SUMMERVILLE, S.C. – Sixth-grade students at Alston Middle School are expected to learn the five pillars of Islam, and to correctly interpret passages from the Quran.
In one worksheet, students were provided seven specific passages from the Quran and tasked with matching the religious texts with the five pillars of Islam.
Passages included “Allah: There is no god but Him, the Living, the Eternal One. Neither slumber nor sleep overtakes him,” which corresponds to the first pillar “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet.”
Another fill-in-the-blanks worksheet tasked students with filling in supposed facts about the Islamic faith.
“Islam is a religion of (peace),” it read. “If I believe in Islam, I am called a (Muslim). In the Islamic religion, we call God (Allah). I may dress differently than other kids. I feel (bad) that a few people of my religion committed terrorist acts. I do not believe in terrorists’ idea of a ‘holy war.’”
The worksheets irked at least one parent enough that she sent them to them to WCSC to highlight the religious lessons, and question why parents were not notified about the controversial subject.
The unidentified mother told the news site she’s not the only parent with a problem about the assignment.
“Our concern is that if they need permission to teach sexual education, they should be getting permission to teach religious values,” she said.
The complaints follow a rash of similar objections by parents in numerous states in recent years. In at least one instance, students were forced to take a test on the Islamic faith on the 14th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, EAGnews reported.
In schools in Tennessee, Georgia and other states, school officials have blamed the alleged “Islamic indoctrination” on state standards, which are modeled after the national Common Core standards pushed on schools by the Obama administration.
WCSC confronted Dorchester District II officials in Summerville about the situation, and district spokeswoman Patricia Raynor pointed to the state Department of Education’s standards for sixth grade social studies.
Raynor contends the Islam worksheets are part of a “Survey of Civilization” course that incorporates lessons on geography, economics and religion.
“Worksheets on all these features of a civilization are used as teaching tools, including all religions involved,” Raynor wrote in a prepared statement.
“One of the next civilizations being studied in the course will be ancient Rome that will include the study of Christianity,” she wrote. “South Carolina curriculum standards specified the material covered in this study of civilizations. This curriculum is taught in all school districts in South Carolina.”
Raynor insisted the course does not promote one religion over another, and noted that parents can opt their children out of the class if they object.
“We work with our families,” she said.