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Islam not a religion, according to California schools

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
Several reports indicate that the curriculum is widespread in California schools. Supposedly the city council of this school district was not aware of this three week study until this news report was published.

"The course mandates that seventh-graders learn the tenets of Islam, study the important figures of the faith, wear a robe, adopt a Muslim name and stage their own jihad. Adding to this apparent hypocrisy, reports ANS, students must memorize many verses in the Koran, are taught to pray "in the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful" and are instructed to chant, "Praise to Allah, Lord of Creation.""

<a href="http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=25997" target="_blank">http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=25997</a>

Admittedly, this is a "conservative" website whose source is a Christian website. Although the textbook is widely used in California, this particular school district supplemented the material with handouts. (Byron, California is a small town east of San Francisco Bay.)

Note: the thread title refers to the separation of church and state issue.

[ 01-11-2002: Message edited by: Skipjack ]</p>
post #2 of 35
"We can't even mention the name of Jesus in the public schools," Lemings laments, "but ... they teach Islam as the true religion, and students are taught about Islam and how to pray to Allah. Can you imagine the barrage of lawsuits and problems we would have from the ACLU if Christianity were taught in the public schools, and if we tried to teach about the contributions of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and the Apostle Paul? But when it comes to furthering the Islamic religion in the public schools, there is not one word from the ACLU, People for the American Way or anybody else. This is hypocrisy." (from the article)

This is a very excellent point. This is where political correctness has brought us. Please all you liberals on these boards *cough*nostradomus*cough* please tell your opinion of this, I would love to hear it.
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post #3 of 35
The article also begins with:

In the wake of Sept. 11, an increasing number of California public school students must attend an intensive three-week course on Islam

and later:

Nancy Castro, principal of Intermediate-Excelsior School of Byron, told ANS that the Islam course (included within "History of Culture") reflects California educational standards. Castro maintains the course "is not religion, but ancient culture and history. We do not endorse any religion; we just make students aware." Castro further emphasized the course textbook is in use throughout California.


It's something new Skipjack, which, intentionally or not, is different from what your post implies.

If the students are forced to pray, then it should be stopped. If it's a comparative religious studies course, I wouldn't have a problem with it. If its just information about Islam, I would have no problem with it.

Though I think it would be a good idea to question the veracity of the article because of its Christian colored glasses until there is more information of what's going on.

[ 01-11-2002: Message edited by: THT ]</p>
post #4 of 35
Just as long as those enlightened California Educators make sure no one pledges allegiance to the flag, or prays to themselves before lunch...that would be wrong.



[ 01-11-2002: Message edited by: Moogs ]</p>
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post #5 of 35
[quote]Originally posted by G4Dude:
<strong>Please all you liberals on these boards *cough*nostradomus*cough* please tell your opinion of this, I would love to hear it.</strong><hr></blockquote>After 9/11 it seems pretty important to me to learn more about Islam.
post #6 of 35
[quote]Originally posted by BRussell:
<strong>After 9/11 it seems pretty important to me to learn more about Islam.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Why learn such a shitty religion where they treat their women as second class? I am armenian (christian) and my family comes from Islamic countries and they know first hand.

[ 01-11-2002: Message edited by: corvette ]</p>
post #7 of 35
[quote]Originally posted by THT:
[QB]The article also begins with:
It's something new Skipjack, which, intentionally or not, is different from what your post implies.
<hr></blockquote>

Actually, the first sentence of the article is a bit of sensationalism. I have heard many reports from people in different parts of California that this program has been in effect for at least two years. I have also heard that it is codified in the standard California curricula. I don't have anything to back that up right now, but I do some searching for first hand documentation.
post #8 of 35
If teaching Christianity in public schools is wrong, then teaching Islam or Hinduism or any other religion in public schools is wrong too. Just because it's a "foreign" religion doesn't make it OK.
post #9 of 35
[quote]Please all you liberals on these boards *cough*nostradomus*cough* please tell your opinion of this, I would love to hear it. <hr></blockquote>

My opinion is that NO RELIGION should be taught in PUBLIC schools. None. Zip. Nada. No teaching, no prayer, NOTHING that is associated with religion at all. That means that there should be no prayer at sporting events, or anything related to the school, etc. Mentioning the 'historical' aspects of these religions is different, but wearing their clothes, saying their prayers, and memorizing the lines of the Koran is WRONG. Not only is it wrong, but it is ILLEGAL. Don't push your religion/beliefs on me, and I won't push my religion/beliefs on you.

Complete seperation of Church and State is the ONLY way that this issue should be resolved.
post #10 of 35
Compare this with the specifics of Islam reported in the article. (Note: The link also shows what is supposed to be taught about other religions. Everything is supposed to be in an historical/cultural context. Perhaps it is only this particular school district which is taking it to an extreme. Any first hand knowledge out there?)

