Some parents in Hendersonville, Tenn., are angry after learning high school freshmen were sent to a local mosque on a field trip, where they were offered copies of the Koran.
Students in the Hendersonville High School honors world studies class visited the Islamic Center of Nashville and a Hindu temple, where students meditated, on Sept. 4.
According to Fox News radio host Todd Starnes, after parents criticized the trip, the school is changing its field trip policies to prohibit taking students to “religious venues” because “it does not provide equal representation to all the religions studied in this course.”
The field trip wasn’t mandatory, Fox News reported, but if a student decided not to attend they had to write an essay comparing the religions.
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“The parents certainly believe it is indoctrination,” Starnes told Fox News host Sean Hannity.
Starnes claims he’s been contacted by a number of concerned parents.
“They’re shoving Christianity out of the public school system,” he said, “and inviting Islam in.”
Parent Mike Conner told Starnes that the kids were given punch and cookies and heard readings from the Koran at the mosque.
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Starnes obtained a copy of the opt-out assignment, which states that throughout history Muslims treated conquered nations better than the U.S. has.
“There is no denying that Muslims in the Middle East and Asian conquered lands of other peoples but they did not impose their religion over them,” the assignment read. “If we were to compare the attitude of the Muslim rulers towards the minorities living under their rule during the nineteenth century – with the attitude of the Europeans and the Americans towards their minorities, I dare to say that the record of the Muslims would be better.”
The assignment is part of a speech by Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi from 1991 called “Religious Tolerance in Islam.”
Conner said his daughter Jessica would not attend the field trip and found the assignment too biased to complete. She was given a zero. When her parents asked the district for a more balanced assignment, they were refused, according to TheBlaze.
“They told us we were being hostile towards Islam,” Conner told Starnes. “It was a very confrontational meeting. Their attitude was, ‘I can’t believe you would question our motives with your children.’”