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SUMMERVILLE, S.C. — Some parents of middle school students in a South Carolina school are upset with a social studies curriculum that requires sixth-graders to learn the Five Pillars of Islam and affirm that Islam “is a religion of peace.”
“Allah: There is no god but Him, the Living, the Eternal One. Neither slumber nor sleep overtakes him,” was one of the passages listed on a fill-in-the-blanks worksheet, EAGnews.org reported.
The local TV station, WCSC, also covered the controversy at Alston Middle School in Summerville.
The lessons are part of a class called the Survey of Civilization.
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One fill-in-the-blank question included the statement “Islam is a religion of _____.” The correct answer was “peace.”
Among other fill-in-the-blanks:
- “If I believe in Islam, I am called a _____.” (Muslim.)
- “In the Islamic religion, we call God _____. (Allah.)
- “I feel ___ that a few people of my religion committed terrorist acts. I do not believe in terrorists’ idea of a ‘holy war.’” (Bad.)
The Five Pillars of Islam are a basic expression of the Islamic faith. They include reciting the Muslim profession of faith, daily prayers (Salat), alms giving (Zakat), fasting during Ramadan, and a pilgrimage to Mecca.
A group of parents want the lessons stopped.
“Our concern is that if they need permission to teach sexual education, they should be getting permission to teach religious values,” an unidentified mother told WCSC.
The school is defending the lesson.
“Worksheets on all these features of a civilization are used as teaching tools, including all religions involved,” Patricia Raynor, a spokeswoman for the Dorchester District II Schools, said. “One of the next civilizations beings studied in the course will be ancient Rome that will include the study of Christianity. South Carolina curriculum standards specify the material covered in this study of civilizations. This curriculum is taught in all school districts in South Carolina.”
There have been complaints about similar curriculum in other school districts. In 2015, Pastor Greg Locke of Global Mission Bible Church alleged that students in Mt. Juliet, Tenn., were being subjected to “Islamic indoctrination.”
Among other things, Locke said that students were tested on Islam on the 14th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, EAGnews.org reported.
What is your reaction? Should the history of Islam be taught in public schools? Share your thoughts in the section below:
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