Learning about religion in school has been controversial for a long time. The “separation of church and state” means that districts must walk a fine line and besides mentioning it as a side note to studying countries, most leave it alone. Or at least they used to.
Virginia school websites reveal curriculum that should have parents quite worried. Named “Access Islam,” it is simply indoctrination cloaked as religious education. Public schools teaching “The Five Pillars of Islam,” aren’t educating on the 10 Commandments alongside it so we have a problem.
The overview of the curriculum tells us that “The foundation of Islamic religious practices is the Five Pillars. These basic duties — belief, worship, fasting, almsgiving, and pilgrimage — guide Muslims in their daily life and their worship of God.” Note the use of “God” instead of “their God” or “a God.”
For grade levels 5-12, the objectives are listed as;
- Describe the basic beliefs of Islam.
- Explain the meaning of each of the Five Pillars of Islam.
- Compare and contrast the Five Pillars of Islam with the duties of other religions with which they are familiar.
Another important point to take away, children will compare and contrast but not because they are being taught about other religions as well. They will only use religions “with which they are familiar.” This leaves a lot of room for liberal teachers to interpret other religions to unknowing and impressionable children.
Each part of the curriculum comes with accompanying videos provided by PBS.Teachers are told how to guide the discussions and the suggested questions avoid any discussion of the “radical” part of Islam. Of course, that means avoiding much of the Quran but obviously, that doesn’t worry anyone.
At the end of the lesson plan teachers are told to “have looked more closely at each of the Five Pillars, divide them into pairs. Instruct each pair to create a poster about the Five Pillars to be displayed in the classroom and around the school to help educate their schoolmates about Islam.” The end goal here is to help indoctrinate the whole school of course. Most 5th grade classrooms are in schools with younger children giving teachers a chance to spread the “education.”
This is dangerous. Parents, teachers, and anyone concerned with our future needs to be aware that this is happening and not only in Virginia.