Monday, September 14, 2015

Lawmakers Counter Islamic Teaching in Tennessee

Parents across Tennessee are complaining of Islamic indoctrination in the new middle school social studies curriculum and so their elected representatives are reacting, prompting a review by the state Board of Education.
“In all of the homework my children have ever brought home, I have never seen the level of detail about other religions. I was completely speechless.”
-- Laura Jones, Freedom Middle School parent

"It is reprehensible that our school system has exhibited this double-standard, more concerned with teaching the practices of Islam than the history of Christianity. Tennessee parents have a right to be outraged and I stand by them in this fight."
-- U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.

"Many of our children are not being taught the Ten Commandments in school, but instead the Five Pillars of Islam and the 'Prophet' Muhammad as a sovereign to Jesus Christ. . . . Tennesseans have seen the radical side of Islam, and many have grown skeptical of this 'peaceful religion.'"
-- Tenn. state Rep. Andy Holt, R-Dresden
For background, read Tennessee Students Taught Muslim Prayer of Conversion

-- From "Parents question study of Islam in 7th grade" by Nancy Amons, WSMV-TV4 (Nashville, TN) 9/8/15

One parent told Channel 4 she believes something is out of balance when students can’t say God or pray in school, but they can spend several weeks learning about Islam.

She said her daughter is expected to know the Five Pillars of Islam but not the Ten Commandments. [Parent Laura] Jones said it’s causing confusion in her Christian-oriented home.

More than 20 pages of the seventh grade social studies textbook for the Franklin Special School District are devoted to studying Islam. That amounts to three weeks of instruction time in the classroom.

The state adopted new standards for social studies last year requiring every seventh grader to learn about Islam. They will be tested on it during standardized testing, no exceptions.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Pastor: Wilson students being brainwashed with Islam" by Andy Humbles, The Tennessean 9/11/15

Pastor Greg Locke of Global Vision Bible Church [in Mt. Juliet, TN] filmed the video in front of West Wilson Middle School, which was posted on his Facebook page. The video was also on the Parents of Wilson County Schools page.

Wilson County Schools Director Donna Wright responded on the district’s Facebook page and called Locke’s claims blatantly false and stated his video was done to intentionally incite parents and the community.

Locke, contacted Friday, did not back off statements in the video and felt curriculum has gone too far teaching fundamentals of Islam while Christianity is glossed over. He also stated students are being taught different religions worship the same God.

Locke also called a scheduled test on Islamic curriculum for Friday, Sept. 11, as a “slap in the face,” and said in the video he told parents "you need to tell your kids take an F for the class because I’d rather fail in man’s class and get an A plus in God’s class and we need some kids that have some character and stand up.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Education commissioner talks Islam in schools issue" by Tim Hodge, The Daily Herald (Columbia, TN) 9/13/15

Local schools have the freedom to tailor teachings as long as they align with state standards, but altering the curriculum to remove religious studies would put students at a disadvantage during test time, education officials said.

“The department (of education) helps with the training on those standards, and the assessment of those standards, and then the locals, whether that’s the principal level or the teacher level, are making decisions around the curriculum that’s used, instructional practices and strategies that are used,” [Tennessee Department of Education Commissioner Candice] McQueen said. “Certainly, we are setting that expectation, but how’s it done, what instructional practices are used, what strategies are used, what curriculum is used is absolutely a local decision.”

Because of the recent uproar over the Five Pillars of Islam being taught in schools, state social studies standards will be reviewed in January 2016, instead of 2018 as originally slated.

Educators and state officials will examine whether the instruction is appropriately balanced and review teaching standards, McQueen said. She anticipated the process will last through the spring.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Lawmakers fear Islamic 'indoctrination' in TN classes" by Dave Boucher, The Tennessean 9/10/15

. . . Parents in Maury, Williamson and other counties have expressed concerns about the class. They say their children were required to memorize the five pillars of Islam and to write "Allah is the only God" as part of an assignment, according to several local and national media reports.

Elizabeth Fiveash, director of legislative affairs for the Tennessee Department of Education, sent an email to lawmakers Tuesday in response to concerns about the curriculum. In her email, obtained by The Tennessean, she acknowledges the "Islamic World" is covered in seventh grade. But she notes Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism and Shinto are also covered in various courses throughout middle school and high school.

"The section on 'Ancient Israel' isn't called the 'Jewish World,' " Rep. Tilman Goins, R-Morristown, wrote in an emailed response to Fiveash.

"If a study of a geographic region such as 'The Middle East' were to discuss the major religions found there, so be it! But until there is a section on India referred to as 'The Hindu World,' I do not believe this favoritism toward Islam should be allowed to continue to exist."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.