The growing influence of Islamic teaching in U.S. public schools is causing concern in several different states such as Massachusetts and Virginia.
On November 9, 2011 in a Raleigh, NC high school theater class students were asked to perform a small scene offered by the theater teacher. When two students read over the scene they were given, they refused and requested a different scene. The foundation of the scene refused by the students was an "honor killing" of a man's wife. The students' reason for refusing the scene was because it went against their mutual moral position on the subject. The theater teacher respected the students' position and gave them a different assignment.This type of material is becoming more and more common in everyday school lessons around the country. For example, in Marietta, Georgia, Campbell Middle School official's made corrections to class lesson materials due to parental pressures. The lesson that parents of Campbell school objected to started with students addressing the pros and cons of school uniforms. However, one parent told reporter, Lindsay Field of The Marietta Daily Journal, it "positively slants towards Islam." The parent drew this conclusion after reading a letter included in the lesson. In the letter, an Islamic woman praises the customs of dress codes enforced by Sharia law and how western women were shameful because of their lack of modesty in their clothing.The company hired to provide this material to the school InspirEd is quoted saying,
This particular sequence is a two-day social studies lesson. 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.
Dale Gaddis, Superintendent of the middle school sided with the parents on the issue and said the school was working with the teacher to select as he put it,
Work to select better materials
.However, the school's principal, Gail Johnson, didn't fully agree with Gaddis' comment stating,
Teachers may select materials that aren't always the best, which is not necessary in this case but within the adopted materials, they have choices that they can make with how they present certain items. It was in range of the teacher and the course, which had to do with the eastern cultures.
Further investigation revealed information made available CBN.com's Erick Stakelbeck, in an interview with former commissioner at the Massachusetts Department of Education, Sandra Stotsky. She explained one of her duties was to construct standards of teaching for teachers and students from grades K to 12. From her experiences at the MDE, Sandra was compelled to write a book called "The Stealth Curriculum", which depcits the permeation of propaganda and Islamic teaching set upon American students.Stosky accounted how groups pushing for as she put it, "Islamo-centric version of history", approached the MDE. She went on to say in the interview how after 911 the MDE funded a seminar for teachers to become more educated on the subject of Islamic history. Even though the MDE funded the project; the Harvard University's Center for Middle Eastern Studies Outreach Coordinator helped in organizing the seminar. The resolute of the week long seminar aimed at educating the educators produced shocking results. Stosky shared some of the lesson plans created by those attending the event.
"They ranged from having students make prayer rugs; describe what it would be like to go on a hajj-a pilgrimage; learn and memorize the five pillars of Islam; listen to and learn how to recite passages from the Koran; dress like a Muslim from a particular country. It was, to me, a clear violation of ethics involved in how one would expect children to learn about another culture. That they would literally go through the memorization and the learning of religious beliefs. These are unacceptable practices in a public school, she added. In fact, they would be unacceptable academic practices in any school.
Harvard and many other schools of higher education are required to participate in outreach programs as part of a mandate to qualify for funds from the federal government. This produces the opportunity for those of influence to bestow their own viewpoint regarding certain subjects.As the Harvard Middle Eastern Studies Center has the influence to propose lesson plans to history teachers. They, also, have the freedom to accept funds from Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, for the sum of $20 million dollars. Other universities received similar amounts. I found in my research no evidence ofU. S. Department of Education even mentioning Islamic lesson plans, the alarming amounts of funds from countries with terrorist ties, or any investigation of public textbooks with Pro-Islamic overtones.In other examples, as in Virginia, Islamic educators are building their own schools, void of any American influence. However, what has come into question is the material being taught there. A position paper written by Hussam S. Timani, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Christopher Newport University, spells out the direction these schools are taking. The future of American schools are in the hands of those being greatly influenced by those wishing and pursuing fundamental change in what American children are going to believe.