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Virginia Standards of Learning Mandate Teaching Islamic Beliefs but Not Christian Beliefs or Others

At a recent meeting of the Mechanicsville TEA Party, a home study guide from a 9th grade student at Hanover’s Lee Davis High School was revealed to the assembled group. Most expressed horror and outrage that our schools would teach Theology at all, let alone Muslim Theology.

A few of the more incendiary parts of the Home Study Guide (see attached PDF file below) are under the heading “People of the Book” or in Arabic Kafir.

http://www.varight.com/pdfs/IslamTest.pdf

From WikiPedia:

Kafir
(Arabic, كافر kāfir; plural كفّار kuffār) An non-Muslim or infidel, may include People of the Book depending on context. In Islamic sharia doctrine, Kafir are divided into dhimmi, harbi and musta’min. May be considered derogatory in modern usage.[7]

Also from WikiPedia:

The word kaffir, sometimes spelled kaffer or kafir, is an offensive term for a black person, most common in South Africa and other African countries. Generally considered a racial or ethnic slur in modern usage, it was previously a neutral term for black southern African people.

The original meaning of the word is ‘heathen‘, ‘unbeliever’ or ‘infidel‘, from the Arabic ‘kafir‘ and is still being used with this meaning by Muslims.[1] The Arabic term Kafir (arab كافر) is, however, also applied to simply anyone who is not a Muslim. Portuguese explorers used the term generally to describe tribes they encountered in southern Africa, probably having misunderstood its etymology from Muslim traders along the coast. European colonists subsequently continued its use.[2] Although it was in wide use between the 16th and 19th centuries, and not generally seen as an offensive term, as racial tensions increased in 20th century South Africa and the surrounding countries, it became a term of abuse.

The word was used in English, Dutch and, later, Afrikaans, from the 16th century to the early 20th century as a general term for several different peoples of southern Africa. In Portuguese the equivalent cafre was used.

In South Africa today, the term is used both as an insult, and by some, as a common word for a black person. In any case, the term is regarded by most as derogatory (in the same way as “nigger” in other countries). Use of the word has been actionable in South African courts since at least 1976 under the offense of crimen injuria: “the unlawful, intentional and serious violation of the dignity of another”.[3]

Most Christians consider the term “People of the Book” derogatory both in English and in Arabic. So, Virginia Standards of Learning are responsible for teaching our kids hurtful and derogatory terms and this study guide fails to point that fact out.

In fact, this study guide goes even further. It teaches kids:

Because Muslims worship the God of Abraham they gave a special place to Jews and Christians.

And to really understand where the Virginia SOL mindset comes from one need look no further than the publicly funded gurus of political correctness at PBS who whitewash this by saying:

Muslims believe that God had previously revealed Himself to the earlier prophets of the Jews and Christians, such as Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. Muslims therefore accept the teachings of both the Jewish Torah and the Christian Gospels.

They believe that Islam is the perfection of the religion revealed first to Abraham (who is considered the first Muslim) and later to other prophets. Muslims believe that Jews and Christians have strayed from God’s true faith but hold them in higher esteem than pagans and unbelievers. They call Jews and Christians the “People of the Book” and allow them to practice their own religions. Muslims believe that Muhammad is the “seal of the prophecy,” by which they mean that he is the last in the series of prophets God sent to mankind. Muslims abhor the followers of later prophets. This attitude serves to explain the extreme Muslim animosity toward Bahais, followers of a nineteenth-century prophet, who in the Muslim mind is false. (Emphasis added)

So, is PBS writing the Virginia SOL’s, or did the Virginia Department of Education just get lazy and rip off the PBS sanctioned and sanitized version of Islamic Teaching? Continue reading. The next few lines in the Home Study Guide are really nothing more than indoctrination and recitation of the PBS Islamic Doctrine:

Muslims accept the Judeo-Christian Prophets such as Moses and Jesus.

The way this sentence is written, students are forced to learn and accept that Jesus was a mere Prophet, not the Son of God. The fact that Muslims “accept” this is irrelevant. Relegating the Son of God to mere Prophet status is stated, not as a Muslim belief, but as a given. It is hard to determine what the message is here, but the Constitutional approach information such as this (if that is even possible) would be to say “Muslims accept and believe that Moses and Jesus are Judeo-Christian Prophets”. Even better, a disclaimer that Christians believe that Jesus is the Son of God would be in order, but, as we will see in the following text, the SOL’s allow students to be told about the beliefs of Muslims, but not Christian beliefs. So such a disclaimer would be outside of the SOL Guidelines.

The next sentence in the Study Guide says:

However, according to Islam, while these men did have a dialog with God, they got the message wrong.

Well, at least there’s the qualifier according to Islam. But even so, this crosses the line beyond learning history into the Theological arena. And the next sentence – on a separate line – is the real kicker.

Only Mohammad got it right.

