The Department of Education of Virginia hosted a new speaker who mandated that teachers should exclude the role of Muslim extremism when teaching about the events that took place on 9/11.
In a presentation put forth by Amaarah DeCuir, an “Education Leadership scholar,” teachers were told to avoid using any language that could be interpreted as placing blame for the vents of 9/11 on Muslim extremism. The guest lecturer pointed to the extremely elevated anti-Muslim feeling that supposedly spikes up in the time around the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
“School and classroom 9/11 commemorations are sites for increased anti-Muslim racism,” read DeCuir’s presentation. “This year’s 20th-anniversary commemorations will likely result in heightened risks of racist discourse, threats, and violence targeting Muslim students in schools and society. Educators are well-positioned to disrupt these risks by centering the socio-emotional needs of Muslims in their commemoration plans.”
DeCuir invented a list of teaching standards that are “in” and “out,” as determined by her own personal viewpoint. Teaching ideas that are “in” seemingly include “acknowledgment of anti-Muslim racism.” While the teaching ideas that are “out” include the “false assumption of Muslim responsibility for 9/11” and “American exceptionalism.”
The odd presentation also seems to list examples of “harmful teaching” on 9/11. For example, “creating a tense classroom environment,” “reducing 9/11 instruction to death counts and fear-mongering,” “assumptions of emotional distance,” “teaching about Islam and/or Muslims,” “amplifying the extremists and extremist acts of 9/11,” “demanding the condemnation of 9/11,” “failing to respond to anti-Muslim racism,” and “reproducing a single, American narrative that marginalizes other students.”
As seen in her biography from American University, DeCuir is a scholar in education who “focuses on the intersections of leadership, gender, and diverse cultural contexts to advance social justice.” As put out in a tweet about the event, she called on “antiracist” education to attempt to join and “disrupt” the current education of 9/11.
Previously, she has thanked the Michigan-based Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU), which is a Muslim interest group that has been endorsed by Michigan’s progressive Rep. Rashida Tlaib, for the support of her work.
“My work would not be possible without the amazing research from [ISPU]! Thank you for your support,” tweeted DeCuir at one point.
We have seen Tlaib endorse the organization for its “profound” work as well.
“ISPU’s work is very profound. There’s so much truth in what they do — even making our community put a mirror up and saying this is what’s going on. I think that’s critically important,” stated Tlaib.
Steve Newman, a State Senator for Virginia, condemned the whole presentation and put out the call for all educations state-wide to only teach “the facts.”
“I lived through 9/11 … This one event was due to Muslim extremists and their actions, the desire of these individuals to kill as many Americans as possible at one time. Why do we need to change history, again? Just tell the facts,” stated Newman. “We have a responsibility to our children today to ensure they know the awful truth about the events of that day, and the evil intent behind the terrorists … We must teach the next generation the truth about our history.”