Parents in Chatham, New Jersey are demanding answers from the local board of education as it pertains to what their children are being taught in their 7th grade social studies class. According to Nancy Gayer and Libby Hilsenrath, their children are being given lessons about Islam that would never be acceptable if they were about Christianity.
In fact, Gayer said at a board meeting on Monday, her son was specifically chastised a few years ago when he gave a PowerPoint presentation that briefly mentioned his religious views. Gayer said he was told to stop “proselytizing” when he included a Bible quote in his slideslow. The teacher told him that a quote like that “belongs in Sunday School.”
Gayer and other parents asked the board to explain why that was off-limits, but it was perfectly fine for the teacher to have the students learn about the religious tenets of Islam.
“My sincere issue – according to policy 2270 – the board of education directs that no religious beliefs be promoted or disparaged,” Gayer said at the meeting. “I’m asking the board meet with the policy committee and eliminate the teaching of Islam and all other religions.”
Hilsenrath passed out materials being used in the classroom, which included a cartoon that made extraordinary statements about Islam.
“It even goes so far as even making a statement “There is no God except Allah,” Hilsenrath said. “This video also states that Allah is the maker of everything, the one true God, etc. The main character is the cartoon video is looking for converts.”
Hilsenrath said that the argument for the educational materials – that it would expose the students to religions they don’t know much about – did not pass muster. She argued that many of the students were almost certainly ignorant about the finer points of Judaism and Christianity as well, yet those religions were barely mentioned in the classroom. Certainly, she said, they were not taught in the same way as Islam.
It’s real simple: Either religious studies need to be barred from public schools, or there needs to be equal time given to all of the world’s major religions. Anything that strays from that premise invites unnecessary controversy, especially when the teachings are as off-the-wall as the ones seen here.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen parents outraged over Islamic indoctrination in the school system. The more it occurs, the more you have to wonder if there isn’t something a bit more sinister going on behind the scenes.