Parents in Walton County, Georgia, are meeting with school officials about the district’s curriculum, which parents feel pushes Islam on students.
One parent, Michelle King, criticized the classwork, saying, “What they are learning goes against my religion completely.”
Parents in the Atlanta suburb are worried that the classes are pushing Islam on students to the exclusion of Christianity and Judaism.
“Like my daughter had to learn the Shahid and the Five Pillars of Islam, which is what you learn to convert. Nut [sic] they never once learned anything about the Ten Commandments or anything about God,” King added, according to Atlanta’s WSB-TV 2.
One parent pointed out that one line of the homework reads, “Allah is the same God worshiped by Jews and Christians.”
Another parent noted that the class was unbalanced because it never mentioned radical Islam and presented Islam wholly in a laudatory light.
The parents started a Facebook page, which gained enough momentum to get the district to meet with them.
But school administrators say that the class is not meant to push Islam on anyone.
An email statement from the district reads:
The standard for seventh grade given to educators is to “compare and contrast the prominent religions in the Middle East: Judaism, Islam, and Christianity.” The teachers resource guide advises “This element is not an evaluation of any religion, nor is it a course in the belief system of any religion.”
This is not the first time a school system has found criticism for its laudatory teaching of the history of Islam.
Earlier this month, Pastor Greg Locke of Global Vision Bible Church in Mount Juliet, Tennessee, caused controversy with an impassioned video in which he excoriated schools there for doing the same thing that has parents in Atlanta worried.
“Let me tell you something,” Locke said on his video. “When they are in sixth grade, they get half a page of watered down Christianity that has about as much Bible as a thimble, if you will.” He added:
And now there’s 28 pages that they have to learn about Islam and Mohammed and how it all came about and about the Holy Koran and the Five Pillars of Islam and how they pray and when they pray and where they pray and why they pray and about pilgrimages and all of this!
Wilson County Schools Deputy Director of Academics Monty Wilson gave nearly the same explanation as the school district in Georgia when he said that no one is trying to indoctrinate students with Islam. Wilson asserted:
Although these religions will be taught at some point in these three courses, the focus on each religion will depend on the context and influence of the time period. World History is taught at three different times in a student’s K-12 education. First in grades six and seven and again in high school. The courses cover World History from the beginning of time to the present.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at email@example.com.