(WND.com) A middle school in Chatham, New Jersey, is using a cartoon video to teach the Five Pillars of Islam to seventh-grade students, and now two parents have obtained legal services to fight the school district which has ignored their concerns.
Seventh graders in this school are taught: “May God help us all find the true faith, Islam.”
Also taught in the video is the Shahada, which is the Muslim prayer of conversion “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger.”
The parents say no other religion is taught nearly to this level of detail in the “world cultures and geography” class.
The parents wanted to know who picked the curriculum, who picked the video and the accompanying PowerPoint. None of their concerns have been addressed by the school board or the superintendent.
So, the two mothers have retained legal help from the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Thomas More Law Center.
For speaking out, the moms have been attacked by members of their community. Their crime: appearing on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” to voice concerns about Islamic indoctrination of Chatham Middle School seventh graders.
“To me that’s not education because in order to educate you need to teach about all [religions],” said Libby Hilsenrath, one of the two mothers who is pushing back against the class curriculum, in an interview with Carlson.
“Would they be comfortable teaching the doctrines of Christianity for example. Would you be comfortable in a public school to say ‘Jesus is the way and the truth and the life and no one comes to [the Father] except through me’? I don’t think so,” she said.
“I’m all in favor of teaching religion if it’s all done in the same manner and with the same depth,” added the other mother, Nancy Gayer.
The teaching is part of New Jersey’s core content standards.
Yet, for their common-sense objections to the video, the parents were immediately denounced by other parents and school officials as bigots, xenophobic and Islamophobic. The sensational attacks came in a newspaper op-ed, in social media, and even took the form of being ‘stared down’ at the local grocery store, they said.
“It went as far as we were ‘part of the KKK,’ which I don’t know what that has to do with this,” Hilsenrath said.
“The promotion of Islam is worse than what the mothers presented to Tucker Carlson,” said Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center. “After viewing one of the videos which the seventh graders were directed to watch, I can’t imagine any objective person saying this is not Islamic indoctrination.
“Clueless school administrators across our nation are allowing this type of indoctrination to take place and it’s up to vigilant parents to stop it,” he added. “Libby and Nancy should have been praised, not pilloried.”
Concerned parents get brushed off
Hilsenrath and Gayer, with sons in different classes in the seventh grade, explained their concerns in person to the Chatham Board of Education at their Feb. 6, 2017, public meeting. Superintendent Michael LaSusa indicated that any change to the curriculum was unlikely, and the next day also refused their request to meet privately with him to discuss their concerns.
Thompson said students were shown the subtle propaganda cartoon video, “5 Pillars,” which opens with two boys, one of them a Muslim, kicking a soccer ball.
The Muslim boy teaches the non-Muslim the 5 Pillars of Islam. Then, a subtitle of bright, multi-colored words of various shapes pronounces a form of the Islamic conversion creed: “There is no god except Allah and Prophet Muhammad is His messenger.”
The cartoon ends with a sad non-Muslim boy, who suddenly smiles when the Muslim boy invites him to join him at the mosque for noon-day prayers. That is “Something the teacher can’t personally do, but does through the cartoon. Clever!” says Thompson.
Clearly, seventh graders had been presented with a sugarcoated, false depiction of Islam, according to Thomas More Law Center. They had not been informed of the kidnappings, beheadings, slave-trading, massacres, and persecution of non-Muslims, nor of the repression of women — all done in the name of Islam and the Koran.
Libby Hilsenrath and Nancy Gayer were subjected to personal attacks throughout their campaign to stop Islamic indoctrination at the Chatham Middle School. They were defamed as “bigots” and “Islamophobes”, “hateful”, “ignorant”, “xenophobes”, “intolerant”, “racist”, “closed minded”, “sad and ignorant” in social media, and the list goes on. The attacks significantly intensified after their appearance on Tucker Carlson’s show.
Commenting on the community’s reaction, Nancy Gayer stated: “It’s just not fair that within this unit of study the Chatham school district taught one religion to the exclusion of all others, and for the community to be so unkind and unwelcoming towards us, just for having raised legitimate questions as concerned parents.”
Libby Hilsenrath added, “One of my fundamental obligations as a parent is to guide the religious and secular education of my children. That’s why I will continue the fight against the Islamic indoctrination now taking place at Chatham, regardless of the personal attacks.”
Hilsenrath and Gayer asked the board to review the curriculum and requested that either the Islam lessons be removed or that the school spend equal time on the study of Christianity and other religions.
Gayer contrasted the world cultures and geography lessons on Islam to her son’s previous experience in fourth grade when he was prevented from including a short quote from the Bible: “He who lends to the poor, lends to the Lord.” (Prov 19:17) The quote was a part of his video presentation related to gathering warm clothes for underprivileged children.
Gayer said her son’s teacher informed him that the brief biblical quote “belongs in Sunday school, not in the classroom.”
Obviously, based upon the world cultures and geography lessons being taught to children within the same school district, this abridgment of religious speech does not apply to Islam.
A nationwide problem
The video, as well as field trips to mosques and other techniques are used to teach the Five Pillars of Islam in public schools across the U.S. This has been going on since at least 2011, but in most school districts parents are either unaware of the teachings, are clueless about the exact content or simply don’t care.
Teaching the five pillars of Islam did create an uproar last month in Summerville, South Carolina, and in Loganville, Georgia, last year. Parents in Tennessee have also expressed everything from concern to outrage at the Islamic teachings in that state.
“There is a big difference between education and indoctrination,” U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., said in a statement issued in 2015 to the Nashville Tennessean.
“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.”
WND reported last week that Liberty High School in Frisco, Texas, has set up an Islamic prayer room specifically for Muslim students to pray on campus during school hours. The same type of prayer rooms have been set up in high schools in St. Cloud, Minnesota, and other school districts.
Despite all this evidence, the online fact-checker Snopes does its best to debunk any concerns that Islam is being given preferential treatment in America’s public schools.
Republished with permission from WND.com via iCopyright license.