Despite having the most wealthy and politically powerful voice in the country, some zealous Christians never feel secure or safe enough. When radical right-wingers aren’t decrying the insidious secularism of those shifty-eyed atheists, they’re more often than not found using law enforcement, legislation and military strength to discriminate against Muslims whom they feel, without a sense of irony, are going to trample on their religious freedom.
Public school policies are no exception. After the paranoid complaints of an Irving, Texas resident with the email header ‘IRVING ISD INDOCTRINATING ISLAM’, (which would have gone directly in my SPAM folder with the other psychotic FWDs and conservative rantings), school board members and district officials leapt at the opportunity to “stand up against the pro Islamic teaching in our public schools.”
The alleged indoctrination had to do with the fact that the district uses a state-wide teaching program called CSCOPE, which is put together by the Texas Education Service Center Curriculum Collaborative, administered by an organization called Region 10 .
Selk writes that district officials took the claims seriously enough to reach out to Region 10, which tried to reassure the school’s board members that the program meets all state requirements. When that wasn’t enough they hired someone to review the curriculum for Islamic bias. Selk writes that the director, Jan Moberly, said she hired a “very socially and fiscally conservative” former social studies teacher who “watches Glenn Beck on a regular basis” to seek out any Islamic bias in CSCOPE.
Guess what Moberly found? There was religious bias, but in fact it was a bias against Islam. Christianity got the highest billing, with twice as many mentions as any other religion in CSCOPE.
Russell’s fear-mongering turned out to be as valid as the mythical war on Christmas. But the revelation that there is bias against Islam is nothing new for many of the country’s young Muslims. Teaching Tolerance lists a few of the many incidents that have been reported in schools:
- In St. Cloud, Minn., a high school student created a short-lived Facebook group called “I hate the Somalians at Tech High.” The area is home to one of the largest groups of Somali refugees in the country, many of whom are Muslim.
- In Oklahoma, a student was suspended after wearing a hijab, or headscarf, at school on September 11, although she had worn it for weeks before.
- In Massachusetts, when a Cambridge store burned down, Muslim high school students were asked by classmates if they bombed the store.
- In New York, four high school students were charged with a hate crime after spending more than a year bullying a Muslim classmate, occasionally beating him and calling him a terrorist.
Read more about the shameful culture war at AlterNet.
Once again, your tax dollars are well at work to keep idiotic controversy in schools, and true religious equality out. Funny, every time an atheist parent complains about the proselytizing Christian dogma or symbols (or whatever their equivalents of hijabs and berqas), it’s the non-believer who is called a zealot. I guess when you have God on your side, He excuses double standards of biblical proportions.
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