Tennessee Parents Fight Islamic Indoctrination

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New state education standards require that Tennessee middle schoolers learn about world religions, but a growing number of parents say the new history books are filled with Islamic propaganda. In Sparta, a group calling themselves Citizens Against Islamic Indoctrination is pressuring the local school board to return the textbooks.

“I mean, it only takes one child to take that book home and say the Five Pillars of the Islamic faith and covert, right?” asked Anthony Wright, the group’s chairman. He was one of 300 people who gathered at Christian Life First Church Tuesday night to strategize the next move.

At issue are My World history books, published by Pearson, that spend an inordinate amount of time on the history of Islam. As part of relaying that history, the book contains several Islamic prayers and rituals, some of which 7th graders are expected to memorize.

But this fight goes well beyond Sparta. Last week, the Williamson County school board addressed the controversial new standards as well. And in the state capital, Rep. Sheila Butt (R.) has introduced a bill that would delay religious instruction until high school.

“I think that probably the teaching that is going on right now in seventh, eighth grade is not age appropriate,” Butt said. “They are not able to discern a lot of times whether its indoctrination or whether they’re learning about what a religion teaches.”

Even though the bill makes no mention of Islam, the Council on American-Islamic Relations couldn’t resist putting their two cents in.

“Islamophobes like Rep. Butt fail to recognize that there is a big difference between teaching students about religion as an important part of world history and promoting particular religious beliefs,” CAIR said in a statement.

Well, it’s that very difference that has thousands of Tennesseans concerned about the new textbooks. Because according to many, Pearson crossed the line into promotion by giving Islam such an intense focus. That criticism is only buoyed by reports that Pearson has a financial relationship to CAIR.

Of course, you don’t have to chase the money to see what’s going on. Are state educational officials, CAIR, and Pearson engaged in a high-level conspiracy to turn out young Muslim converts? Probably not. But there is an obvious and concerted effort on the part of the liberal establishment to make Islam more palatable to students. Ease them into it. Get them to believe that Islam is a wonderful thing for the world.

Liberals have no particular reason to defend Islam with such fervor, except that it gives them another way to oppose Christians. Another way to tear down the “old” America and rebuild a new one. It doesn’t matter if the new America is better or worse, just that they were able to change it. If that accidentally leads us toward an Islamic theocracy, well, they would probably still prefer that to the America of today.