JULIET, Tenn. – Pastor Greg Locke is calling parents to object to the “absolute Islamic indoctrination” of students in Tennessee by refusing to allow their children to take a test on the faith today – the 14th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Locke posted a video to Facebook explaining why he believes “somebody needs to stand up” to religious bias in the state’s middle school curriculum, and it’s creating a firestorm online.
Standing in front of a local middle school in the Nashville suburb of St. Juliet, Locke unloads on the Islamic curriculum and the decision to test students about the faith on 9/11, and encourages parents to “stand up and stand out against this foolishness.”
SHAME ON OUR LOCAL SCHOOLS FOR ABSOLUTE ISLAMIC INDOCTRINATION. #SpeakOut#PleaseShareThis
Posted by Pastor Greg Locke on Thursday, September 10, 2015
“We have a number of our families in our church that are really upset and up in arms over all of this new Islamic indoctrination in our public school system. I know some say, ‘Why can’t you just leave well enough along, it’s not that big a deal, they’d have to throw the history books out if they change it.’
“Let me tell you something, when they are in sixth grade they get a half a page of watered down Christianity that has about as much Bible as a thimble, if you will, and now there’s 28 pages they have to learn about Islam, and Mohammad, and how it all came about, and about the holy Koran, and the Five Pillars of Islam, and how they pray, and when they pray, and where they pray, and how they pray, and why they pray, and about pilgrimages and all this and then they say that Allah is the only God,” Locke said in the video, recorded yesterday.
“Of course they get around that by saying, ‘Well, Allah is just the Arabic word for God, and both Christianity and Islam and Jews all serve the same God.’ Let me tell you something, that’s a bunch of bunk. We do not serve the same God and there has been an absolute Islamic invasion and indoctrination of our kids and now tomorrow, of all days, on Sept. 11, they get to take a test about the Nation of Islam.
“Do not think … that is any coincidence, whatsoever, that on Sept. 11 they will be taking a test on it.”
Locke’s video collected nearly 4,000 likes and 10,167 shares on Facebook in the first 19 hours it was up. It also generated 823 comments, mostly from supporters, but also some from detractors.
Numerous parents have raised issues with the lessons on Islam in recent weeks, and school officials have mostly blamed state standards that require students to learn about all religions.
Many believe the sixth- and seventh-grade assignments clearly focus much more on Islam than other religions, and are taking offense to lessons on Shahada – Islam’s profession of faith – and other assignments that go against students’ beliefs.
Brandee Porterfield recently told the Columbia Daily News her daughter was forced to write “Allah is the only god; Muhammad is his prophet” when her class spent three weeks on The Five Pillars of Islam.
“To me, a Christian child should not be made to write that,” said Porterfield, whose daughter is a seventh-grader at Spring Hill Middle School in Columbia.
Porterfield said she complained to the teacher and other officials, but learned that lessons on Islam are required by the state.
The teacher “said this will be on (standardized tests.) Both her teacher and Principal Shanda Sparrow said students would not have to write the Shahada again,” Porterfield told the Spring Hill Homepage.
The next day students were asked to recite the Five Pillars of Islam verbally, including the Shahada, she said.
And as parents and school officials try to hash out the controversial lessons in special hearings and school board meetings, Locke is fueling a vigorous debate on social media.
“This is highly offensive,” Sasha Savory Groce posted in response to Locke’s video. “We are not an Islamic nation, yet Islam seems to have won control over us.”
“Great message tell the kids to take the test but don’t answer any questions that pertain to Islam. The Muslim faith is a complete slap in the face to everything this country was built on and everything this country stands for,” Colin Brady wrote. “There will NEVER be an understanding between our faith and Islam. It would be banned in this country.”
“Why is ANY religion being taught in school?” Lela Donelson questioned.
“I already told my children to refuse to do any of that work and tell the teacher to call me if they have a problem with it,” Heather Elliott added.
At a recent school board meeting in Columbia, several combat veterans who fought against and alongside Muslims in Afghanistan and other areas also spoke out about the Islam curriculum.
Louis Varacalle told the school board he spent 12 year in the U.S. Army, including a tour in Afghanistan that left him wounded.
“The other day, my daughter came home and told me what she was learning, and this caused some anxiety in my because I know what their religion means,” Varacalle said, according to the Columbia Daily News, adding that under Sharia Law a goat’s life is more valuable than human life.