Mandatory Islam Instruction in Georgia Schools Outrages Parents
A number of parents in Georgia are outraged that tenets of Islam are being taught in public schools as a mandate by the state.
Ryan Breece, from Loganville, Georgia, pulled his 12-year-old daugther out of her social studies class at Youth Middle School outside of Atlanta, when he found out that she was learning about Islam.
"I'm coming from this perspective of religious equality and if we don't see the Ten Commandments, the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit, the Trinity being taught as the representation, an accurate representation of Chritianity, then why are we seeing in detail teaching on the doctrine of Islam?" he told CBN News. "And it just concerns me that we're going into great detail on the Muslim religion when Christianity is being pushed to the side." Watch Ryan Breece's comments to CBN News.
Breece, a devout Christian, said that some schools are reportedly forcing students to learn the five pillars of Islam--the creed one must learn to convert--and teaching students that Allah is the same God worshipped by Christians.
CBN News contacted the Georgia Department of Education and was sent this statement about state standards in the seventh grade Georgia Performance Standards.
"The student will describe the diverse cultures of the people who live in Southwest Asia (Middle East). Compare and contrast the prominent religions in Southwest Asia (Middle East): Judaism, Islam, and Christianity."
The instructions provided for teachers in the resource guide advise teachers to offer the following information:
"This element is not an evaluation of any religion, nor is it a course in the belief system of any religion. It is important that students understand the differences between each of these religions to help them understand the tensions that exist in the region.
Students should understand the following aspects: all three are monotheistic, all three acknowledge Abraham as the patriarch of their faith, each has a holy book, each has a specific place of worship, each one has a different view about Jesus Christ, and some of these religions share common holy sites in the region but also have their own unique holy sites. This element is not about the issues that produce conflict between these religions, rather students should understand the major differences between these religions."
The statement adds, "When teachers teach beyond the recommended paragraph above, this is a teacher or local decision, and not one that is encouraged or required by the Georgia Department of Education or the Georgia Performance Standards."
Breece has also started a petition to encourage parents to opt their children out of the class that teaches Islam.
The American Center for Law and Justice is investigating this issue. Find more information here.