is Christianity, but when your relegate Christianity to a footnote, then you have concerns from citizens and the residents," said Barnaby.  "There was no balance. Christianity was not taught."
 
Hundreds plan to protest the textbook at the Volusia County district offices ahead of Tuesday's school board meeting, district spokeswoman Nancy Wait says the state adopted textbook is being taught at all 10 high schools in the district, and religion is taught only in the context of world history.
 
"It is a resource that our teachers use, our teachers don't teach the textbook, they teach the standard, which are adopted by the state," Wait said.
 
While there isn't a chapter dedicated to Christianity, district officials say it is still equally covered.
 
"There is one chapter that is dedicated to the Muslim teaching, however Christianity, is infused throughout the book," Wait said.
 
School leaders in Brevard County approved a supplement to the book after similar concerns, which the Council on American Islamic Relations calls unwarranted.
 
"It's an embarrassing event that cast Florida's education system in a light of willful ignorance, because them seem to be adverse to teaching even the basic tenets of Islam, which is the second largest religion in the world," said Samantha Bowden of CAIR.
 
The book's publisher, Prentice Hall, has released a statement which reads, "We adhere to the highest editorial standards and that a review of the book shows it is balanced." 

The protest is set for 4 p.m. Tuesday at the Volusia County School Board, 200 North Clara Ave. DeLand.

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