Middle East studies in the News
Anti-Islam Suspicions Justified, Says Activist
by Bob Kellogg and Billy Davis
A longtime political activist says parents in Virginia were right to complain after learning students were taught a controversial Arabic text in class.
Parents in Staunton were in an uproar earlier this month after learning students at Riverheads High School practiced writing the "Shahada," the Muslim statement of faith, in a world geography class.
Donna Hearne of The Constitutional Coalition says the calligraphy assignment amounted to indoctrination, since writing information by copying it by hand is a standard way of learning.
"It's a learning process that helps your brain to retain that," says Hearne, a former teacher. "This is what was happening."
The lesson on Islam is not isolated to Virginia. OneNewsNow has reported on simiar incidents during 2015, including in Georgia at a middle school and in Tennesse at a Nashville elementary school.
In both states, parents spoke out against the curriculm while education officials claimed the lessons, such as learning the "Five Pillars of Islam," is standard curriculum.
In a lengthy story posted this year, rumor-investigating website Snopes.com had to admit that a California public school was promoting the "glory days" of Islam while claiming that Christianity had been harmful throughout history.
The geography lesson at Riverheads High is part of a state-approved curriculum of world religions, a Virginia newspaper reported. But some students refused to do the assignment and word reached parents.
Students were "given the opportunity" to use a scarf to learn how Muslims dress modestly, The News Leader reported.
The story quotes a school district superintendent who said students also learn about Christianity and Judaism among other religions.
At the Virginia high school, an angry parent organized a meeting attended by more than 100 people, where there were calls for the teacher's firing and others suggested praying for her.
A former English teacher at that meeting told the gathering that she would be fired for asking students to copy portions of the Bible.Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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