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 The ABC show teaching kids to sympathise with ISIS



Miranda Devine, Daily Telegraph, May 17, 2017

A FORMER teacher of Punchbowl Public School who blew the whistle on early radicalisation of Muslim children, says the left-wing slant of ABC education program “Behind the News” encouraged her students’ support of Islamic State.

 nswjbd, politics,ISIS

Behind The News or “BtN”, is an ABC news program aimed at school-aged children. (Pic: Tony Lewis)

Behind The News or “BtN”, watched by more than a million students aged between 8 and 13 each week, is the kiddies’ version of the Green Left Weekly, with a leftist slant on everything from refugees to climate change and terrorism.

Mrs A says that in 2014, when Islamic State was rampaging through Syria and Iraq, BtN aired stories which she saw as “taking a sympathetic view” to ISIS. “They were brainwashing the kids,” she said yesterday. Mrs A, who does not want to use her real name, eventually banned the show because it revved up her Year 5 and 6 classes in the predominately Muslim school in southwest Sydney.

Students would cheer on ISIS and run around the classroom spouting anti-West sentiments, she said.

“It was putting the thought into their heads that [ISIS] was our fault. It was a sympathetic view making out like ISIS were there because we were there. “

At home they’re hearing the same thing and then they’re coming to school and having it reinforced…. It just shouldn’t be shown in schools.” BtN is “brainwashing the kids”

Miranda Devine, BtN, ISIS, politics, Jewish 

She said the show “made things worse in the classroom. Kids would be jumping out of their seats… Pumping the air [saying] — I hope ISIS kills them all… Some of these children had uncles who had gone overseas to fight”.

Mrs A is meeting with the NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes next month to discuss what she claims was a blind eye turned to the radical behaviour of her young Muslim students, including: bringing ISIS-style flags to school; threatening her with “beheading” gestures; chanting the Koran in Arabic in her face; demanding she remove the cross around her neck.

Traumatised and disillusioned, Mrs A left Punchbowl two years ago and quit teaching altogether last year.

But her criticism of BtN suggests that, rather than steering children away from Islamist radicalism, the education system unwittingly helped reinforce their antagonism to Western democracy.

ISIS terrorist attacks are treated as if the “root cause” is Western imperialism, without any mention of the ideology which justifies killing of Jews and Christians in the name of Islam.

For instance, after a terrorist attack in Paris in 2015 which killed 130 people, including 89 hostages at the Bataclan theatre, BtN posed the question: “Why would Islamic State kill so many innocent people?”

It answered: “We don’t know for sure why Islamic State targeted Paris… But ISIS says the Paris attacks were revenge for the French bombing it in Syria.”

But we do know why Islamic State targeted Paris, since it issued a statement describing the city as “the capital of fornication and vice”.

ISIS also has denounced Australia as “a land… corrupted by kufr, fornication and all forms of vice”, but none of this found its way into the story.

”BtN aired stories which she saw as ‘taking a sympathetic view’ to ISIS. They were brainwashing the kids.” (Pic: Supplied)

The comments from children on BtN’s website reflect this sympathetic treatment: “That is quite sad to hear ISIS doing this,” wrote Hope, “but hopefully things will be better in the future for all of us including ISIS.”

Most BtN stories are suffused with a politically correct, soft left preachiness that holds that renewable energy is all good, coal is bad, Manus Island is cruel and all refugees should be allowed into Australia.

One story declares the happiest countries have “universal healthcare, free education, free healthcare”.

It’s all done in a cheery, youthful style, but there’s no doubt the impression children are meant to take away.

In a story on the American election, Barack Obama is depicted as a cool, basketball dunking hero and Hillary Clinton as a “powerful politician”, concerned about “women's rights, health care and education”, while Donald Trump is “mostly known for being a reality TV star... and having lots and lots of money”.

On the Middle East, an examination of BtN over the years finds a consistent bias, which repeatedly has been raised by the Jewish community.

As recently as February, an episode covering Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Australia drew complaints from Rabbi James Kennard, principal of Melbourne’s Mount Scopus Memorial College, for describing the visit as “controversial” and for “no mention of the Jewish communities that have lived continuously in the land for more than 3,000 years.”

In 2006 the ABC was forced to apologise after a storm over a similar treatment of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, which described terrorist group Hezbollah as “soldiers” and “refugees” whose land had been “taken by Israel”.

Grahame Leonard, then President of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry said the program “can only have the effect of poisoning young minds”.

Harsh Goodman, former Israel correspondent for The Times of London and CBS News went further: “I’ve never read such an outrageous thing in my whole life. It’s written like propaganda…

“This is a total distortion of history. As an editor I’ve never seen anything like this. This is outrageous. It’s malicious.”

Little has changed. BtN was briefly axed in 2003, during a brief show of Coalition spunk but, like everything else at the ABC, it has proved impervious to criticism. Unlike Mrs A, most teachers agree with its worldview, so its propaganda runs unchecked to poison young minds.

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