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In the Name of God بسم الله
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Haji 2003

Virginia school district shut down over Arabic calligraphy

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Schools and administrative offices in Augusta County, Virginia will be closed on Friday after a parent created an Islamophobic backlash by vehemently rejecting the legitimacy of an assignment that asked her child to learn about Arabic calligraphy.

 

 

http://www.salon.com/2015/12/18/ignorant_parent_shuts_down_entire_school_district_after_complaining_about_muslim_indoctrination_in_calligraphy_assignment/

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1 minute ago, Chaotic Muslem said:

whats so evil about a calligraphy class? 0.o

Someone should really save the americans from their islander's mind

That will only work if they want to be saved!

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There is some additional detail, but which still does not explain the hysteria.

Quote

Kimberly Herndon complained to WTVR that her son’s ninth grade World Geography assignment required him “to copy the shahada, the Islamic statement of faith which translates to ‘there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah'” in Arabic — a language the younger Herndon doesn’t know — as a means of understanding “the artistic complexity of calligraphy.”

 

Edited by Haji 2003

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Oh, this all traces back to Todd Starnes of Faux News.

 Figures.

he wrote a very insinuating editorial. 

According to Snopes, here's some other " contributions" he's made to our American culture:

 

"The closure of Augusta County schools wasn't the first controversy spearheaded by Starnes' columns, many of which focused on perceived slights against Christianity, Christians, and Christmas. Starnes previously advanced claims of a ban of Christian objects at VA chapels, a ban on the phrase "Merry Christmas" (and Christmas trees) at VA hospitals, a ban on a religious song at high school football games, a University chapel renovation involving the removal of pews to purportedly placate Muslims, the replacement of the word "God" with the word "Allah" in the Pledge of Allegiance, court-martials involving Christian servicemen, bans on Christian gift baskets at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, a ban on American flags (which happened to be draped over flammable barbecue pits at a food event), and a claim President Obama egregiously misrepresented the meaning of A Charlie Brown Christmas." :dry:

 

 

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Here is Starnes' opinion piece :

"A Virginia school district is defending a classroom assignment that required students to practice calligraphy by writing the Muslim statement of faith, “There is no god but Allah. "

http://fxn.ws/1RmXxMq

 

it seems the school district closed as a precaution after talking with local law enforcement.

 

Edited by LeftCoastMom

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11 minutes ago, LeftCoastMom said:

a ban on the phrase "Merry Christmas" (and Christmas trees) at VA hospitals

I remember reading U.S. media nearly 30 years ago and being surprised that references to Christmas were replaced by 'the Holidays'. And I've seen that formula consistently ever since.

So perhaps there has been a concerted attempt to de-Christianise Christmas, but I don't think Muslims can be blamed for that.

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Lol! I don't think there has been any attempt at de-Christianizing Christmas. More like commercializing it. But ,of course, the Happy Holidays thing is because there is more than one holiday celebrated in December...not all of them Christian. Folks are just trying to be nice.

to my fellow Christians:

 

image.jpg

Edited by LeftCoastMom

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1 hour ago, Haji 2003 said:

1450207468833.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

I think the teacher made a bad choice. he/she should have picked up something positive in the eyes of parents. i'd imagine my kid coming home and showing me drawing of crucified jesus then him making this hand movement of trinity then i'd really want to know what he is being taught in school, providing the school is run by muslims in muslim country.

he could have taught them calligraphy without the need to attest that Muhammad is prophet. Though americans should learn the formula before it is too late : the more you hate this religion, the faster it spreads lol

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39 minutes ago, Haji 2003 said:

I remember reading U.S. media nearly 30 years ago and being surprised that references to Christmas were replaced by 'the Holidays'. And I've seen that formula consistently ever since.

So perhaps there has been a concerted attempt to de-Christianise Christmas, but I don't think Muslims can be blamed for that.

Athiests that don't want their children praying in schools started the cause. I'm sure LCM knows the details.

Not sure if those in warmer countries understand the concept of the snowball effect.

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Choosing the shahada to practice calligraphy was a poor choice. Can't imagine how many of those papers will be thrown in the trash. :cry:

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1 hour ago, hameedeh said:

Choosing the shahada to practice calligraphy was a poor choice.

Sometimes it's difficult to be sure whether what's worse. Sometimes the liberals don't help with their well-intentioned but incendiary attempts at multi-culturalism.

It's almost as if the diversity battle between the two ideologies has Muslims in the cross-fire.

