Parents in Southern Indiana are upset by a middle school worksheet’s portrayal of “Sharia law,” which they say casts the Islamic code in a positive light while ignoring human rights violations and the oppression of women.
“The way that the worksheet is left would be like describing how effective Hitler was at nationalizing Germany and creating patriotism but leaving out that he slaughtered 6 million Jews,” said Dean Hohl, one of several parents who spoke out against the assignment at a recent New Albany-Floyd County school board meeting.
He added: “I’m just not OK with my daughter – or any child that age – leaving class with the understanding that anything about Sharia law is OK.”
The worksheet, assigned to seventh-graders at Highland Hills Middle School, presents a passage written by a fictional 20-year-old Saudi woman named Ahlima, who feels “very fortunate” to live under Sharia law in Saudi Arabia. She writes about how she will soon become a man’s second wife and explains her modest dress: “I understand that some foreigners see our dress as a way of keeping women from being equal, but … I find Western women’s clothing to be horribly immodest.”
From fake news to fake educational material…in this case Islamic, sharia, polygamous, anti-Western propaganda.
“That document by itself, it’s almost propaganda,” said Jon Baker, whose daughter also received the worksheet. “If you read that, you would think everything’s wonderful in that world.”
Bill Briscoe, a spokesman for the district, said the curriculum is being reviewed in light of the complaints, per district policy.
The same worksheet, created by InspirEd Educators Inc., caused a controversy when it was used at a middle school in Smyrna, Ga., in 2011. Sharon Coletti, the creator of the worksheet and president of InspirEd Educators, said she received death threats and was accused of “indoctrinating” children at the time.
Coletti, who is a Christian and longtime educator, said in an interview with the Courier-Journal that she wasn’t trying to indoctrinate anyone. She said she was just trying to create a lesson that was more engaging than dry, expository text pulled from a textbook.
“If I can shape something so that kids have to decide for themselves, once I get them involved in the situation, they never forget it,” she said.
Show them how Saudi sharia beheads people in the public square, or doesn’t allow women to drive, or that most of the 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia – see if they’ll forget that.
She added later: “I want (students) to be patriotic. I want them to be problem-solvers.” But she said that she will remove the worksheet from the curriculum going forward because of unwanted media attention.
Indiana University professor Asma Afsaruddin, who teaches in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, said…“For the majority of Muslim men and women, the Sharia is a very positive concept because they understand what the Sharia means,” she said.
If Asma Afsaruddin’s name is familiar, you may have read it in this piece: Preventing the West from Saying, and Understanding Jihad
…it turns out that the following CSID members are also members of identified Muslim Brotherhood entities:
- Muqtedar Khan (AMSS, IIIT), Akbar Ahmed (AMSS, IIIT), Anthony Sullivan (AMSS, IIIT), Robert Crane (UASR, IIIT), Asma Afsaruddin (AMSS), and Layla Sein (AMSS, IIIT).