The controversy began last week, when the MDJ broke the story of a Campbell Middle School parent going public, questioning a lesson linking Middle Eastern culture with the school’s dress code. The seventh grade teacher involved used a portion of a lesson that seemed to promote Islam.
School officials responding to the parent’s complaint told education writer Lindsay Field that they had looked at the lesson and re-evaluated its appropriateness and context.
“The dad was correct,” Area Superintendent Dale Gaddis explained. “Since then, we’ve decided to select better materials. The issues that we had, we actually took care of. We worked with the teacher … and with our curriculum folks to verify the material and how it should be used.”
But instead of putting the issue to rest, the red flags did not stop unfurling around the blogosphere among people concerned about creeping shariah, stealth jihad and encroachment of Islamic tenets into America’s public schools.
The supplemental materials in question, created by Roswell-based InspirEd Educators, Inc., were copyrighted, and the MDJ reprinted some short excerpts with permission. But it was the intrepid freedom fighter Pamela Geller who found more on the Henry County school district’s website and re-posted for her national audience. Geller’s Atlas Shrugs (www.atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com) is a popular source of information for patriots and truth seekers since 9/11, and Geller’s new book is titled “Stop the Islamization of America: A practical guide to the resistance.” Geller’s a bulldog when it comes to shining the light on radical Islam’s tactics here at home, and she’s led in the fight against the NYC ground zero mega-mosque
Meanwhile, “My name is Ahlima” was the lesson our kids were assigned. Written in a narrative style reminiscent of the popular American Girl doll stories, Ahlima is a fictional, 20-year-old woman who loves life under the abuyah (black veil) and promotes a rosy and incomplete picture of life as an Islamic woman to our impressionable seventh-graders. Her words go far beyond fashion advice or culture. Ahlima feels safe under Shariah law and lectures well on its virtues — but forgets its evils.
To be sure, Ahlima’s disrespect for Western women is apparent to adults. The character brags about her upcoming marriage (she’ll be the second wife, as though seventh-graders really get that) and promotes Islamic polygamy “because the prophet was trying to raise women up. He was very loving to women when many other men in his day were not.”
There’s a lot more, and CCSD spokesman Jay Dillon did confirm that the lesson in question is being used in other districts around Georgia.
He also reminded me that Cobb parents had the opportunity to review the supplemental materials, the same way we can review textbooks. Which leads me back to our lone parent whistle blower.
What a service he’s done for us all.
Now that he’s put himself out there, it’s time for us to back him up if we agree with his concerns.
Dillon told me any curriculum materials identified as possibly inappropriate should be brought to the attention of the superintendent or his designee, in this case Pamela Dingle, director of K-12 Curriculum. The administrative rule says any material in question will be returned to the selection committee for re-consideration. He did not specify when that would happen. I hope that will be a question for you to ask.
To go on record against introducing Ahlima to students, you should write to Ms. Dingle, politely please, at 514 Glover Street, Marietta, GA 30060. Of course, I’m sure your elected officials wouldn’t mind hearing from you either.
If you do write, remember that our district’s not alone in dealing with such issues.
Just last week in Puyallup, Wash., a Muslim organization attempted to get special consideration and to gain access to students, to “ease fears” and teach about their religion.
Puyallup parents stood together and just said no, taking responsibility for their schools. I hope our community will stand up and do the same. And I hope those responsible for introducing Ahlima to our kids will go read Pamela Geller. Because they are absolutely clueless.