Teaching Islam over Christianity is not acceptable to parents of Spring Hill Middle School in Tennessee.

Parents of middle school children in Tennessee have voiced their concern over students being asked to pen down “Allah is the only God” while translating the Islam pillar of doctrine for a history project.

It all began when Brandee Porterfield’s daughter, studying in the seventh grade brought home her project “The Five Pillars of Islam” as a part of her history class. It included an interpretation of the “Shahada” pillar as “There is no God but Allah; Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.” Brandee Porterfield lodged a complaint with the Spring Hill Middle School officials.

Porterfield was reported saying that it is true that the knowledge of the Islamic religion is important for understanding world history. However, she is concerned about the exclusion of Christianity. She feels that it would result in the children missing out on a significant amount of history. In addition, she mentioned that the students of the school have spent three weeks studying Islam while having completely skipped Christianity. She believes it to be a subtle indication that preference is being given to one of the religions over the other in the class.

Porterfield, along with several other Spring Hill parents concerned about the issue, will get the chance to discuss their thoughts regarding the history curriculum of the state in a meeting with the administrators and teachers.

Another Spring Hill parent, Joy Ellis, believes that there is no need for Christian children to write down the Shahada. She also added that she has no objection to the teaching of Islamic history, but to make the children write down the Shahada is unnecessary and not acceptable.  Chris Marczak, Director of Schools, Maury County, defended the history curriculum, saying that it is not true that the school systems are advocating or giving preference to Islam over other religions. He also specified that is not an attempt to “indoctrinate” children.

Certain sensitive topics, which are important to understand the religion of Islam were covered in the assignment. However, it caused confusion about whether the students are being asked to believe in the religion or merely comprehend it.

Marczak added that it is the school's responsibility as a civil education system to inform the students about world history so that they are ready to face the global society and compete with a strong, rational and knowledgeable base. He cleared that the idea is not to endorse Islam in any way, but only to impart a thorough knowledge about world religions.


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