The Luxe Hotel on Sunset Boulevard was the location for the latest American Freedom Alliance Lecture and Conference Series.
Over the last few years parents across the country have become more and more concerned about the way Islam is being taught to their children. The Manhattan Beach Middle School received national attention when parents took their son out of school because the lessons appeared to be more proselytizing than history.
The first speaker was Samira Tamer. In addition to English, Samira is fluent in Arabic, Turkish, and French. She has been the chapter leader for the Los Angeles chapter of ACT for America since 2007. She also taught art and English, as a second language, in public school.
Samira brought two history books that are being used in public and private schools through out the state and read some of the lessons on Islam from the books. She pointed out that myths and legends about Islam are stated as fact, while information about Christianity is stated as belief. She explained the word “Islam” means submission. Christianity and Judaism are taught in the 6th grade followed by Islam in the 7th grade. However, the Judeo/Christian faiths are given a few days, while Islam is given three weeks.
As Samira speaks Arabic, she explained the meaning and significance of some of the Islamic words, such as “shahada”, the declaration of faith, once said is considered by Muslims as conversion. “Takkiya” which is approval of deception to further Islamic goals.
Our next speaker was Keith Hardine. Keith works as a Los Angeles Unified District Campus Aide. He supervises and mentors K-12 students. In addition he teaches “Self-Defense Civics” during and after school. Keith is also a professional consultant to law enforcement in Los Angeles and Orange counties.
Keith spoke on how to engage our children and stimulate their interest in our founding. He demonstrates to students how incompatible Islam is with our Constitution. If students understand how important natural law was to our founding, they can understand how antithetical Islam is to natural law. Keith always carries with him a copy of the Constitution and gives copies to students when possible.
I observed Keith teach one of his “Self-Defense Civics” classes. While he taught the students anti-bullying defensive tactics he cleverly tied them to individual rights and asked the students questions about how the Constitution protects those rights. One young man took out his copy of the Constitution and others gathered around to read over his shoulder. It was inspiring to see such interest in the Constitution from these kids but it demonstrates the value of allowing teachers to develop methods of inspiring that kind of interest.
Next to speak was Maurey Williams. Maurey is a social studies teacher at Scripps Ranch High School in San Diego. Prior to that, in his capacity as a history teacher in middle school, he taught Islam. Maurey taught gifted and talented students, English, as a second language, as well as developmentally delayed students.
Maurey explained how important he believes it is to teach Islam and how he taught it. As a conscientious and objective teacher, Maurey reviewed the Judeo/Christian lessons with students in later grades but acknowledges that isn’t the norm. At the time Maurey taught Islam he had the flexibility to contrast the good with the bad, however, after Common Core introduces it’s history courses, that will not be the case. Maurey feels the biggest obstacle teachers have is too much government intrusion. He believes government is crushing teachers. That innovation in teaching comes from teachers being free to try new methods.
Michael Greer (ME) was the last speaker. I am a retired casting director with 30 years experience in the entertainment industry. Currently, I write a blog “Madder Than Hell” that is published in numerous Conservative publications. I also report on the American Freedom Alliance events on the GREER REPORT. I have 12 year old twin grandsons who will take Islam next year.
I believe we all understand the importance of teaching Islam to our children. It is an important part of history and a growing influence in the world. My concern is what is being taught and in what context. I did quite a bit of research on how it is being taught across the country. While, not all schools are teaching it in the same way, what appears to be universally true is that the history and tenants of Islam are, for the most part, whitewashed.
Students are being required to recite the “shahada” which is the Islamic declaration of faith. In some schools students are saying the Pledge of Allegiance in Arabic and saying “one nation under Allah”. Some are taught Muslims discovered America. And in some schools Muslims are allowed to pray in school (but not Christians).
I researched what and who was behind the curriculum. I learned Saudi Arabian backed groups such as the “Council on Islamic Education” (recently changed to “Institute of Religious and Civic Values”) are funding teacher training and writing the curriculum. What isn’t being taught is Mohammad’s bloody history, the lack of women’s rights, the Three Stages of Jihad, and the goal of Islam to be the only religion and Sharia the only law.
The audience was full of questions and comments. Everyone very concerned about what is being taught and wanting to know how to stop it. Although there is no easy way, as school boards are unmoved, we all need to speak out about it as often as possible. Educate as many as we can. The best defense is knowledge.