Source: Huffington Post
By Carol Kuruvilla
The parents claim the school was “proselytizing” by teaching about the world’s second-largest religion.
Two New Jersey parents who complained about how Islam was being taught in their children’s schools are now upset after being called out as Islamophobes.
Libby Hilsenrath and Nancy Gayer, both parents of seventh grade sons at Chatham Middle School, have sought out the help of a conservative law firm after apparently being “pilloried by their community,” according to a press release.
The Thomas More Law Center, a Michigan-based group whose mission is to “preserve America’s Judeo-Christian heritage,” claimed that Hilsenrath and Gayer have been subjected to “personal attacks” because of the parents’ campaign to stop so-called “Islamic indoctrination” at Chatham schools.
“They were defamed as ‘bigots’ and ‘Islamophobes’, ‘hateful’, ‘ignorant’, ‘xenophobes’, ‘intolerant’, ‘racist’, ‘closed minded’, ‘sad and ignorant’ in social media, and the list goes on,” the statement reads.
Gayer and Hilsenrath brought up their concerns at a board of education meeting on February 6. Their objections centered around a world cultures and geography class, particularly a section on the Middle East and North Africa region.
“It’s just not fair that within this unit of study the Chatham school district taught one religion to the exclusion of all others, and for the community to be so unkind and unwelcoming towards us, just for having raised legitimate questions as concerned parents,” Gayer is quoted as saying on the press release.
The parents claimed that although this region of the world has historical ties to Christianity and Judaism, the lesson focused too closely on teaching the tenets and principles of Islam. They said students watched videos, were shown a PowerPoint presentation, and tested about Islam’s principles, and claimed that all of this amounted to “proselytizing.”
In particular, the parents brought up an animated video that they claim was used to teach children about the five pillars of Islam. The Thomas More Law Center called the video was “subtle propaganda.”