ISIL has set the curriculum for the new school year in the occupied Iraqi city of Mosul and the eerie similarity to Tea Party rhetoric is impossible to ignore:
In Mosul, schools have been presented with a new set of rules, advertised in a two-page bulletin posted on mosques, in markets and on electricity poles. The statement, dated Sept. 5, cheered “good news of the establishment of the Islamic State Education Diwan by the caliph who seeks to eliminate ignorance, to spread religious sciences and to fight the decayed curriculum.”
History classes have been eliminated, presumably until a revised history can be cobbled together and codified. This is more or less the idea behind the revisions recently found in Texas history textbooks that claim, “the American system of democracy was inspired by Moses, segregated schools weren’t all that bad and taxes imposed for programs like Social Security haven’t measurably improved society.” When the new history books are written by ISIL, it’s a guarantee that their “interpretation” of history will make any objective reader nauseous.
Pictures that offend the fanatics will be removed from current textbooks, science classes are to be taught in accordance with religious doctrine and, of course, evolution is completely banned because, clearly, it’s blasphemous.
Aside from its focus on Islam instead of Christianity, there is very little of this new curriculum that your average Tea Partier would object to. In fact, the banning of evolution and the teaching of “religious sciences” is a major plank of the right’s political platform. It’s literally a driving force behind the right’s voucher program (that, and shifting public money to the private sector). Study after study have shown that tax payer’s dollars are being used to teach “religious sciences” in direct contradiction of the First Amendment.
Liberals have been comparing the Tea Party to the Taliban and other ultra-right wing religious groups for some time and we’re been accused of fear-mongering and hyperbole. But if that’s true, why is it next to impossible to tell their broad ideological systems apart?
Which group is:
Explicitly against homosexuality?
Explicitly anti-women’s rights?
Explicitly against other religions?
Explicitly for government based on their (and only their) religion?
Explicitly for the death penalty?
Explicitly for the use of or threat of violence to achieve political ends?
In love with their guns?
Consumed by a hatred of America under President Barack Obama?
The answer is: Indisputably both.
If you’re currently huffing and puffing that the American right wing is nothing like that, let me be the first to say “Congratulations! You woke up from your coma! You’ve missed a lot this last decade and have some catching up to do!”
For everyone else that’s been watching the devolution of the right wing into religious fanaticism, you should be worried. And for good reason. The only thing keeping the right wing from outright violence is the belief that they can still somehow turn back time and “take back their country” from all of “those” people. Once they realize that will never happen, do you think they’ll peacefully let history pass them by or lash out in fear and rage?
Right now, the American right wing is terrified of Muslim terrorists. But is it because they think Muslims are going to conquer the world? Or does the American right wing recognize themselves in an only slightly distorted mirror and they’re afraid of the competition?