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June 30, 2005

Christian group educates schools regarding Islam

From Religious News Service:

Concerned about "a clear attempt to engrave Islam in the minds of our children," a Christian group is expanding distribution of a guidebook originally intended for Californians.

Since its first press run in December 2004, Coptic Christians of California has upon request distributed 5,000 copies of its 28-page booklet, "The Islamization of American Schools." The booklet focuses on the situation in California, where a seventh-grade world history curriculum examines Islamic civilization, among others of the Middle Ages.

But readers in other states are increasingly ordering the booklet as well, according to author Abdullah Al-Araby. The booklet, which Muslims say is misleading, is now made available on the group's Web site.

The Coptic Christian group alleges that children learn by emulating Islamic practices, such as kneeling to pray, donning traditional Islamic dress, receiving a Muslim name or chanting in Arabic. Such school practices amount to "indoctrination," says Al-Araby, who says he writes under that pen name because he fears reprisal from angry Muslims.

"It seems a good idea to teach culture, but they have crossed a line" into promoting a religion, Al-Araby says. "It's a one-sided version of Islam as a religion of peace ... We have to make sure they give true history of Islam, not a polished or refined version."

Not having read the book, I'll have to acknowledge that it's possible this group could have exaggerated in some of their criticism of Islam. I'm not saying they did; I'm saying I don't know. I do agree with them, however that what was done in California was wrong. Those children were being indoctrinated into Islam, clear and simple.

Posted by Danny Carlton at June 30, 2005 08:40 AM

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