<a href="http://www.cde.ca.gov/standards/history/grade7.html" target="_blank">http://www.cde.ca.gov/standards/history/grade7.html</a>

7.2 Students analyze the geographic, political, economic, religious, and social structures of the civilizations of Islam in the Middle Ages.

1. Identify the physical features and describe the climate of the Arabian peninsula, its relationship to surrounding bodies of land and water, and nomadic and sedentary ways of life.
2. Trace the origins of Islam and the life and teachings of Muhammad, including Islamic teachings on the connection with Judaism and Christianity.
3. Explain the significance of the Qur'an and the Sunnah as the primary sources of Islamic beliefs, practice, and law, and their influence in Muslims' daily life.
4. Discuss the expansion of Muslim rule through military conquests and treaties, emphasizing the cultural blending within Muslim civilization and the spread and acceptance of Islam and the Arabic language.
5. Describe the growth of cities and the establishment of trade routes among Asia, Africa, and Europe, the products and inventions that traveled along these routes (e.g., spices, textiles, paper, steel, new crops), and the role of merchants in Arab society.
6. Understand the intellectual exchanges among Muslim scholars of Eurasia and Africa and the contributions Muslim scholars made to later civilizations in the areas of science, geography, mathematics, philosophy, medicine, art, and literature
post #11 of 35
It's ALL or NOTHING. ALL religions should be taught, or NO religions are taught. I don't want my kids praying to no 'Allah' either or making Virgin Mary saints. It's the responsibility of the parents to teach their kids about religion. It's a family heritage and should stay where it belongs, IN THE HOME. Thanks for listening.
post #12 of 35
Fran, so that means there must be no "Christmas Concert" or "Easter Break"? I notice that the schools make very sure they say that we have breaks for the "holidays" and not Christmas, but don't hesitate to tell us we are off for Yom Kippur or whatever.

It seems the white/male/wealthy/christian folks in our country are the ones who are discriminated against.
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post #13 of 35
[quote]Fran, so that means there must be no "Christmas Concert" or "Easter Break"?<hr></blockquote>

Exactly. No Christmas concerts sponsored by schools. Holiday concerts are fine, but religious songs are not. I don't know about this 'Easter Break' you refer to, but Easter is on a Sunday, so it shouldn't make a difference if you have no school or not, right??

I went to school in Massachusetts too, but I never had any religious holidays 'off'. If you notice the trend in MA, there is 10 weeks of school followed by Thanksgiving, 6 weeks of school until the Holiday Break, 8 weeks until the Winter Break, 8 weeks until the Spring break, and 8 weeks until the summer break. That's time off about every 8 weeks or so.

I never personally had school off because of a religious holiday. It is a definite violation of the seperation of church and state. (I don't care if you personally decide to take the holiday off yourselves either, but that's up to you, not the school).
Edit: Fixed quote.

[ 01-11-2002: Message edited by: Fran441 ]</p>
post #14 of 35
What the hell is easter break??? I am all for religion being taught in schools. But just discussing what they are about and how they are different and stuff like that. I don't think they should be praying to Allah or anything like that like the article says. And I think it is important that Americans learn about Islam but if they do, the schools need to teach about other religions too.
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post #15 of 35
Like it or not, the Pledge of Allegiance is an interesting topic to argue about.

"One nation, under God?"

That statement takes care of monotheists only. What about polytheists, atheists, agnostics, pantheists and others?

Why must I be forced to recite it ever day in public school? That seems a bit fascist to me...a lot like brainwashing...
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post #16 of 35
this is sad.

why are you so worried about God being mentioned in a school? oh my. it's not what I worship. who gives a crap. its the pledge of allegience.

political correctness is bullshit.


BTW, i want to know why NYC public schools get off EVERY jewish holiday yet they don't get off for holy days of obligatin for christians?
post #17 of 35
Your kids have the right to NOT say the pledge. They can't force you.
post #18 of 35
As I recall, the pledge of allegiance did not have the "under God" part in it until the 1950s. It use to be "...one nation, indivisible..." Same thing with "In God We Trust" being put on all of US currency by 1950 too. Weird to see a bill between 1930 and 1950 where the 1930 one doesn't have "In God We Trust" in it. It's sort of amazing that the government used to be more secular in some ways in the past then in it is now.

There is a difference between what we are talking about. Teaching religion in a historical context (cultural studies) is of vital importance to a person's education. It should be done. "Teaching" religion in the context of practicing it is unconstitutional in a public forum. It obviously shouldn't be done.
post #19 of 35
It's not the even the allusion to religion in the Pledge of Allegiance I mind. It's the whole thing. When in history have we seen droning recitations of patriotic rhetoric or other such nonsense.

