Kid gloves for Islam in NY high schools...
Compare the treatment of Christianity and Islam...
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.
"There should have been a little balance in there," said one Brooklyn teacher who administered the exam but did not want to be identified.
"To me, this was offensive because it's just so inappropriate and the timing of it was piss-poor," he added, referring to the debate over the plan to build a mosque near Ground Zero.
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?"
At the same time, MacWilliams criticized the presentation of Hernando Cortes' conquest of Mexico -- which he said portrayed him as a "choirboy" rather than a "conquistador."
"It's quite a whitewash," he said.