Historian, Barbara Lefebvre: Crooked School Lessons Present Islam as Peaceful, Demonise Christians
“A historian has slammed the double standards employed in French schools which present Muslim conquerors as peaceful and brilliant, and Christians as backwards oppressors.
Against the backdrop of terror attacks and rising Islamic extremism worldwide, teacher and author Barbara Lefebvre contends that education on Islam has “never been more necessary”.
But the historian, who has published several books on the Holocaust, argues that textbooks’ sanitisation of Muslim conquests and their presentation of an Islamic supremacist version of history is completely unhelpful.
The historian says textbooks focus on the “peaceful coexistence” of Muslims and Christians and that official guidelines tell teachers not to study “events that tend to emphasise the warlike contacts”.
She draws attention to the fact that, incredibly, books use the term “resuming control” when describing Mohammed’s conquests of previously non-Muslim areas. This presents as legitimate “reconquests” the warlord’s bloody takeovers of regions that were never previously Muslim, nor his territory.
This directive is ignored, she notes, when it comes to the Crusades, as prominent textbooks title their chapter on the subject of Christian self-defence “Violent Holy Wars”.
This period of history, and the Spanish people’s reconquest of their own country, is told through a series of bloodthirsty “crimes”, Lefebvre notes. The focal point of peaceful cooperation between the two religions is exemplified by trading relations in the French curriculum.
However, Lefebvre observes that even this narrative follows a Muslim supremacist agenda as textbooks “unanimously describe Islamic civilisation as ‘brilliant’” and claim that all the West is hugely in debt to Arabic science.
To hammer home the discredited idea that Muslims were wise educators to Europe’s ignorant cave-dwellers, the professor discloses that textbooks quote a Muslim occupier as saying: “This country does not know what science is and those who lived knew no one here who had made himself illustrious by his love for knowledge.”
Lefebvre notes that, to emphasise this one-sided narrative, students are asked to “show that the presence of Muslims in Andalusia helps develop science and Greek philosophy in the West” in their assessment.
The professor describes as “disconcerting” the fact that textbooks rely entirely on Muslim sources for accounts of relations between Muslims and non-Muslims. As a result, pupils in French classrooms are taught that non-Muslims welcomed being conquered and invaded as “a blessing”.GO READ THE WHOLE THING.