Children’s book on Islam triggered intolerance in Cobb
by Kevin Foley
November 28, 2013 10:43 PM | 2582 views | 23 23 comments | 41 41 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Children often have a greater capacity for understanding and tolerance than adults. Their minds haven’t yet been filled with misinformation, prejudice or hate.

So when they open a picture book called “Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns,” kids learn about Muslim customs as told by a child living in an Islamic country.

It’s a charming little book, beautifully written and illustrated, in which the narrator tells children about her religion through the vibrant colors found in her homeland.

“It’s an indoctrination of Muslim culture,” the father of a McDowell Elementary School pupil told the Cobb County Board of Education recently. His wife purchased the book for his kindergarten daughter at the Scholastic Book Fair held at the school.

“My book is intended to indoctrinate children with the values of respect, tolerance, and curiosity about different traditions,” countered the book’s author Hena Khan in an unpublished letter to the Marietta Daily Journal.

“It might fill their heads with the notion that we are all more similar than we think, even if we have different customs and beliefs,” Khan adds. “And if I’m successful, it might convince them that their Muslim neighbor or schoolmate isn’t a ‘fanatical’ to be feared or hated, but part of a vibrant and diverse American society that should be celebrated.”

Since the world has 1.6 billion Muslims, 2.3 million of whom live in America, learning about the Muslim religion and culture can help American kids better appreciate the world’s diversity; that there is a big, interesting place out there beyond the borders of Cobb County. Through their appreciation, they begin to become more understanding and tolerant of those who live and pray differently than we do.

The father’s reaction suggests he’s steeped in the Muslim-bashing commonly seen and heard in the conservative media, which has portrayed all those who practice Islam as terrorists or terrorist sympathizers.

This mentality is akin to the response after Pearl Harbor when American citizens of Japanese descent on the West Coast were summarily rounded up, deprived of their property, and transported to concentration camps for the duration of World War II.

Have we learned nothing from that tragic chapter of our history?

Are we still affixing blame on all members of an ethnic or religious group because some of their number did heinous things?

According to the MDJ’s Hannah Morgan, “At Thursday night’s school board meeting, (the father) brought the book and showed the board members the religious symbols, including a picture of the Quran, which he said disturbed him.”

And he was “disturbed” because…?

“I don’t want this culture around my children,” the father told the Cobb County School Board, “let’s get them educated first. Learn to read and write before we start teaching (about) the fanaticals,”

I guess it’s never too early to start inculcating intolerance, even if the child is a kindergartener. The father also claimed no other religions were represented at the book fair, but PTA President Abi Nesmith said books on Christianity and Judaism were on sale.

“I know they are trying to do a good thing, this just struck me as wrong,” the father added. “That culture there doesn’t seem to have anything good coming out of it.”

Actually, “that culture there” has contributed major advancements in mathematics, astronomy, medicine, commerce, music, art, literature and architecture. Cities in what is now Saudi Arabia had street lights and sewers when the father’s European ancestors were living in their own filth during the Dark Ages.

“I think it’s pretty clear that this book is by no means threatening to any faiths,” noted an MDJ reader. “Ignorance does exist but so do tolerance and love for people of all faiths and backgrounds.”

Kevin Foley is a public relations executive, author and writer who lives in Kennesaw.

Comments
(23)
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Laura Armstrong
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December 07, 2013
Is Foley campaigning for a business contract with CAIR or another middle-east funded Islamic organization? Perhaps a local mosque? Is this why he's all of a sudden become such an apologist for Islam's less than peaceful actions around the globe (heck, not an apologist...make that a cover-up artist).

Seriously, let's check that client list. Something about the increased number of columns on this topic from this "journalist" makes one wonder if he won't be making the next "You Tube video" that gives Islam cover.
Guido Sarducci
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December 05, 2013
Wrong Lib, even fools can have opinions, as you have so amply demonstrated on numerous occasions, and continue to do with most everything you write.

You left Christianity because it was not what you wanted it to be. For that, I admisre you. Much better to get out than continue as a hypocrite.

However, the fact that it failed you, does not make it bad and you rconstant sniping at it is belittling to you and gives you less credibiity in other areas.

If you don't like it, that's fine. Don't knock it.

That';s why we have chocolate and vanilla ice cream. Not everybody likes the same thing.

BTW, when you get though with the personal insults, how about addressing the crux of the matter? What you are preaching is hatred of Christianity.
Lib in Cobb
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December 05, 2013
@Guido: So, the only people who can have an opinion are those who are christians. I was raised in the church, I was, at one time very active in the church. My opinions, decisions and choices are based on knowledge, not blind faith.

