A high-school writing assignment requiring students to put themselves in the shoes of a Muslim and describe the “struggles” they face living in America has set off a firestorm of complaints.
Al Mollerskov, district superintendent for Union Grove Schools in Union Grove, Wisconsin, told WND he received nearly 50 calls from irate people all over the country after the story was reported Wednesday on Fox News and many conservative websites.
The 10th-grade world history assignment asked students the following, according to the teacher’s own account of the assignment emailed to a local radio host:
–Pretend you are:
1. Muslim male/female in U.S.
2. Give 3 examples of what you do daily for your religion and any struggles you face.
3. Again, 5 paragraphs (intro, 3 body paragraphs, closing.)
**Keep in mind we’ve been doing work and watching documentaries that have the facts needed to write the essay.
“I feel the purpose of the assignment is to show prejudices toward Muslims in America or to invent them or exaggerate them,” one angry parent told EAGnews.
WND asked the superintendent if the school has given a writing assignment asking students to put themselves in the place of Christians living in a Muslim-majority country such as Iraq or Syria. No such assignment was given, Mollerskov said.
Mollerskov said this was a “point of view” assignment, where the student is asked to write from someone else’s perspective, in this case a Muslim living in America.
He said the word “pretend” never appeared in the assignment, but students were directed to write a short essay on the daily struggles faced by a Muslim in America after they viewed a documentary on the subject. He said a similar writing assignment was given on Hinduism, but not Christianity or Judaism. He did not, however, feel the teacher was trying to “indoctrinate” her students.
Mollerskov said the teacher is covering five major world religions in a world history class over a single semester. The intent is to give students an “overview” of how Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism developed in history. “This was a snippet, not an in-depth study,” he said.
In retrospect, Mollerskov said the assignment probably should have been handled differently, given that Islam has become a “hot-button” issue.
“I got over 45 calls yesterday, from all over the country. And most were irate because it (Islam) is such a hot button right now with ISIS and everything that’s going on,” he said.
He also gave WND his personal take on the situation.
“I’m 65. I remember back in the Cold War if you called a teacher a communist that was the worst thing you could get called. But they never had us writing about it, about what it’s like to be a communist in America – you didn’t go there. Islam is such a hot button, I don’t think I’d have the students do a writing assignment like that at all,” he said. “Maybe I would do that with a different (religion).”
“I don’t believe there was any intention to indoctrinate anybody,” he added.
The verbiage in the writing assignment “was the exact same verbiage used for an assignment on Hinduism,” Mollerskov told WND. “I looked at all her worksheets, and they don’t do a writing assignment for each one. They did the same exact thing with Hinduism but I had no calls because that’s not a hot button. This is.”
Christian Science Monitor misleads its readers
A story in the Christian Science Monitor quoted Mollerskov saying the teacher gave “similar” writing assignments for all five religions, but the Monitor’s reporter apparently didn’t ask Mollerskov to define what was meant by “similar.”
To clarify, Mollerskov told WND that students were asked to do a “point of view” essay only for Hinduism and Islam. The assignments for the other three religions involved different assessments such as answering multiple-choice questions or doing a comparison and contrast between two religions.
“They did the same exact one on Hinduism, verbatim. But they did do assignments on all five. The more I look into this, I do think it needs to be modified some for next year,” he said. “But I need to let this die down some first.”
Over the past few years, and especially since Common Core standards were adopted by nearly every state, critics of the standards say these types of “pro-Islam” assignments and events have been popping up in schools across the United States.
Just this week, it was reported that Mason High School in Mason, Ohio, hosted “A Covered Girl Challenge” in which the Muslim Student Association, or MSA, asked all female students to wear a hijab to school to “celebrate” the school’s “diversity” and “promote open-mindedness.”
Robert Spencer, author of the Jihad Watch blog, asked, “When is there a Cross-Wearer’s Challenge Day” held at the school? Or what about a “Yamulke Wearer’s Challenge Day?”
“Or is it only Islam that gets this treatment?” Spencer asks. He then goes on to document dozens of cases in which Muslim women have been killed, injured or threatened with harm for not wearing the hijab in Muslim countries like Somalia, Sudan, Iraq, Syria and Egypt.
