If your child had to write “Allah is the only god; Mohammad is his prophet” as a school assignment, would it bother you? We’re talking public school here.
Parents in the middle school in Spring Hill, Tennessee, are upset that their children spent three weeks studying Islam and were assigned to write the Shahada profession of the Islamic faith: “Allah is the only god.”
Dissatisfied with the school’s response, they’ve gone to the media.
A mother of a seventh grader told the Columbia Daily News that she took offense to a three week focus on Islam in her daughter’s history course after the class skipped past a chapter on Christianity – the predominant religion in Tennessee.
“I have a big problem with that,” the mother said. “From a historical point of view, that’s a lot of history these kids are missing. Also, for them to spend three weeks on Islam after having skipped Christianity, it seems to me they are making a choice about which religion to discuss.”
Christianity is not required by the standards but the chapter on Islam is, according to one parent.
Tennessee Core follows the national Common Core even though the Governor recently scrapped the standards.
The child’s teacher said she was unhappy about teaching it but didn’t have a choice.
The teacher required students to recite the five pillars verbally, including the Shahada, the mother said.
Maury County Director of Schools Chris Marczak issued a vague statement:
“If we are truly going to Grow Maury County together, then we need to openly talk and discuss about what we want to emphasize in our county,” the statement read. “I encourage you to talk with your children, talk with your teachers, and talk with your principals. We are here to help your children be prepared for life. …
“Our teachers work together to make sure that our students are learning what is expected through the Tennessee academic standards. For this last section on the Islamic World this past week, our educators had students complete an assignment that had an emphasis on Islamic Faith. The assignment covered some sensitive topics that are of importance to Islamic religion and caused some confusion around whether we are asking students to believe in or simply understand the religion,” the statement continued, according to the Spring Hill Homepage.
“Marczak said the teachers were covering world history facts of ‘Europe, Southwest Asia, Africa and Asia in the areas of geography, government, culture, economics and religion’ and suggested that parents discuss the matter with teachers at scheduled Sept. 17 parent-teacher conferences,”
“My child was required to write ‘Allah is the only God,’” another parent said. “This is a seventh grade state standard, and will be on the (state standardized test). Christianity was completely skipped and is not a standard. I didn’t have a problem with the history of Islam being taught, but to go so far as to make my child write the Shahada, is unacceptable.”
The significance of the Shahada is it is the profession of the Muslim faith. It is a verbal acceptance of the faith.
“It did not address the main concern of the parents,” one parent said. “The parents’ concern is not ‘social studies-world history content related to Southwest Asia culture and religion.’ They are concerned that their children are being taught Islam in the classroom.”
Parents are demanding a general meeting and a state representative suggested to the superintendent that it be addressed at a school board meeting on the 10th.
The school said they would be teaching about Christianity later in the year.
This is happening in other district’s throughout the nation.
Last December, parents in Farmville, North Carolina had a similar complaint. The Common Core standards required teachers to go too far in the teaching of Islam, they felt. The same complaint was heard from parents in Florida.
In February, a parent in Seminole Country said the school crossed a line and forced his son to learn an Islamic prayer and make a prayer rug for World History class. Ron Wagner read from part of his son’s world history book, “There is no god, but God. Muhamad is the messenger of God. Other students said they were not required to say the prayers aloud.
Dr. William Saxton, Chairman of Citizens for National Security (CFNS) believes that Islamic fundamentalists have been successful in infiltrating social studies and history texts in Florida and in other states.