By Michal Ortner
Citizens in Georgia are concerned about what they are calling Islamic indoctrination in their school systems. Students are required, as part of the curriculum, to learn about Christianity, Judaism, and Islam and how the religions have shaped the world.
Parents are mostly concerned with the questions that are being placed on their children’s social study work sheets. One fill-in-the-blank statement requires students to write that Allah is “the same God” as the God of Christianity and Judaism. This is where parents are protesting.
“We are teaching the same stuff that everyone else is teaching,” Kim Embry, a Walton County Public School spokesperson, stated. She says that her own son also took a similar test on the same topic and remembers when he wrote “same God” on his seventh grade worksheet.
Embry also defended the school, saying “if you’re learning about the Middle East, it’s very difficult not to teach about Islam.” She also made the point that schools are spending “a little more time” on teaching Islam because students are already familiar with Christianity and do not know much about Islam.
“We are seeing one page, five statement of Christian faith and five or 10 pages of Islamic faith, so there is no accountability to make sure it is equal,” one concerned parent stated.
“This is against my religious beliefs,” said another parent, Steven Alsup. “When I’m at church, I’m not worshipping Allah.”
The statement was phrased, “Allah is the [blank] worshiped by Jews & Christians.” The proper answer for the blank is “same God.”
The Georgia Performance Guide instructs teachers that “It is important that students understand the differences between each of these religions to help them understand the tensions that exist in the region.”
“My daughter had to learn the Shahada and the Five Pillars of Islam, which is what you learn to convert,” parent Michelle King stated. She also complained that the school was not teaching the Ten Commandments or “anything about God.”
“They’re calling it a history lesson, which is false,” Alsup said. “Religion to me is deeper than that.”
“To require a public school student to affirm a teacher’s judgment about who God is in order to pass a quiz is religiously coercive,” the Southern Baptist Convention said in a statement to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“The curriculum department went through all of it last week,” Embry said of the curriculum standards, “and they did not find anything they were concerned about.”