Your narrow mindedness is illuminated.
Lib in Cobb
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December 05, 2013
The father of this child is most likely one of the many parents who objected to his child listening to our president several years ago address all school children about the importance of education. Those, like this dope, called it, "Muslim/Liberal indoctrination".

Yup, they walk among us.
Lib in Cobb
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December 05, 2013
@Guido: The motivation for these atrocities is enough, the motivation doesn't matter. Hate is ugly no matter the religion. It seems that blowing up innocent children is OK with you.

Keeping score of the atrocities and hate crimes is immature, I would expect that from you.
Guido Sarducci
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December 05, 2013
Nope, keeping up with who is committing them on daily basis, is called "educating one with the facts and not drinking the Obama Fool-aid that people like you and Foley thrive on".

Nobody said blowing up children is fine with me. You are the one who is defending the people who actually do that on an ongoing basis.

The Klan is almost non-existent. When was the last time the Klan committed a mass murder? The Aryan nation has not been connected with any violcne since 1984. What was the date of the last violence committed by Muslim extremists, in the name of Allah? Yesterday? The day before? Probably tomorrow?

What is really immature of people like you, Foley and even a legitimate observer like Oliver Halle, is trying to use atrocities committed by Christians, (not in the name of Christianity, just by Christians)in the past to excuse what the Muslim extremists are doing on a regular basis, right now. That is not only immature, it is shallow and ignorant. Maybe even, desparate? Come back when you have something intelligent to say.
East Cobb Senior
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December 04, 2013
Kevin Foley, you are quick to condemn a father, who recognizes a concern of potential indoctrination and speaks up on behalf of his daughter, but are silent on issues like the Muslim Islamic terrorist atrocities at Fort Hood, perpetrated by Nadal Hasan as he screamed “Ali Akbar”, that were then, for fear of offending his Muslim constituency, shrugged off by Obama, as merely “Work Place Violence”.

Foley, your mental derangement and fanatical ideological intransience has totally blinded you and so many others in the Democrat Party. Like mealy mouthed little mice, you and your liberal minions blindly follow that incompetent “Pied Piper” in the White House, regardless of his perpetual lies, ruinous anti-American policies and total disregard for the Constitution.



Mike H
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December 01, 2013
Tolerance and understanding are a part of all religions. Some commentators write like they have never been inside any place of worship.
anonymous
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December 06, 2013
Whoa dude! We are supposed to tolerate a religion that promotes beheading infidels, annhialating a country, Israel, treating women as slaves, mutilating their daughters and even killing them for some imagined "honor"? That's just a fraction of the savagery committed in the name of Allah.

Islam is a supremicist religion that has tricked many peace-loving people, granted, into believing it is legitimately on par with the modern world. In reality, it has not evolved into modern times but continues to operate in a barbaric way, and even those Muslims in the U.S. are being swayed to wards radicalism. Don't lecture Americans about tolerance. We remember 9-11, Daniel Pearl, the treatment of our men in Somalia, Benghazi and the thousands of terror attacks around the world for years and years. Tolerance...yeah right. Newsflash: A very strong core of Americans and Europeans will not submit, ever. No matter how much the CAIR PR machine works on this kind of local level, no matter how much Islam infiltrates our government. Not everyone is a fool. America's defenders are ready.
anonymous
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November 29, 2013
"Reloading, firing again, reloading, firing again, while screaming Allahu Akbar." -- victim of Major Nidal Hasan.

Over and over and over.

If only one percent of all the world's Muslims want to kill you, that's over 800,000 Muslims who want to kill you.

The religion stinks to high heaven and deserves our rampant criticism.
Lib in Cobb
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December 02, 2013
Your comment also applies to some Christians who bomb women's clinics or who blow up buildings in Oklahoma City, or who murder doctors who perform legal procedures.

Christianity today, has little to do with Christ. Little of what Christ said is documented, but the source of countless sermons. Little of what Christ thought is also the source of countless sermons. Just where does it say what Christ thought or what his motivations were.
Guido Sarducci
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December 02, 2013
Hey Lib, wanna compare atrocities? Didn't think so.

You know you would lose.
Oliver G. Halle
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December 02, 2013
LIC, you couldn't have said it better. Believers of all faiths seem to overlook the violent components of their religions. The Ku Klux Klan, Aryan Nation (lesser known as Church of Jesus Christ Christian), are just two of many right wing, Christian based groups that are well known for their violence.
Guido Sarducci
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December 03, 2013
The obvious difference in the atrocities perpetrated by Christians that you mention and those perpetrated by Muslims is that the Okalahoma City bombing, ect are not perpetrated int he name of God, but the ones the Muslims carry out are definitley in the name of Allah and are all so announced.

