After seventh-grade students were taught to recite, “May God help us all find the true faith, Islam,” as part of their classroom curriculum, two of their mothers are suing Chatham Middle School in New Jersey for indoctrinating children to follow a faith that runs in opposition to their own.
The mothers of two sons from different classes – both of which taught the same pro-Islam curriculum – Libby Hilsenrath and Nancy Gayer, formally complained to the Chatham Board of Education at a public meeting on February 6, but the Thomas More Law Center (TMLC) – which is representing the women – reported that their concerns were given little attention.
According to the pro-Christian nonprofit legal group, Chatham School District (CSD) Superintendent Michael LaSusa told the women it was doubtful that the curriculum would be changed in any way. He followed up with another refusal the following day, indicating that he would not accommodate the ladies request to privately meet to further voice their reservations about the problematic subject matter.
TMLC President and Chief Counsel Richard Thompson said that what took place in the classrooms was a blatant violation of school policy and student rights.
“The promotion of Islam is worse than what the mothers presented to [talk show host] Tucker Carlson,” Thompson argued, according to a recent TMLC press release. “After viewing one of the videos which the seventh graders were directed to watch, I can’t imagine any objective person saying this is not Islamic indoctrination. Clueless school administrators across our nation are allowing this type of indoctrination to take place, and it’s up to vigilant parents to stop it. Libby and Nancy should have been praised – not pilloried.”
OK with Islamization?
A major backlash against the mothers for objecting to the pro-Islamic curriculum was waged on social media – as well from within their communities, as the so-called multiculturalism promoted in the schools seeks to shine Islam in a positive light … in the name of tolerance and cultural understanding.
In the classroom, the teacher had students watch a cartoon video titled Five Pillars, which is reportedly rife with Islamic propaganda, but repackaged in a disarming setting that begins with two boys playing soccer.
“In the video, the Muslim boy teaches the non-Muslim boy about the Five Pillars of Islam,” The Christian Post (CP) reported. “Additionally, a subtitle of bright, multi-colored words of various shapes pronounces a form of the Islamic conversion creed.”
The Islamic chant was then orated by the friendly animated Islamic child for the non-Islamic child to repeat.
"There is no god except Allah and prophet Muhammad is his messenger," the Muslim cartoon boy recited as a segue for viewing children to say it themselves.
Forwarding the conversion process, the video goes on to show the next step for turning “infidels” into followers of the god of Islam – Allah.
“The cartoon ends with a sad non-Muslim boy, who suddenly smiles when the Muslim boy invites him to join him at the mosque for noon-day prayers,” CP’s Anugrah Kumar reported. “Something the teacher can't personally do, but does through the cartoon.”
Thompson is appalled by the school’s aggressive attempt to misrepresent the violent nature of Islam to make it more palatable to students.
“Clearly, seventh graders had been presented with a sugarcoated, false depiction of Islam,” the legal expert insisted. “They had not been informed of the kidnappings, beheadings, slave-trading, massacres, and persecution of non-Muslims, nor of the repression of women – all done in the name of Islam and the Koran.”
Parents standing up for their children
For taking a stand against their children’s Islamic indoctrination within school gates, both mothers were targeted by pro-Muslim locals and social media users.
“Libby Hilsenrath and Nancy Gayer were subjected to personal attacks throughout their campaign to stop Islamic indoctrination at the Chatham Middle School,” the TMLC stated in its presser. “They were defamed as ‘bigots’ and ’Islamophobes,’ ‘hateful,’ ‘ignorant,’ ‘xenophobes,’ ‘intolerant,’ ‘racist,’ ‘closed minded,’ [as well as being] ‘sad and ignorant’ in social media, and the list goes on. The attacks significantly intensified after their appearance on the Tucker Carlson Show.”
Gayer believes that the virulent reaction from the community is unwarranted and unfair.
“It’s just not fair that within this unit of study, the Chatham School District taught one religion to the exclusion of all others, and for the community to be so unkind and unwelcoming towards us – just for having raised legitimate questions as concerned parents,” the beseiged mom explained, according to the TMLC.
Hilsenrath insisted that she was only exercising her duty as a discerning parent to protect and lead her child in the way he should go, according to her own religious beliefs.
“One of my fundamental obligations as a parent is to guide the religious and secular education of my children,” Hilsenrath commented, the release stated. “That’s why I will continue the fight against the Islamic indoctrination now taking place at Chatham – regardless of the personal attacks.”
Both ladies had specifically asked the CSD Board to examine the curriculum and then made a request for the lesson on Islam to be dropped from classroom instruction – and if that was not a possibility, for equal time to be spent in the classroom studying Christianity and other religions around the world.
The hypocrisy within the public schools was then pointed out by Gayer, who spoke of an incident several years prior when her son was prohibited from sharing about his Christian beliefs in the classroom.
“Nancy Gayer contrasted the World Cultures and Geography lessons on Islam to her son’s previous experience in fourth grade when he was precluded from including a short quote from the Bible, ‘he who lends to the poor, lends to the Lord.’ (Prov 19:17),” the TMLC informed. “The quote was a part of his video presentation related to gathering warm clothes for underprivileged children. Nancy said that her son’s teacher informed him that the brief biblical quote ‘belongs in Sunday school, not in the classroom.’ Obviously, based upon the World Cultures and Geography lessons being taught to children within the same school district, this abridgment of religious speech does not apply to Islam.”
Not an isolated incident
A similar incident with seventh graders took place less than two years ago in Maury County, Tennessee, where parents complained about a classroom assignment students took home that gave references to Islamic teachings about the Five Pillars of Islam. Even though parent Brandee Porterfield did not have a problem with teaching about Islam, she did have an issue with Spring Hill Middle School skipping the lesson in the textbook teaching about Christianity.
“I have big problem with that … From a historical point of view, that’s a lot of history these kids are missing,” Porterfield said in September 2015, according to the Colombia Daily Herald. “Also, for them to spend three weeks on Islam after having skipped Christianity, it seems to be that they are making a choice about which religion to discuss.”
Similarly to what happened in New Jersey, students were instructed to learn the “Shahada,” – the Muslim profession of faith that was distributed via foldable teaching material that reads, “There is no god but Allah; Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.”
Porterfield drew the line there.
“I have no problem with the teacher at all – it’s just that yellow foldable seems to be teaching our children religion in schools, and only that religion,” Porterfield told the Herald. “From a religion point of view, if the schools are going to be teaching religion in history, they need to teach them all equally.”
Another seventh-grader’s mother, Joy Ellis, who believed that religion should not be taught in schools, contended that if it is taught, then Christianity should be the one religion that is examined in class because it is the most widely followed religion in America.
“To me, a Christian child should not be made to write that,” Ellis expressed, according to the Herald, which pointed to a 2014 Pew Research Center poll divulging that 81 percent of residents in the Volunteer State were self-proclaimed Christians, while only 1 percent identified themselves as Muslim.
The research also indicated that on a national scale, 70.6 percent of Americans ascribed to Christianity, next to 0.9 percent of United States residents professing a faith in Islam.