Libby Hilsenrath of Chatham, New Jersey is suing her child’s middle school administration along with the local school district for what she claims is a violation of the Constitution.
The lawsuit emanates from a story that made national headlines in February 2017. At that time, Hilsenrath was one of several parents of children at Chatham Middle School who took public issue with the “World Cultures and Geography” curriculum being taught in class. Hilsenrath brought her concerns to a Board of Education meeting at that time, questioning why the class was focusing so intently and exclusively on the tenets of Islam. Not only did the class ignore other religions of the Middle East, Latin America, and Asia, but Hilsenrath claims that the teaching of Islam veered consistently away from a factual overview to flirt repeatedly with religious indoctrination.
Hilsenrath and her legal counsel – the Thomas More Law Center – take issue with two videos the children were instructed to watch at home. One of them was titled, “Intro to Islam” and included a musical poem that described “Christians and Jews as ‘infidels’ and praises Muhammad in gruesome detail for slaughtering them.”
In the court complaint, Hilsenrath says the video was “replete with biased, chastising statements encouraging the students to follow the Quran and become Muslim.”
A second video explained the so-called “five pillars of Islam” in such a way that failed to make any distinction between fact and religious doctrine.
“Due to the fact that these doctrinal messages calling for conversion to Islam were included in video format with vivid images and text, they possess greater communicative impact and are more likely to be accepted by the students viewing them than information that is spoken in a classroom or even written in a book,” says the lawsuit.
In a statement accompanying the legal action, the Thomas More Law Center said the school failed to present a well-rounded picture of the religion.
“Clearly, seventh graders were given a sugarcoated, false depiction of Islam,” they said. “They were not informed of the kidnappings, beheadings, slave-trading, massacres, and persecution of non-Muslims, nor of the repression of women — all done in the name of Islam.”
Can you imagine if they had? They would have risked seeing their entire school blown to kingdom come! And the fact that this is true (we’d love to see the brave liar willing to deny it) is all the evidence you need that this kind of crap has no place in the public school system. If you want to teach about Islam, that’s one thing. But don’t try to normalize it. Don’t try to make it seem harmless. And certainly don’t try to sneak in religious doctrine under the guise of secular education.