A middle school in Chatham, New Jersey, is using a cartoon video to teach the Five Pillars of Islam to seventh-grade students, and now two parents have obtained legal services to fight the school district which has ignored their concerns.
Seventh graders in this school are taught: “May God help us all find the true faith, Islam.”
Also taught in the video is the Shahada, which is the Muslim prayer of conversion “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger.”
The parents say no other religion is taught nearly to this level of detail in the “world cultures and geography” class.
The parents wanted to know who picked the curriculum, who picked the video and the accompanying PowerPoint. None of their concerns have been addressed by the school board or the superintendent.
So, the two mothers have retained legal help from the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Thomas More Law Center.
For speaking out, the moms have been attacked by members of their community.
“To me that’s not education because in order to educate you need to teach about all [religions],” said Libby Hilsenrath, one of the two mothers who is pushing back.
“Would they be comfortable teaching the doctrines of Christianity for example. Would you be comfortable in a public school to say ‘Jesus is the way and the truth and the life and no one comes to [the Father] except through me’? I don’t think so,” she said.
“I’m all in favor of teaching religion if it’s all done in the same manner and with the same depth,” added the other mother, Nancy Gayer.
The teaching is part of New Jersey’s core content standards. America is on the same suicidal path as Europe, but it is too late to fix the problem when Islam is already embedded in our public schools!
Yet, for their common-sense objections to the video, the parents were immediately denounced by other parents and school officials as bigots, xenophobic and Islamophobic. The sensational attacks came in a newspaper op-ed, in social media, and even took the form of being ‘stared down’ at the local grocery store, they said.
“It went as far as we were ‘part of the KKK,’ which I don’t know what that has to do with this,” Hilsenrath said.
“The promotion of Islam is worse than what the mothers presented,” said Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center. “After viewing one of the videos which the seventh graders were directed to watch, I can’t imagine any objective person saying this is not Islamic indoctrination.
“Clueless school administrators across our nation are allowing this type of indoctrination to take place and it’s up to vigilant parents to stop it,” he added. “Libby and Nancy should have been praised, not pilloried.”
Concerned parents get brushed off
Hilsenrath and Gayer, with sons in different classes in the seventh grade, explained their concerns in person to the Chatham Board of Education at their Feb. 6, 2017, public meeting. Superintendent Michael LaSusa indicated that any change to the curriculum was unlikely, and the next day also refused their request to meet privately with him to discuss their concerns.
Thompson said students were shown the subtle propaganda cartoon video, “5 Pillars,” which opens with two boys, one of them a Muslim, kicking a soccer ball.
The Muslim boy teaches the non-Muslim the 5 Pillars of Islam. Then, a subtitle of bright, multi-colored words of various shapes pronounces a form of the Islamic conversion creed: “There is no god except Allah and Prophet Muhammad is His messenger.”
The cartoon ends with a sad non-Muslim boy, who suddenly smiles when the Muslim boy invites him to join him at the mosque for noon-day prayers. That is “Something the teacher can’t personally do, but does through the cartoon. Clever!” says Thompson.