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  By Mark Cowan, correspondent
Focus On The Family

Schools are supposed to be neutral when it comes to religion. But there's a social studies textbook that appears to promote one belief over another.

Concerns are being raised in California about a social studies text Houghton-Mifflin's "Across the Centuries."

Jen Shroder took a good look at the text after her middle-school-age son came home with an assignment. In it she found references to the role of Christianity in civilization negative ones.

"In fact, every time it talks about anybody persecuting anybody it was always the Christians," Shroder said.

In contrast, the text has high praise for Islam.

Brad Dacus, with the Pacific Justice Institute, said the endorsement of a religion is not acceptable in a public school textbook.

"Public education must be neutral," Dacus said. "It must not be preferential nor hostile toward any religious group or any religious belief."

He said there are also statements without qualifiers, such as, "The Q'uran is the final revelation, just as Muhammad is the final prophet."

Said Dacus: "This is clear proselytizing. They need to, when they teach about religion, they need to qualify it as being something that a group believes as a part of that religion, not as statements of fact."

Shroder, meantime, said her son is trapped in the class.

"I cannot opt him out of this class, so he's gonna get an 'F' in certain areas because he will not be doing these things."

The text is approved for use by the California Board of Education and is reportedly being used in a number of school systems. Some schools reportedly teach how to pray in the name of Allah.

A spokeswoman for the publisher was unable to specify if the book is used as a text outside of California.

This article is copyright compliant as Jen Shroder, the subject of the article, is founder of


Read the Court ruling by Judge Phyllis Hamilton [a Clinton appointee] authorizing public schools to REQUIRE students to get on their hands and knees and pray to Allah by memory along with any other practices of faith  "in demonstration." This ruling was upheld by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and the US Supreme Court refused to hear it, thus allowing it as setting precedent, a tool used to uphold the decision in other states.

In my opinion, this reduces our children to slaves, for slaves have the right not to believe as they are forced to take the position and pray to foreign gods. - Jen Shroder 11/27/2010