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BRAVE NEW SCHOOLS: Protest cancels mosque field trip ^ | Friday, February 27, 2004

Posted on 02/26/2004 10:24:40 PM PST by JohnHuang2

Protest cancels mosque field trip
Parents concerned about students' planned tour of Islamic center

Posted: February 27, 2004
1:00 a.m. Eastern

© 2004

Complaints from concerned parents prompted an Ohio school teacher to cancel a field trip to a local mosque.

The trip scheduled Wednesday to the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati was part of a study of the world's five major religions for three seventh-grade social studies classes, the Middletown Journal reported.

Superintendent Tom York said teacher Debbie Weber decided to cancel the trip after she and other school officials were approached by parents concerned about issues such as "separation of church and state."

If their children could go to a mosque, they should also be taken to other places of worship, some parents argued, such as a church or Hindu temple.

At least one parent was worried the students would be asked to participate in Islamic rituals.

York insisted the purpose was merely education, and there would be no proselytizing by the Muslim leaders.

"It was a sad thing," York told the Ohio paper. "I thought it was a great idea and a good effort by our teachers to try to broaden our kids a little bit and expose them to different cultures."

The mosque tours are strictly educational, insisted Shakila Ahmad, who coordinates the visits for the center.

She said school groups comprise about 80 percent of its approximately 15 tours each month.

Along with an explanation of the facility's features, the tour includes a summary of the Islamic religion, Ahmad told the Journal.

"All of our tour guides have a guideline and an outline and they have to be very consistent in being hosts for our visitors," she said.

As WorldNetDaily reported in November, the Washington, D.C.-based Council on American-Islamic Relations took offense to remarks made by Dr. Laura Schlessinger on her radio program in response to a mother who asked whether her 16-year-old daughter should take part in a Catholic high school class's field trip to a local mosque.

The visit was part of a "moral themes" class that aimed to help students learn how "Muslims are treated" in the United States.

Schlessinger told the mother she should tell the teacher "you are willing to go to the mosque only if it is one that has done its best to rout out terrorists in its midst."

CAIR said Schlessinger "crossed the line from legitimate commentary on terrorism to Islamophobic bigotry."

As WND reported in July 2002, a suit was filed against the Byron Union School District in California to stop the use of "Islam simulation" materials and methods in class.

Last December, a federal judge dismissed the suit, ruling California public schools can require seventh-grade students to pretend they're Muslims, wear Islamic garb, memorize verses from the Quran, pray to Allah and even to play "jihad games."

When WND first reported the story in January 2002 – shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks committed by 19 Islamist terrorists – major controversy ensued nationwide.

The World History and Geography class was part of a curriculum being taught to seventh-graders all over the state.

TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: education; governmentschools; islam
Friday, February 27, 2004

Quote of the Day by kevao

1 posted on 02/26/2004 10:24:40 PM PST by JohnHuang2
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To: JohnHuang2
teachers to try to broaden our kids.

They ain't your kids.

2 posted on 02/27/2004 5:38:18 PM PST by jokar (NO on Calif props 55, 56 , 57 & 58 Not one dime more !!!)
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To: JohnHuang2
I don't have a problem with this, at least in principle. I remember going on a field trip to a Buddhist temple back in the 70's, when I was in fifth grade (we were studying Japan in class). It was interesting, and there was certainly no one pressuring us to convert to Buddhism.
3 posted on 02/27/2004 5:58:27 PM PST by Mr. Jeeves
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