In elementary school was the last place where I was obliged to recite it, but that's not really the point. Has it kept me aligned with this country's greater goals? i don't think it has. If it has, it would be brainswashing...and I think it's pretty darn close to it regardless of how successful a method it is.
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post #20 of 35
[quote]Originally posted by Eugene:
<strong>It's not the even the allusion to religion in the Pledge of Allegiance I mind. It's the whole thing. When in history have we seen droning recitations of patriotic rhetoric or other such nonsense.

In elementary school was the last place where I was obliged to recite it, but that's not really the point. Has it kept me aligned with this country's greater goals? i don't think it has. If it has, it would be brainswashing...and I think it's pretty darn close to it regardless of how successful a method it is.</strong><hr></blockquote>

it's only "brainwashing" to those who don't understand it and who say it for no reason other than it has to be said. perhaps you should have said it like you meant it instead of looking upon it as a chore
post #21 of 35
Ah, so I don't understand it and I'm too dumb and/or careless to discover its inner grace and greater significance. Thank you for attempting to enlighten me. Okay, smartypants, what does it mean to you???

Let me have you call back upon history to illustrate my point. In which regimes are these chorelike recitations, chants and readings most common and famous?

I'd rather have my patriotism defined by my individual beliefs...not a ritualistic incantation.

[ 01-13-2002: Message edited by: Eugene ]</p>
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post #22 of 35
I think Fran hit the nail on the head here: Separation of Church and State is supposed to be a tenent of the American constitution.

As for the Pledge of Allegiance, I've been told that the final clause regarding God was added in the 50's. To tell you the truth I don't know if it was the 50's, but my elderly relatives definitely remember a totally secular pledge, as it ended up a topic of conversation during Christmas dinner. All of the references to God were established as anti-communist agenda. (Now I find out THT said this first.) Accounting for the mindless patriotism echoed by the pledge, there is a certain amount of justification for it. In a Catholic school there are religious icons abound, and the glorification of God is a common theme. In a public school, it's only fitting to praise the government that handles the school. Interestingly enough the last time I ever said the pledge was the last day I spent in a public school. (I ended up in perhaps the only secular all boys' school on Earth.)

I personally like the concept of the Pledge, since it does give America credit for being founded on reason and liberty. The problem is that kids just get used to spouting it off each morning and don't stop to think about it. I wish people, adults and kids, would stop to realise the freedom America grants. I also think government should die, but even now, with our government more oppressive than it's ever been, I don't think I could stand to live anywhere else.

Another note. ---
Hey corvette, did you're relatives come this way, oh, around 1917? There's that little episode of genocide that the Turks still deny ever happened.

[ 01-13-2002: Message edited by: Splinemodel ]</p>
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post #23 of 35
And I likewise wish the extra minutes it takes to stand up, face the flag and recite the Pledge would be used for actual teaching.

Oftentimes, the things that are overly and invasively emphasized become the least appreciated and understood.

Reducing true appreciation or patriotism to such a meaningless daily ritual is detrimental and redundant.

If my allegiance is not in question, why must I pledge it again and again and again? If I do not pledge one day or another, do I instantly become a traitor?
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post #24 of 35
[quote]Originally posted by G4Dude:
<strong> Please all you liberals on these boards *cough*nostradomus*cough* please tell your opinion of this, I would love to hear it.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Wow, I've been branded with the infamous "L" label! I just skimmed the article, but offhand it would seem that what they are doing isn't to favorable to Islam. Didn't one of the guys say that he wouldn't teach Christianity this way? Well, that points out a particular irony in that conservatives constantly blast public schools for not teaching subjects correctly and at the same time they want them to teach religion so they screw that up as well.

Ok, seriously, here's my take on some of the issues being raised-

Religion in public schools - It would be quite impossible to teach history without talking about religion. Also, it would be quite impossible to talk about every religion since there have been over 100,000 of them. So it comes down to a matter of relevance and intellectual honesty. If a particular school district decides to slant it's curriculum to only support one religion or to uniformly disparage another then it's being myopic and intellectually dishonest, it has an agenda.

Defining the difference between contextual teaching and prosyletizing is difficult, but throwing out history and art because they might have a religious component is ridiculous. These "zero tolerance" rules serve as a good illustration. While i agree that children shouldn't be allowed to bring guns and knives into school I don't think they should be suspended for having a comb or a ruler (unless a kid is known to beat people with it).