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They were asked to write a statement of faith which could be seen as a declaration of faith.  I don't think it was the Arabic, it is the meaning of the words. It would be the same as Muslims being asked to write "Jesus is the son of God"...or there is no way to heaven except through Jesus Christ, son of God or something like that.  We would definitely have a problem with our kids writing that, just as the bible belt Christians would have a problem with their kids writing the shahada.  Whoever gave the assignment probably did not research what they were writing.  

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It's part of a world geography ( which includes religions) curriculum that is a requirement of state standards. Any parent who bothers to know anything about the school standards just had to look them up or ask for a copy. In fact, by the time your kids get to high school, you SHOULD know what courses are required so your kid will graduate on time. There's no attempt at liberal multiculturalism here.  It's simply the standard curriculum. Next they'll want algebra out because it's " Arabic"and an attempt at " indoctrination". The teacher did not make up the lesson. It was part of the standard curriculum that was included in the materials VETTED BY THE STATE OF VIRGINIA.  I'm glad it seems a lot of her students, maybe the only sane humans in this debate, are defending their teacher on social media. I have to think many parents are behind her as well. 

Perhaps  the Shahada was a poor choice, but this was not a course on calligraphy, but a course on geography and WORLD  RELIGIONS. I would certainly hope my child would hear the Shahada in a course on World Religions. Writing it in the originators' calligraphy would be even better.  I might frame it for posterity. It's only the confession of faith of a major faith system, that's all. Now it will be LEFT OUT of a course on WORLD RELIGIONS.  How messed up is that? 

Are they going to be leaving the Virgin Birth out of the life of the founder of Christianity because some folks don't like it? Come to think of it, does their team pray before football games? Bet they do.

Doubt this is  an atheist issue,either.  Kimberly Herndon, one of the apparent spokespersons for the backlash, is a  sure-nuff Christian. The people interviewed on TV that I have seen are Christians...in fact,,they met in ye old Good Will Ministries sanctuary to air their rump hurt. I have a relative  currently in the area just  one town away. She says it's all driven by "fundie Christians "making a fuss. Stirred up by Faux News of course.

I taught for a long time. I think education should teach you about your world and combat ignorance. I was tired of parents who wanted to turn the public school into a church camp as well as the ones who felt we should spend time on dream interpretation and psychic balancing. Do that on your own time. I'm there to teach what's proper for the public schools, often decided upon after much debate by experts in the educational field with input from the community. Plus, if it is done as it is in my district , any textbooks are displayed for a longish time in the school offices for any parent to come in and see before they are adopted by the district....so they can get their rumps in there and do it. You can look at every.single.page.  I did with some of my kids' books...and I had a bunch of young ones  and a full-time job to boot. What? Ms. Herndon just couldn't be bothered after signing up her child for the course?

 

And since when do we let bullies calling from out of the area ...or wherever... and making threats shut down our public schools , make us lose a day's instruction, and, most importantly, cause concern for teachers and kids?  Hope some people are getting a " visit". Time to stand up to these knuckle-draggers. 

Edited by LeftCoastMom
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29 minutes ago, forte said:

They were asked to write a statement of faith which could be seen as a declaration of faith.  I don't think it was the Arabic, it is the meaning of the words. It would be the same as Muslims being asked to write "Jesus is the son of God"...or there is no way to heaven except through Jesus Christ, son of God or something like that.  We would definitely have a problem with our kids writing that, just as the bible belt Christians would have a problem with their kids writing the shahada.  Whoever gave the assignment probably did not research what they were writing.  

They were not asked to believe in it or translate it...although the book stated that it was the statement of faith for Islam.

It was for informational purposes. 

It was part of a standard lesson in a standard book vetted by the State of Virginia.

Edited by LeftCoastMom

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16 minutes ago, LeftCoastMom said:

They were not asked to believe in it. It was for informational purposes. 

It was part of a standard lesson in a standard book vetted by the State of Virginia.

If you asked kids to practice writing in English (in a majority Muslim country) the words "Jesus was their Lord and Saviour" or something similar lke i wrote above, what do you think the reaction would be?!  It was an incorrect thing to have non Muslims to write,  and it doesn't matter who vetted it as they did not research the meaning..

Edited by forte

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29 minutes ago, forte said:

If you asked kids to practice writing in English (in a majority Muslim country) the words "Jesus was their Lord and Saviour" or something similar lke i wrote above, what do you think the reaction would be?!  It was an incorrect thing to have non Muslims to write,  and it doesn't matter who who vetted it as they did not research the meaning..