NP3 High School, a public charter school in Sacramento, held “NP3 Hijab Day” earlier this year. It all started, again, when a female student in the MSA gave a presentation to school staff on “Islamophobia.” The student was an intern with the Hamas-supporting Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), and it wasn’t long before students were being invited by the MSA to join in a “Hijab Day” at the school library. The MSA and CAIR are offshoots of the Muslim Brotherhood, and CAIR allegedly helped the Brotherhood funnel money to the terrorist organization Hamas, according to documents filed with a federal court in Dallas, Texas, during the Holy Land Foundation terror-financing trial in 2007-2008.
‘Rescue Centers’ being organized
Christina Michas, founder of Operation Jericho Project and co-founder of Citizens United for Responsible Education, has been tracking the encroachment of Islam into public schools for several years.
“It’s everywhere. As a matter of fact, there was a teacher in Texas that told the children about the true history of Islam. He got fired,” she said, referring to the case of Dale Wolverton in Richmond, Texas.
Wolverton resigned, some say he was forced out, on April 8 when the Hamas-supporting CAIR filed a complaint against him for handing out brochures detailing the bloody history of Islam, ABC News reported.
Michas said her organization aims to set up “rescue centers” nationwide for parents with children in public schools. The centers will help the parents learn to home school and provide cooperative opportunities where children can get a Christian education with multiple parents pooling their resources to teach classes in their area of expertise.
In 2013 at Lumberton High School in Texas girls were encouraged to dress up in burqas during a geography class to expose them to “world cultures, religions, customs and belief systems.” There was no clothing brought for the students to experience dressing like a nun or Orthodox Jew, according to a Front Page Magazine report.
The Lumberton teacher was quoted by a student as saying, “We are going to work to change your perception of Islam” from one sullied by terrorism into one hoping for peaceful coexistence.
Thomas More Law Center is representing the father of an 11th-grade La Plata High School student in Maryland who was given a failing grade for refusing to complete assignments she considered to be Islamic indoctrination.
She had to affirm “there is no god but Allah” and the remaining five pillars of Islam. John Wood, a former Marine, demanded his daughter be given an alternative assignment, but the school refused and banned him from school property.
“We’re talking about assignments where the right answer is, ‘There’s no god but Allah,’ and that Allah is the same god that is worshipped in Christianity and Judaism,” Michas said.
Lack of balance in teaching about Islam
But what is most troubling about these assignments is they typically provide no balancing material on the dark side of Islam, Michas said.
For instance, there is no mention of the harsh treatment under Shariah law of women, homosexuals, Christians, Jews or other religious minorities. There is no teaching on the recurring strong themes of jihad throughout Islamic history, or that Muhammad personally beheaded at least 600 Jewish men and pubescent boys after they unconditionally surrendered at the Battle of the Trench in Medina, taking the women and children as slaves.
There is nothing about female genital mutilation, or the fact that a woman must have multiple male witnesses to press charges for rape or she will be blamed for the “crime.” Nor are students taught that the Quran (in 4:34) says its acceptable for Muslim men to strike a disobedient wife.
“I lived in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, all over the Middle East. My father was in the Air Force,” Michas said. “I saw how women are treated over there.”
But American school children are being fed a distorted view of Islam in U.S. public schools, she said.
She said the largest textbook provider, United Kingdom-based Pearson, has been bending for years to the will of influence agents tied to the Muslim Brotherhood.
The texts often state as fact that Muhammad was a prophet.
“They’re also using the word ‘massacre’ when it’s a Christian battle and ‘takeover’ when it’s a Muslim battle,” Michas said.
‘Connect All Schools’
Michas said the Islamization of American schools has been going on since at least 2011 and just keeps getting worse.
She traces the phenomenon back to 2009 and a program called “Connect All Schools” that came out of the Obama administration’s U.S. Department of Education. WND reported on the program and its roots in the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013.
The stated goal of the initiative is to “connect every school in the U.S. with the world by 2016.” On its website, the organization reports that 316 internationalized U.S. schools have already connected with 140 countries.
The Qatar Foundation International, or QFI, partnered with the U.S. State Department and Department of Education in the launching of Connect All Schools. The QFI is closely linked to the Al Jazeera news network and the Muslim Brotherhood, reported Aaron Klein for WND.
Vartan Gregorian, a board member of the QFI, was appointed in 2009 to President Obama’s White House Fellowships Commission.
WND previously exposed that Gregorian served as a point man in granting $49.2 million in startup capital to an education-reform project founded by former Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers and chaired by Obama.
Documentation shows Gregorian was central in Ayers’ recruitment of Obama to serve as the first chairman of the project, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge – a job in which Obama worked closely on a regular basis with Ayers.