Father Banned From Daughter's School in Maryland Because He Didn't Want Her Learning About Islam
Religion in schools is always a hot topic; throw in Islam, and you've got a blaze: this week, a father, mad about his daughter's "Islamic" homework, was banned from school property after allegedly causing a "disturbance" when meeting school officials. To be clear, this wasn't pro-Islamic homework. It was an essay about the five pillars of Islam for a Middle Eastern empires class. But this, to former U.S. Marine Kevin Wood, was already too much.
Maryland's La Plata High School has a rich and diverse curriculum. One of the things that they teach in their World History class is Middle Eastern empires — this looks at how religions helped to create empires throughout the centuries. Makes sense that looking at Islam would be an essential part of that. Explained Katie O’Malley-Simpson, director of communications, to the New York Daily News:
For Wood, an Iraq war veteran, the fact that his daughter was learning about this particular world religion was just unacceptable. As soon as he found out his daughter's assignment — a three-page essay about Islam’s Five Pillars, Mecca and Muhammad — he asked for his daughter to get a different topic; when the school refused, he met with the principal. As he told Fox News:
According to school authorities, the meeting did not go down well, and on Friday, he was given a no-trespass order. As O’Malley-Simpson told the Daily News:
Perhaps unsurprisingly, considering our current Islamophobic climate, this isn't the first time that a parent has made a fuss over the teaching of Islam in classrooms. Just this month, Anthony Giannino told WHDH-TV that he'd pulled his son out of class after seeing a section in his son's worksheet about the Islamic call to prayer. And the pushback against learning about Islam will only continue to grow as extremists continue to dominate the religion — but this is what makes it all the more important to learn about its roots in school. As Zainab Chaudry, the Maryland Outreach Manager for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, told WUSA-9:
If schools can help dispel hatred, stereotypes and phobias — whether they be to do with sexuality or religion — then that's absolutely what they should be doing. No matter what their parents may think. Images: Getty Images (3)