According to The Christian Post, an elementary school in the community of Hamilton Heights is the first in New York City to require the study of Arabic as part of the reported attempt to bolster international opportunities for children. The New York Post reports that the reason behind the decision appears to be the school's determination to earn a prestigious International Baccalaureate standing.
Beginning next semester, all students from second to fifth grade will have to study the Middle Eastern language. Jan Markell, founder and director of Olive Tree Ministries, rejects the notion that Arabic is a "critical need language."
"It's only a critical need language in a politically correct world, where we must appear Muslim-friendly," she contends. "Does the Islamic world do this in reverse? They reject everything Western."
Markell believes teaching children Arabic at such an early age will indoctrinate them. "By the time they graduate from high school, the kids will all be brainwashed to love all things Islamic," she warns.
The Olive Tree Ministries founder suggests it would be more acceptable to offer a language like Arabic as an elective rather than making it mandatory.