The new school year is upon us and Access Islam, a program backed by the Department of Education, is under fire again after being accused of being an Islamist indoctrination program.
This program claims to educate school children about religious diversity, but it is specifically geared toward Islam.
Children in grades 5 through 12 are required to learn about the Five Pillars of Islam then asked to make posters about them, read and interpret Islamic scripture from the Quran and provide examples on how Muslims implement these lessons into their everyday lives.
- In Virginia, students in the program were required to copy the shahada, the Muslim declaration of faith, which declares, "There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah."
- In New York, students were shown videos of Islamic terrorists justifying their attacks against Israelis.
- In Massachusetts, students were given reading materials funded by Arab states such as Saudi Arabia, which advocates for "Palestine." While these textbooks were being used in schools, there was a rise in the amount of anti-Semitic acts committed.
It should be noted that the U.S. Department of Education backing Access Islam contradicts the United States' stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The United States has shown public support for Israel and does not recognize a country called "Palestine." How can the U.S. publicly support Israel while simultaneously support anti-Israel ideologies being taught in its public schools?
There is a certain point where education transforms into indoctrination, in this case, Islamist indoctrination. Many people have accused Access Islam of crossing this line, based on the fact that no other religion is taught this thoroughly, if at all, in American public schools and with no critical eye.
In fact, no other religious program of this scale has been backed by the U.S. Department of Education.
Moreover, in states where the program is taught, it is not offered as an elective course, but rather a required subject. The program is not even taught in religious studies classes (which most American public schools do not offer).
Students encounter Access Islam lesson in their mandatory classes, such as history and geography.
There have been multiple cases of parents requesting that their child receive an alternative assignment, but their requests have been refused. Children are told they will receive a failing grade if they do not complete the Access Islam assignments.
There has been a nationwide outrage against this program in recent years and with a new school year about to start, it is important to get all the facts out.
Access Islam is more of an Islamist indoctrination program than an educational program. It lacks the objectivity required to legally implement a program of this manner in our public schools.