“Colleges train about Islam – and are accused of indoctrination,” by Deena Mousa, Christian Science Monitor, February 19, 2021 (because of Darcy):
…Debates about values training have gone on for many years – usually with appreciable rigidity. Not too long ago, a lot of the battle has centered round how educators train their college students about Islam and Islamic values.
College students in Chatham Center Faculty in New Jersey undertake a World Cultures and Geography class within the seventh grade, together with a unit on the Islamic religion within the context of the Center East and North Africa. In January 2017, Libby Hilsenrath was reviewing her son’s schoolwork when she realized in regards to the Islam-related unit.
Ms. Hilsenrath complained to the college district and appeared on Fox Information to debate her issues. Following her tv look, viewers threatened college officers and Board members. “The threats have been severe sufficient to have police on the center college and the district administration constructing,” says Melissa Cavallo, whose youngsters attend Chatham Center Faculty.
A 12 months after her preliminary criticism, Ms. Hilsenrath filed a legislation go well with towards a number of Chatham college officers, the board of training, and the college district. The Thomas Extra Legislation Middle represented her professional bono, as a part of their mission to defend and promote “America’s Judeo-Christian heritage and ethical values.” Considered one of their key objectives is “confronting the specter of radical Islam,” which, they are saying, has already “infiltrated” many sectors of society, together with the faculties.
The go well with alleged that the college was selling the Islamic religion. On the heart of the criticism was a five-minute video introduction to Islam that included statements like “Allah is the one God,” The Quran is a “Excellent information for Humanity,” and “Might God assist us all discover the true religion, Islam.”
Ms. Hilsenrath argued that the college proselytized on behalf of Islam by exposing center college college students to a video that “seeks to transform viewers to Islam and is full of the non secular teachings of Islam.” The go well with additionally complained a few worksheet with a hyperlink to a webpage that explains “the convenience with which they may convert to turn out to be Muslim.”
In November 2020, Ms. Hilsenrath’s case was dismissed with prejudice. “There may be, to make certain, a line to be drawn between educating about faith and educating faith,” Choose Kevin McNulty wrote within the choice. “On this file, I need to conclude that the college didn’t cross that line.”
Who loses in these clashes?
Battle over educating about Islam isn’t restricted to Chatham. Related complaints have arisen from coast to coast. These conflicts usually are not victimless.
On the one hand, when training about totally different perception programs is stunted, college students lack an ample understanding of different cultures. For these dwelling in homogenous areas, this can be their solely alternative for a unique perspective.
“I bear in mind there not being any non secular range within the city to talk of,” says Man Citron, an alumnus of Chatham Center Faculty. “I used to be one in all just a few Jewish youngsters.” On this case, he says, “The college district was legitimately attempting to lift consciousness about what different folks in different nations have so far as non secular custom goes … as a result of they weren’t going to study Islam from their fellow college students.”…