"The United States is not and never will be at war with Islam." So said President Obama on the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The sentiment might easily have been that of his predecessor, who made similar observations during his tenure in the White House.
Both men also went on to articulate who the real enemy is. Here is Obama:
We are at war against terrorist organizations that have distorted Islam or falsely used the banner of Islam.
Maybe a Georgia school curriculum developer would have done well to read past the first sentence in either president's remarks before creating an assignment that glorifies two of the more controversial tenets of Sharia law. (h/t The Blaze)
According to the Marietta Daily Journal, the overarching purpose of the assignment was to teach Campbell Middle School students about the pros and cons of school uniforms. Among the materials distributed to them was a letter from a woman that extols the virtues of Sharia law:
My name is Ahlima and I live in Saudi Arabia. … Perhaps two differences Westerners would notice are that women here do not drive cars and they wear abuyah. An abuyah is a loose-fitting black cloth that covers a woman from head to toe. I like wearing the abuyah since it is very comfortable, and I am protected from blowing sand. … I have seen pictures of women in the West and find their dress to be horribly immodest. … Women in the West do not have the protection of the Sharia as we do here. If our marriage has problems, my husband can take another wife rather than divorce me, and I would still be cared for. … I feel very fortunate that we have the Sharia.
One of the students' parents found the lesson plan problematic, especially a line from the assignment that read, "I understand that some Westerners condemn our practice of polygamy, but I also know they are wrong."
The parent, Hal Medlin, told station WSB-TV:
It's promoting or positively depicting their belief that polygamy is fine, if that's what they believe. But I don't know how you could possibly state that and not have any kind of disclaimer that this is what these people think, but not necessarily what all of us believe.
In defense of the materials, their creator, Sharon Coletti, replied:
This particular sequence is a two-day social studies lesson. [Students] read this letter and then examine stereotyping. The next lesson is a compare and contrast on the role of women in the Middle East. Yes, the Muslim girl stereotypes Western women, but are there ways we stereotype Muslims? I have no idea what the objection is.
It's important for kids to have some empathy for other people in the world. … [Emphasis added]
Ah, the E word! You had to be wondering when that would emerge as a part of the equation.
The Daily Journal notes that in the wake of the objections, the material was adjusted. In particular, the portions on the utility of slavery and the stoning to death of non-believers were stricken. Ha, just kidding! There were no such topics in the lesson. The scary part, though, is that there could have been.