Last month I attended the Manhattan Beach School Board meeting to learn how and why they were teaching the Five Pillars of Islam in their schools. Unfortunately, since the parents weren’t able to get the subject on the Board’s calendar, except for a few people speaking about the dangers of Islam, the subject was not discussed.
This month parents were able to get Islam on the calendar. The last meeting there were less than thirty people in the audience, this month it was standing room only. The parents, Judy Diethelm and Keith Johnson, that removed their son from middle school were there. The many people who spoke to the board about Islam were thoughtful and very knowledgeable.
The issue most have with the teaching Islam is how it’s being presented. It is being taught as part of lessons on comparative religions, however three weeks were devoted to Islam, while the other religions received much less time. I read the chapter in the text book and it effectively white washed Islam. It says, “The holy book teaches that Muslims may not lie, steal or murder. It doesn’t not tolerate mistrust, impatience, or cruelty. The Qur’an says that Muslims must treat all of God’s creation with kindness and compassion.” The authors of this text must have missed, Qur’an 9:123, that says, “Murder those of the disbelievers and let them find harshness in you”.
Muhammad is portrayed in the lessons as simply a man who was given revelations from Gabriel. There is no mention of his forming an army and conquering tribes of Jews. Then beheading 700 to 900 men and boys in the city of Qurayza. There is no mention that he had eleven wives (one six years old) and numerous sex slaves. There is no mention of Jihad.
After the public comments section of the meeting, most of us went outside to talk as the board talked about fiscal matters and up coming events. They didn’t get to Islam until 10:00PM.
Three high school students from their school newspaper came out to interview the parents and those who spoke about Islam. They were very bright and engaging and we had a lively conversation with them. We interviewed them as much as they interviewed us.
They explained they had lessons on Islam from the seventh grade through high school. We asked if the same time was given other religions and, apparently, some years, yes, and some years, no. They were very adamant that, due to separation of church and state, there should be no preference given any particular religion. They spoke about this being a multi-cultural world and that they needed to be tolerant of other cultures. We asked them if they believed there was a difference between good and evil and they did. We asked if they were taught about Jihad in context to Islam. They weren’t.
I asked if they were taught that Islam was a theocracy, not just a religion. Did they understand it was a political ideology and a rule of law and that Sharia couldn’t be separated from Islam? One young man said they had covered Sharia but he didn’t understand it couldn’t be separated. The text book covers it by saying, “….it teaches how to organize society (political ideology) and how to implement the law (Sharia)”.
Another quote from the text I was troubled by, “His (Muhammad’s) conduct and words are valuable to Muslims because, along with the Qur’an, they can help guide Muslims to lead the kind of virtuous life Muhammad did – the kind of godly life God wants them to lead”. I’m sorry, but do we see beheading 700 to 900 men and boys, or having a six year old wife, as “virtuous?”
Finally at 10:00pm they took up Islam. One of the board members gave an impassioned argument on why it’s important to teach Islam and the board agreed.
I have no problem with schools teaching our children about Islam, what I have a problem with is how they portray Islam and in what context. (An example: http://clashdaily.com/2014/11/muslim-propaganda-mom-outraged-sons-homework-muslims-faith-stronger-christians/ )
Most of the people who came to protest believe, as do I, that Islam shouldn’t be taught as a comparative religion when, unlike other religions, it is a political ideology and rule of law. It should be covered the way Communism or Hitler or Stalin or Mao are covered.
I brought a quote from Omar Ahmed, Chairman of CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), “Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Qur’an should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on earth.”
If our schools are going to teach Islam they need to cover what the conqueror, Muhammad did, what the Qur’an says about unbelievers, Jihad and what is happening in countries that have allowed high numbers of Muslim immigrants. They need to cover stoning women and honor killing. They need to cover the fact that all the terrorist attacks over the last several decades have been committed by followers if Islam.