On the pledge of allegiance- I believe children can be forced to stand during the pledge, but they don't have to say it. Also, I think there are some Xians who refuse to say the pledge (maybe the Jehovahs). Regardless, the problem with these little efforts to insert religion into our money and our citizen pledges is that they are one way. After the communist scare was over you didn't see any politicians suggesting that we remove these slogans because they would be branded as heathen atheists.

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post #25 of 35
[quote]Originally posted by Eugene:

<strong>I'd rather have my patriotism defined by my individual beliefs...</strong><hr></blockquote>

Fair enough but reciting the pledge still isn't brainwashing.
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post #26 of 35
I've never really got that praying to the flag thing... isn't it kind of blasfemic or something...
No, seriously I'm all with Nordstrodamus on this one... Seems like The US in general could benefit a lot by learning more about the history, culture and religion of the rest of the World...
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post #27 of 35
I have a better idea: we spend resources on more useful stuff like science and math. Religion should be taught at home and you cannot learn 'culture' in the classroom.
post #28 of 35
sience and math can be quite dangerous without history and culture my friend...
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post #29 of 35
::refers to the original topic::

Religion in schools is the same no matter what religion it is. It simply does not belong there. Children should however be taught about religion and its effects on culture. Taught... not Preached to. A policy where children would learn about all different religions would help raise tolerance in the future.
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post #30 of 35
My take on all this. If youa re going to teach religious history teach it all from a historical perspective. If you are going to go with the Major religions, then fine. Islam, Christianity, mormonism, Buddhism, etc... Teach the beginnings, some of the history, and then let it rest. Nobody gets hurt.

The Flag salute is a good thing I think. It tells you a few things. One, the flag means something. IT is not just a piece of cloth. (I Pledge allegience to the Flag of the US of A). The US is not a democracy but a republic. (And the the Republice for which it stands). We are a single nation, not a bunch of little countries like south america or Europe. We also have a strong Christian strain. (One Nation, Under God.) We are not easily broken up or defeated. (Indvisible) We have many freedoms and protection from our government that covers everyone. (With liberty and justice for all.)

Not a bad thing. What exactly does it mean to you?
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post #31 of 35
Clarification-

I just realized that G4Dude was talking about that vile impersonator, Nostradamus, not about me. Now I'm sure people are going to confuse us since I did it myself. If you don't like this guy or simply object to nick stealing just stop responding to him.

Also, when I said " I believe children can be forced to stand during the pledge, but they don't have to say it." I meant that I believe this to be the case, not that I endorse that policy.

Also, just wondering if anybody here who likes the pledge would have a problem with someone deciding to say the orginal pledge instead of the evangelized version. What if a school decided to make the orignal standard?

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post #32 of 35
Also, I think there are some Xians who refuse to say the pledge (maybe the Jehovahs).

You mean Jehovah's Witnesses? You know if you knew anything about religion, that Jehovah is the name of the jewish and Christian God and calling them Jehovah is like calling muslims "Allahs" or budhists "Budhas". Also known a Yahweh, although the common English pronounciation is Jehovah. I find it funny that Jewish clerics are forbidden to say it although they recognize it as God's name. No one knows the correct pronounciation sadly. The hebrew language did not have any vowels back when the Old testament was written. Obviously they pronounced their vowels but they only wrote in consonants because it was understood how it should be pronounced. But as the Jewish people became more secular in Jesus time the hebrew written language needed to be updated so they started to put little markings under the letters to denote what vowels needed to be said in that word. But by then the new testament was being written in Greek... But the corresponding hebrew consonants for the name of God were YHWH... So post Roman conquest Jews pronounced it Yaweh... And the English got Jahveh out of it which later turned into Jehovah.

[ 01-15-2002: Message edited by: Outsider ]</p>
post #33 of 35
[quote]Originally posted by Outsider:
<strong>[i]You mean Jehovah's Witnesses? You know if you knew anything about religion, that Jehovah is the name of the jewish and Christian God and calling them Jehovah is like calling muslims "Allahs" or budhists "Budhas". Also known a Yahweh, although the common English pronounciation ... yadda yadda yadda</strong><hr></blockquote>

Ok Cliff Claven, I'm truly dazzled by your encyclopedic spiel. Since you (and everyone else here) obviously got my meaning it would seem that such elaboration is unnecessary and irrelevant to the discussion. "Brevity is the soul of wit"

[ 01-15-2002: Message edited by: Nordstrodamus ]</p>

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post #34 of 35
Hey I was just pointing out something. Don't get your panties tangled up in a knot.
post #35 of 35
[quote]Originally posted by Outsider:
<strong>Hey I was just pointing out something. Don't get your panties tangled up in a knot.</strong><hr></blockquote>

You made the accusation that my economy with words reflected a lack of knowledge. "If you knew anything about religion..." or something to that effect. That required a response, but rest assured my panties are comfortably loose.

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