A couple in Maryland is suing their local school system after finding out their daughter was learning about Islam in her high school world history class.
Melissa and John Wood alleged their daughter was compelled to write the Islamic Creed as part of an assignment in her world history class, WTOP reports. The suit claims the girl was not allowed to opt out of the lesson and receive alternate assignments on the basis of religious beliefs, which the suit argues is a policy within Charles County Schools.
More specifically, the suit argues Charles County Schools "concealed that their high school World History class promoted Islam" by not including any mention of it in a general course syllabus as well as by the use of a separate book which "extensively covered Islam" and was kept on school grounds, Fox 5 DC reports.
In addition, the school system is accused of "curriculum practices, policies, actions, procedures, and customs promote the Islamic faith by requiring students to profess the five pillars of Islam and to write out faith statements of the religion," according to the suit.
Richard Thompson, the President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, said the school forced the Woods' daughter to "disparage her Christian faith" through the recitation of a phrase acknowledging Mohammed as her spiritual leader, according to Fox 5 DC. He added:
“The course also taught false statements such as 'Allah is the same God worshipped by Christians,' and Islam as a 'religion of peace.' Parents must be ever vigilant to the Islamic indoctrination of their children under the guise of teaching history and multiculturalism. This is happening in public schools across the country. And they must take action to stop it.”
Charles County Schools has not commented on the suit but has sought to clarify the nature of the course, WTOP reports. Part of the released statement reads:
“The particular unit in question is on the formation of Middle Eastern empires in which students learned the basic concepts of the Islamic faith and how it, along with politics, culture, economics and geography, contributed to the development of the Middle East. Other religions are introduced when they influence or impact a particular historical era or geographic region. For example, when reviewing the Renaissance and Reformation, students study the concepts and role of Christianity. When learning about the development of China and India, students examine Hinduism and Buddhism.”