Conspiracy Watch: Reading, Writing, Ramadan

Are textbook publishers under the sway of Saudi-backed Islamic organizations?

Illustration: Peter Hoey

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the conspiracy: Textbook publishers are under the sway of Saudi-backed Islamic organizations determined to brainwash our children and undermine the American way of life. Some blatant examples of Islamist propaganda disguised as multiculti curricula: Prentice Hall’s middle-school history textbook World Explorer, which claimed that the Koran teaches “the importance of honesty, honor, giving to others and having love and respect for…families”; and McGraw-Hill’s Journey Across Time, which asks students to explore charity, fasting, prayer, pilgrimage, and other tenets of Islamic belief with skits.

the conspiracy theorists: The American Textbook Council, the Pacific Justice Institute, and Citizens for American Values in Public Education, which heads the “Stop the Madrassa” campaign to close what it calls a “radical Islamist” middle school in New York City. Citizens for American Values’ advisory board includes Giuliani campaign adviser Daniel Pipes.

meanwhile, back on earth: If Lynne Cheney can offer textbook writers advice about the Civil War, why not scholars who actually know something about the world’s second-largest religion? And since when does Al Qaeda use role-playing to win over sympathizers?

Kookiness Rating: tin foil hattin foil hattin foil hattin foil hat (1=maybe they’re on to something, 5=break out the tinfoil hat!)

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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