AUSTIN — The Texas State Board of Education adopted a resolution Friday that seeks to curtail references to Islam in Texas textbooks, as social conservative board members warned of what they describe as a creeping Middle Eastern influence in the nation’s publishing industry. The board approved the one-page nonbinding resolution, which urges textbook publishers to limit what they print about Islam in world history books, by a 7-5 vote.
Kathy Miller, president of the Texas Freedom Network, which advocates for religious freedom, questioned why the resolution came at a time when “anti-Muslim rhetoric in this country has reached fever pitch.”
“This is an expression of the board’s opinion, so it does not have an effect on any particular textbook,” said David Anderson, the general counsel for the Texas Education Agency, when asked by a board member what legal weight the resolution would carry.
The board in recent years has become a battleground for social conservatives and liberal watchdogs, each accusing the other of imposing ideological agendas into what about 4.8 million public school students learn in Texas classrooms.