Miseducation of the West: How Schools and the Media Distort Our Understanding of the Islamic World

Overview

The Miseducation of the West examines the ways in which educational institutions such as media and schools have shaped Western views of Islam. The nature of these messages tells readers as much, if not more, about Western self-images as they do about Islam and Islamic peoples. Quickly emerging is a Western perspective on the other. Westerners found easy justification for the colonial conquest of many Islamic lands. In the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries England, France, and to a lesser extent Russia ...

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Overview

The Miseducation of the West examines the ways in which educational institutions such as media and schools have shaped Western views of Islam. The nature of these messages tells readers as much, if not more, about Western self-images as they do about Islam and Islamic peoples. Quickly emerging is a Western perspective on the other. Westerners found easy justification for the colonial conquest of many Islamic lands. In the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries England, France, and to a lesser extent Russia colonized much of the Mulsim world with the United States entering the picture after World War II. Economic colonialization, the oil business, interference with various governments, and the way these events and people are represented in the formal curriculum of schools and the informal curriculum of the media are central dimensions of this work.

The contemporary expression of these stories involve the Bush administration's and its conservative allies' efforts to teach the nation about the true meaning of 9/11 and Islamic terrorism. In various reports, conservative organizations with close ties to the Bush White House, present forceful views of what historical concepts should be taught in U.S. schools. As Joe L. Kincheloe states in his thoughtful introduction, these efforts represent a return to a 1954 view of America as the bearer of the democratic torch to the anti-democratic forces of the world. A critical education must counter such tendencies and work to conceptualize 9/11 in a variety of contexts. The essayists in this book write with different voices from diverse viewpoints, contributing to a discussion that will not end for years to come.

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Meet the Author

JOE L. KINCHELOE is Professor of Education at the City University of New York Graduate Center and Brooklyn College where he has served as the Belle Zeller Chair of Public Policy and Admnistration. He is the author and editor of numerous books and articles, most notably "The Sign of the Burger: McDonald's and the Culture of Power" and "Measured Lies: The Bell Curve Examined." Shirley R. Steinberg is Associate Professor Education at Brooklyn College. She is the senior editor of "Taboo: The Journal of Culture and Education" and the author and editor of many books and articles, most notably "Kinderculture: The Corporate Construction of Childhood" and "Measured Lies: The Bell Curve Examined."

SHIRLEY R. STEINBERG is the Director of the Paulo and Nita Freire International Project for Critical Pedagogy at McGill University. She is the author and editor of many books and articles including Media Literacy: A Reader and 19 Urban Questions: Teaching in the City

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1
2 September 11, terror war, and blowback 25
3 Loving Muslim women with a vengeance : the West, women, and fundamentalism 43
4 Iran and American miseducation : cover-ups, distortions, and omissions 59
5 Consequences of perceived ethnic identities 87
6 The United States and Israel : double standards, favoritism, and unconditional support 103
7 The great European denial : the misrepresentation of the Moors in western education 117
8 Schooled to order : education and the making of modern Egypt 127
9 The new bogeyman under the bed : image formation of Islam in the western school curriculum and media 153
10 Desert minstrels : Hollywood's curriculum of Arabs and Muslims 171
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