Ken Berwitz

How would you feel if your 11th grade daughter came home from high school with an assignment requiring her to practice writing Arabic….by writing The Shahada – a statement of faith to Allah.  Not a simple sentence or a few words, but a specific religious commitment which, in Islam, would mean conversion to the faith?

Well, here, excerpted from Tom Tillison\’s article at (and buried by virtually all mainstream media) is how John and Melissa Wood of Maryland, whose daughter goes to La Plata High School would feel about it – not based on conjecture, but because this is exactly what happened:

The parents of a Maryland teenager are suing their daughter\’s high school over a world history lesson they claim was little more than Islamic indoctrination.

The Thomas More Law Center filed a lawsuit against La Plata High School on behalf of John and Melissa Wood, claiming the lesson favored a “sugar-coated version of Islam” over other religions and forced their 16-year-old child “to disparage her Christian faith,” according to the law firm.

The parents said the class spent one day on Christianity, followed by two weeks on Islam.

And the 11th grader was “forced to profess and to write out the Shahada in worksheets and quizzes,” the firm said.

“The Shahada is the Islamic Creed, \’There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.\’ For non-Muslims, reciting the statement is sufficient to convert one to Islam.”

According to the suit, the class was told “the Islamic religion is a fact while Christianity and Judaism are just beliefs,”and were not allowed to opt out of the lesson on the basis of religious beliefs.

Wood was told his daughter would receive a zero if she didn\’t complete the assignments.

Adding insult to injury, the father, a Marine veteran who was deployed in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, was banned from school grounds after he complained, according to the suit.

Charles County Schools released a statement about the world history class, insisting that “other religions are introduced when they influence or impact a particular historical era or geographic region.”

If these allegations are true – either completely or substantially – this is an outrage beyond belief.

If a school is going to teach about religions – something I personally support – as long as it is not an attempt to indoctrinate or convert – then that school should be teaching about ALL religions, certainly all the major ones.  Not giving 14 times as much coverage to Islam as to Christianity.

And if it is going to teach a student about the complexities of Arabic, why would it use a statement that specifically converts the child to Islam?  How could anyone in his or her right mind believe this was some random selection?

Here, from, is the actual homework assignment:

Finally how can this possibly not be a major story in mainstream media?  What are they afraid of?  Why would they bury this outrage?  

I\’ll try to get more information about this…and will post it if/when I do.  

For the meanwhile, it seems to me that, at the very least, La Plata High School should be made to end this exercise in religious indoctrination and then tell us who put it in place, why, and what is going to be done about it.

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