As to your pronouncments and condemnations of Christianity and its teachings, since you are an avowed atheist, your perception of Christianity is flawed and is only your opinion and, therefore, has no validity.
Guido Sarducci
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December 04, 2013
Oliver, when was the last time you can document a mass murder ccommitted by the DEMOCRAT'S Ku Klux Klan or the Aryan Nation?

You are talking history to try to justify current events.

Flawed logic. I would have thought better of you.
Papermill gal
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November 29, 2013
Great liberal-slanted recap of a very old story, yet without the updates mentioned the other day in another letter to the editor.

Really inappropriate subject matter for the post-Thanksgiving holiday.

Did you take off early for your Montana mansion, or simply felt like another rehash versus a serious editorial commentary?

Oh, Dowell Elementary is not "McDowell" fyi.
on balance
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November 29, 2013
OMIPS,

"Second, Foley you are either a buffoon or a very dangerous man who is out to undermine and destroy our principles and values."

Foley is the latter, a very dangerous man. He holds the same views as the man who is ruining our country from the White House. Foley's vanity is so great that he believes that his opinion is the only valid one and the rest of us are ignorant peasants who cannot think for ourselves.

He would undo the concepts of our republic.

OMIPS
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November 29, 2013
Mr. Foley,

In case this slipped by you....

This is the religion that inspired 9/11 and the death of thousands of innocent people whose only crime was being an American.

This is the religion that inspired bombings in Spain and England.

This is the religion that inspired U.S Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan to massacre and kill 13 of his fellow soldiers (his comrades in uniform) and wound many more.

This is the religion that has inspired many of its followers to declare religious war on the west and westerners (this includes you Foley.)

This is the religion that inspired Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev to set off bombs along the route of the Boston Marathon killing 3 and injuring over 200 more innocent people whose only crime was being an American.

This is the religion that inspires men to beat their wives and daughters because women lack common sense and their minds are deficient.

This is the religion that inspires the severe punishment of LBGT lifestyles.

This is the religion that is trying to influence American communities to accept Sharia laws and codes into local legal systems thus allowing the moral code of Sharia to influence the judgement of crimes by men against their women and children.

So, two more thoughts....

First, this father has every reason to be concerned that his child might be influenced by this religion that is inspiring terrorism against innocent civilians and non-combatants. A religion that is trying to influence our legal system and our moral judgements . A religion that has no intention of coexisting with or respecting others religions i.e., Christianity or Judaism.

Second, Foley you are either a buffoon or a very dangerous man who is out to undermine and destroy our principles and values.

Our Man In Powder Springs
G. Roberts
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November 29, 2013
Thanks for the excellent reply. Each day people lose their lives to this religion and millions more live harsh lives.

People may be the same, but ideology is not. I don't think Mr. Foley understands that he is defending supremacist teachings.
Uzoozy
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November 30, 2013
The author of the article lives in the medieval times. His thoughts are dangerous and unbecoming of a Christian. All over the world Islam allowed all religions to prosper.

If someone takes time to read the Holy Quran he will be blessed.

Islam is an natural religion " There is One God" pray to Him and most people can naturally inclined towards the truth
prisoner no more
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December 06, 2013
To Ooozoozy: You say "all over the world, Islam allowed other religions to prosper."

You gotta be kidding dude! Islam ALLOWED others to prosper? First of all, Islam ain't the bomb...they USE bombs, but they don't allow free people ANYTHING. Second of all, Islam consistently punishes those not in the fold, kills them brutally, poisons their wells, enslaves them, tortures them, burns them alive, women, children, unborn babies!!! Kenya shopping mall, Boko haram in Cameroon yesterday torturing and killing a Christian missionary! EVERY DAY Muslims around the world wake up saying to themselves: "Which Christian church should I destroy or take over? Which helpless Christian nuns should I behead? Which beautiful Christian woman should I rape, mutilate or enslave?" Just adding the rest of the facts. And if you are a wife or daughter of a Muslim around the world, you are either a slave, beaten or about 9 years old. Pathetically, you OOZoozy, continue to defend this historically barbaric politically agressive cult.
Guido Sarudcci
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November 29, 2013
Once more we see an example of a lack of backbone by Mr. Foley.

The media is filled with reports, from all over the world, of atrocities ranging from the rape of minor children to the beheading of family members to the murder of innocents, all perpetrated in the name of Allah, and we still have fools like this defending it, in the name of diversity.

Foley, since when did standing up for that in which one beleives become a synonym for intolerance?
Lib in Cobb
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December 05, 2013
@Guido: There is a difference between standing up for what is believed and being hate filled. You and the father in question are hate filled. You will teach or have taught your children to hate and this parent will teach his children to hate.

Perhaps your children and the children of the man in question will be smart enough to say "enough".
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