Parents of students in a school district in Virginia are angry about an assignment given to their children. School students were given an assignment to practice calligraphy by “reproducing the shahada — The First Pillar of Islam — which states, ‘There is no god but Allah. Muhammed is the messenger of Allah’.” The recitation of the shahada is the first step in the conversion to Islam.
Angry parents claim that students at Riverdale High School in Staunton, Virginia, weren’t given the translation of the calligraphy, which was in Arabic and was handed out during a world geography class.
But district officials have said that there was no attempt to indoctrinate children, as some critics have charged.
Parent Kimberly Herndon organized a forum on Monday at Good News Ministries Church in Greenville, Virginia, that saw approximately 100 concerned people attend to discuss the issue. According to the News Leader, Herndon unleashed a strong statement against the assignment. Not only did Herndon voice concerns about the assignment, she had pretty strong words for the teacher, Cheryl LaPorte, as well, as reports indicated students were shown copies of the Qu’ran.
“That’s why we need to join together,” Herndon said. “If my truth cannot be spoken in schools, I don’t want false doctrine spoken in schools. That’s what keeps it even across the board.”
Herndon accused LaPorte of indoctrinating children into the Islamic Faith and she hasn’t sent her son back since the incident occurred. Herndon said she will take this to the Supreme Court if she has to.
“She gave up the Lord’s time,” Herndon said, of LaPorte’s lessons on religions. “She gave it up and gave it to Mohammed.”
Former English teacher Debbie Ballew stated a double standard existed in the school system and in public. According to Ballew, if she had asked children to copy the Bible, she would have been fired.
Attendee Kim Page reminded the audience not to let this “create a state of fear in our lives.”
Local county school Superintendent Eric Bond released a statement reassuring parents in the district this assignment was not an attempt at indoctrination. On the contrary, students in geography were given a statement to “demonstrated the complex artistry of the written language used in the Middle East, and were asked to attempt to copy it in order to give the students and idea of the artistic complexity of calligraphy.” Bond contended the statement was not translated and no student was asked to “translate it, recite it or otherwise adopt or pronounce it as a personal belief.”
Bond maintained that in the study of geography, students study concurrently the language and religion of the region. He stated students learned about Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, and Islam, among others. “Students will engage in a similar assignment when they learn about China.”
The News Leader reported that students were also given the opportunity to “try on” a head scarf as part of an interactive to learn about the mandatory modest dress imposed upon Islamic women. The report maintained the scarf was not an Islamic hijab.
In concluding the press release, Bond stated, “Neither these lessons, nor any other lesson in the world geography course, are an attempt at indoctrination to Islam or any other religion, or a request for students to renounce their own faith or profess any belief. Each of the lessons attempts objectively to present world religions in a way that is interesting and interactive for students.”
Several questions arise when reviewing the superintendent’s statement. First, if the lesson was not for indoctrination and only to present the complexity of the artistry of calligraphy, why was the first pillar of Islam presented and not a sentence like, “See Spot run. Spot is a dog?”
Next, the geography class should focus on geography, location, of world nations relative to others; why is the religion of the nation studied in geography when other pertinent information, such as gross nation product, main source of income, type of government, etc. would be more appropriate?
Third – would not a class comparing religions be more appropriate for learning about religions and trying on scarves when dealing with the Islamic concept of women as chattel? Fourth – calligraphy can be done with any language, such as Hindu, Hebrew, Japanese, Chinese and even English, so why was Arabic chosen?
If students were being exposed to Christianity and Judaism as well, why would the parents be so upset? The superintendent’s statement sounds more like damage control.
With the removal of Christianity from the school systems nationwide based on the falsehood of violation of the First Amendment, these parents have a valid point. Those individuals who are against Christianity in the schools recite the mantra, “violation of freedom of religion,” while atheists tout, “it also means freedom from religion.” These misinformed cite the erroneous Supreme Court ruling declaring it “an establishment of religion” when Christianity is present in the school system.
The First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ….” The operative phrase is “Congress shall make no law.” What power is not enumerated to Congress remains with the State or the people, per the Tenth Amendment. Since the Supreme Court only renders decisions and usurped authority to hear the case through “expanding” of a phrase in the Constitution, then, warped the meaning of “establishment,” the ruling is erroneous.
Based on the founders’ understanding of establishment of religion duly recorded in history, Christianity in the school system does not even come close to being an “establishment of religion.” The Constitution only limits Congress where religion is concerned, not the States or the people.
Since schools and States have chosen to abide by an erroneous ruling because Congress has no authority over religion, school systems should be prohibited from bringing Islam into the classroom as that is also an “establishment of religion” based on precedent by the Supreme Court. However, the atheists refuse to confront the issue of Islam in the schools like was done with Christianity because they are cowards. Christianity was targeted because atheists knew Christians would capitulate. These yellow-spined individuals know practitioners of Islam will rape them in the media, issue threats and engage in violence against their person and community, which is why they do not challenge Islam in the school.
The Virginia Department of Education maintains that LaPorte’s lessons “were in line with ‘Standards of Learning and the requirements for content instruction on world monotheistic religions.'” It will be interesting to know if LaPorte spends as much time on teaching of Christianity using John 3:16 or “The Lord’s Prayer” while asking students about participation in communion when learning about Great Britain, France, Germany or Russia. Odds are she won’t.