Parents in several parts of the United States are complaining about assignments given to their children to study and learn about Islam.
Many schools across countries all over the world have been trying to introduce better understandings of different religious groups – but sometimes the problems that teachers come up against are not with the children, but with the parents. There have been more and more accounts of parents becoming upset about their children learning about Islam in particular at school.
Jennette Hall, a mother from Michigan, became very upset when her third grade daughter was given a school homework assignment to write a pamphlet about the religion of Islam. She believed that it was confusing for her daughter, being raised in a Christian household, and that it was unacceptable that through the homework exercise her daughter wrote that Allah was the one true God. After posting her complaints on Facebook, Jennette Hall had a meeting with the head teacher of her daughter’s school, and the school has agreed to review its religious education approaches.
In Maryland, a military veteran who has served in Iraq has been banned from his daughter’s school because he got into a heated debate with the school’s vice principal. Kevin Wood believed that when the school asked his daughter to write an assignment about the Five Pillars of Islam and the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), it was tantamount to forcing the Islamic religion onto his daughter. The school has responded by stating that this teaching is a part of the curriculum that is given to them by the government, but Kevin Wood and his wife Melissa are taking a stand and refusing to allow their daughter to partake in these lessons. The school emphasized that the lessons for the children teach various religions as they influenced particular regions and historical times.
Just last week, a writer published his opinion and experience of being part of a state school board hearing in which people nitpicked the parts that could even remotely imply that Christianity wasn’t “just the most awesomest religion.” One such example was a comparison made between the Islam and Christian sections, saying the Islam chapters had more photos and were better quality.
The vast majority of schools will include lessons on the five major religions of the world: Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism, so that children can understand people of different cultures.