HS Test ‘Slams’ Christianity, Lauds Islam

Yoav Gonen, New York Post, August 24, 2010

State testmakers played favorites when quizzing high-schoolers on world religions–giving Islam and Buddhism the kid-gloves treatment while socking it to Christianity, critics say.

Teachers complain that the reading selections from the Regents exam in global history and geography given last week featured glowing passages pertaining to Muslim society but much more critical essay excerpts on the subject of Christianity.

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The most troubling passage came from Daniel Roselle’s “A World History: A Cultural Approach,” observers said.

The passage reads: “Wherever they went, the Moslems [sic] brought with them their love of art, beauty and learning. From about the eighth to the eleventh century, their culture was superior in many ways to that of western Christendom.”

Meanwhile, an excerpt listing the common procedures used by Christian friars to introduce the religion in Latin America stated that “idols, temples and other material evidences of paganism [were] destroyed,” and “Christian buildings [were] often constructed on sites of destroyed native temples”–and built with free Indian labor, to boot.

“I can see why some people might see these questions as skewed,” said Mark MacWilliams, a religious-studies professor at St. Lawrence University in upstate Canton. “Why does the exam seem to have only documents that portray Islam as a religion of peace, civilization and refinement, while it includes documents about Christianity that show it was anything but peaceful in the Spanish conquest of the Americas?”

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