Does the qualifier according to Islam apply to the next sentence? It is impossible to say. But these lines are structured as bullet points, and as such, represent separate statements. In order to be clearly understood, another qualifier would be required.

So, questions immediately arise. Why are the schools teaching Muslim beliefs and do they also teach the beliefs of Christians, Jews, Buddhists and other religions? Or are they favoring one religion over another?

The First Amendment to the Constitution states: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Although not actually in the Constitution, the term Separation of Church and State comes from a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptist Association which says (in part) “...I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.

It is not necessary to remind you that any efforts by a public school to teach Christian beliefs would fall under attack in court so fast from groups like the ACLU that most teachers wouldn’t even think of mentioning Christian Theology in class.

But that is not true with Islam. Political correctness would seem at odds with our laws and our Constitution when it comes to Islam. People are so overly conscious of offending Muslims that Christians, Jews and other beliefs are sacrificed on the alter of PC on a daily basis.

So how can the schools teach Muslim beliefs and not Christian beliefs?

After receiving the study guide, I set out to find out if this was a rogue teacher or principal at Lee Davis High School, a School Board mandate, something from the Hanover County Government or the State Department of Education and the SOL’s.

I received willing and prompt assistance from several people in the Hanover Education areas as well as from State Government officials. While none of these individuals asked for anonymity, it serves no purpose to provide names as all were totally open, honest and willing to explore this question. And their cooperation was very much appreciated and noted.

One email gave me all I needed to know about what is going on. It simply quoted the Virginia SOL’s:
The section on Islamic Studies states:

WHI.8 The student will demonstrate knowledge of Islamic civilization from about 600 to 1000 A.D. (C.E.) by
a) describing the origin, beliefs, traditions, customs, and spread of Islam;
b) assessing the influence of geography on Islamic economic, social, and political development, including the impact of conquest and trade;
c) identifying historical turning points that affected the spread and influence of Islamic civilization, with emphasis on the Sunni-Shi’a division and the Battle of Tours;
d) citing cultural and scientific contributions and achievements of Islamic civilization.

Note the word “beliefs” (emphasis added). The Virginia SOL’s require that students learn Muslim BELIEFS (Theology). So, is Christianity treated the same? Judge for yourself:

WHI.9 The student will demonstrate knowledge of Western Europe during the Middle Ages from about 500 to 1000 A.D. (C.E.) in terms of its impact on Western civilization by
a) sequencing events related to the spread and influence of Christianity and the Catholic Church throughout Europe;
b
) explaining the structure of feudal society and its economic, social, and political effects;
c) explaining the rise of Frankish kings, the Age of Charlemagne, and the revival of the idea of the Roman Empire;
d) sequencing events related to the invasions, settlements, and influence of migratory groups, including Angles, Saxons, Magyars, and Vikings.

The word “beliefs” is conspicuously absent from the emailed response.

It would appear that the finger initially pointed at Lee Davis High School and Hanover County is misplaced. They are simply doing what the Virginia Department of Education and the Virginia Standards of Learning require.

It has been said that the SOL’s encourage schools to “teach to the SOL tests”.

It appears this argument is well founded. The teachers and school administrators blindly and unquestioningly teach to the SOL’s no matter what.

So, the resolution to this inequity of religious teachings lies with the Virginia Department of Education and the SOL process. Although it would be ideal to see the cry for equal treatment of religions come from the teachers and principals, perhaps the blow-back from the Educational Bureaucracy is too great.

But in the end, the Department of Education needs to abandon efforts to teach students any religious beliefs, or theology, at all. Especially in required, core classes.

Religious beliefs are best left for home or Churches, Synagogues, Temples and Mosques. Not Virginia classrooms.

And a lot more oversight needs to be placed on the Virginia Department of Educations and those responsible for setting the SOL standards.

 

About Tom White

Tom is a US Navy Veteran, owns an Insurance Agency and is currently an IT Manager for a Virginia Distributor. He has been published in American Thinker, currently writes for the Richmond Examiner as well as Virginia Right! Blog.

Tom lives in Hanover County, Va and is involved in politics at every level and is a Recovering Republican who has finally had enough of the War on Conservatives in progress with the Leadership of the GOP on a National Level.

20 Responses to “Virginia Standards of Learning Mandate Teaching Islamic Beliefs but Not Christian Beliefs or Others”

  1. I think we should insist the SOLs be revised and that Governor McDonell appoint only staunch conservatives to the State Board of Education.

  2. Islam isn’t simply a religion; it is a political force. In fact I would argue that it is impossible to separate the religious aspects of Islam from the political ones. That said I might argue that it should be taught as a political system in a politics class rather than a religion class.

    But would any school district dare do that? They simply don’t have the stones.

  3. islam is a complete way of living so not only muslim following it can get benefits from it but non muslims can also be benefited from it

  4. Good story once again. I am looking forward for your next post=)

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