US: Text books spotted terming Sikhs as “terrorists”; Sikh Coalition initiates action
By Parmjit Singh
New York, United States (May 18, 2013): The Sikh Coalition has sought the help of Sikhs in United States to create a “Most Wanted” list of offending textbook manufacturers. According to an alert issued by the NGO (Sikh Coalition) a school girl Jaslin Kaur said: “In my world history class, I read that Sikhs are terrorists”.
A copy of text book terming Sikhs as terrorists [Source: Sikh Coalition]
“Can you imagine your child coming home to tell you that she learned that her religious community, her family, her sangat, were labeled as terrorists in her textbook?”, the Sikh Coalition has asked.
“That’s exactly what happened to Jaslin Kaur, who attends Mt. Pleasant High School in San Jose, CA. As we all know, educators often teach from the textbook without bothering to verify the accuracy of the information they are teaching. They incorrectly assume that if it’s in the textbook, it must be true”, reads the alert issued by Sikh Coalition.
“Sikhism is a branch of Hinduism….” this inaccurate statement is found in multiple textbooks that students read across the country. Textbooks are an educational tool meant to provide accurate information, but with statements like this one, they often perpetuate misinformation and promote stereotypes, Sikh Coalition has pointed out.
The Sikh Coalition has maintained that the educators often teach from the textbook without bothering to verify the accuracy of the information they are teaching. They incorrectly assume that if it’s in the textbook, it must be true.
As regards the problem, an alert issued by Sikh Coalition reads: “We can only fix a problem when we know what is out there. How many textbooks are our nation’s children reading that have incorrect information about Sikhs?”.
The Sikh body has asked parents/guardians to go through their child’s social studies textbook and find any mention of Sikhs or Sikhism. It does not matter if the information is true or false. We want to know every mention of Sikhs in these books.
The Sikh Coalition has asked people to send scanned copies of text book contents by using – this online form. http://sikhcoalition.org/our-programs/education/throw-the-book-at-national-textbook-publishers