Betsy DeVos, and the department of education are cracking down on two North Carolina universities that jointly run a Middle East studies program. They claim that the program offers “biased curriculum” and has “violated the standards of a federal program that awards funding to international studies and foreign language programs.”
What passes for our Education department argues that the North Carolina program’s outreach to elementary and secondary school students places “considerable” emphasis on “understanding the positive aspects of Islam.” But wait, the course gets even more diabolical: “There is an absolute absence on any similar focus on the positive aspects of Christianity, Judaism or any other religion or belief system in the Middle East.”
Look, we don’t waste time teaching students crap they already know. That’s why there’s no Advanced Placement Crayon Drawing in high school. Duke and Chapel Hill don’t need to expose students to the “positive aspects of Christianity.” They get an independent study each year when they go home for winter break. It’s Christmas around the clock. There’s Santa, Rudolph, and Baby Jesus. It’s the holiday trinity.
There is a disturbing rise in anti-Semitic violence since Trump was elected but it’s not because North Carolina students are taught that Muslims exist and are people. It’s possible that the average North Carolinian has personally met as many Muslims as they have Jews but they’re somewhat less likely to believe all Jews are terrorists. The president meanwhile raises lynch mobs against Muslim congresswomen and paints them as threats to the nation.
The Education Department describes Christianity as a “religious minority” in the Middle East, which is technically true, but it claims the North Carolina program doesn’t focus enough on the “historic and current” discrimination Christians face there. The last thing we need is more Christians demanding their gold medals from the Oppression Olympics. They’re already pissed that the Gap plays “Happy Holidays” more than “We Wish You A Merry Christmas.”