The people who vetted it are Ph.D's in the subject and pretty sure they knew what it meant. Textbooks in the US are written by experts in the field,  usually in a university. Some of the contributors to the text were likely Islamic themselves.

as far as your example, if it were in a textbook vetted by your government regarding what Christians believed, what's the problem? Many people in this forum have written out my statement of faith and described my beliefs. I'm sure many Islamic kids know what their Christian neighbors believe without believing it themselves,

At any rate, this is a secular country. " Christian majority" ( whatever that might actually mean) has no bearing on education. Most Christians wouldn't  care about this. They understand context.

PS...if you read my post,I said the Shahada was a poor choice for a calligraphy assignment ( for a couple of reasons). I would have chosen some poetry instead if I had designed it. But it is a course which includes religions.

Edited by LeftCoastMom

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1 minute ago, LeftCoastMom said:

The people who vetted it are Ph.D's in the subject and pretty sure they knew what it meant. Textbooks in the US are written by experts in the field,  usually in a university. Some of the contributors to the text were likely Islamic themselves.

as far as your example, if it were in a textbook vetted by your government regarding what Christians believed, what's the problem? Many people in this forum have written out my statement of faith and described my beliefs. I'm sure many Islamic kids know what their Christian neighbors believe without believing it themselves,

At any rate, this is a secular country. " Christian majority" ( whatever that might actually mean) has no bearing on education. Most Christians wouldn't  care about this. They understand context.

 

I totally disagree. If they knew what it meant, it makes it worse because as they were so well educated they should have been sensitive enough to realize that it could create a reaction. PhD's are not above making mistakes..  And this was one of those mistakes. Also, as Hameedeh said, just think of how many of these writings were treated in a disrespectful way.  This also was not considered in their choice of writing sample. Very poor research on their behalf.

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Once again...read my post. I said that particular choice for calligraphy assignment was poor. However...the kids studying religion shouldn't learn about it? Teaching evolution, or that Europeans did not invent everything useful in the world,  or just about anything ...causes a reaction from someone....I'm not to teach it?

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11 minutes ago, LeftCoastMom said:

Once again...read my post. I said that particular choice for calligraphy assignment was poor. However...the kids studying religion shouldn't learn about it? Teaching evolution, or that Europeans did not invent everything useful in the world,  or just about anything ...causes a reaction from someone....I'm not to teach it?

Teaching world history is different than having kids personally write a declaration of faith. Personally, I do not want my kids coming home with a piece of paper declaring Jesus as their Saviour, in any language.   All this has little to do with the public education.  

Edited by forte

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It wasn't them declaring their faith in anything. It was a calligraphy assignment. You think writing something makes you believe it? You should have been turned into a Christian on your above post, then. It had no meaning for them. That said, it was not a good choice for a lot of reasons. But let's not learn about each other's religions at all. Then we'll be "safe."

That makes the world so much better.

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1 hour ago, LeftCoastMom said:

. I was tired of parents who wanted to turn the public school into a church camp as well as the ones who felt we should spend time on dream interpretation and psychic balancing

>.< lol... I wouldn't want to be in your place!

although I agree with your rational approach to the problem, I cant really blame anyone for turning fanatically islamophobic. I think your SG gave you now idea of how we are being searched and interrogated in the airport. All just because of faith not of any credible criminal background suspension. if this is how the government behave with muslims, then those ignorant americans cant really be blamed.

as hajji said, muslims shouldn't be put in the cross fire between whatever views on education, we have our own troubles aleady, why we should always make the negative news?

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6 minutes ago, LeftCoastMom said:

It wasn't them declaring their faith in anything. It was a calligraphy assignment. You think writing something makes you believe it? You should have been turned into a Christian on your above post, then. It had no meaning for them. That said, it was not a good choice for a lot of reasons. But let's not learn about each other's religions at all. Then we'll be "safe."

That makes the world so much better.

What I wrote above was within the context of what I was explaining to you and was obviously not a declaration of faith.  To me, my declaration of faith is not a trivial matter and should not be treated as such.  It is really obvious that having kids write “There is no god but Allah; Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah” in a history lesson would be upsetting to parents of a different faith.  If you cannot see this than there is no point arguing.  

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Lol. I'm retired now. I have a lot of hope, though. Like a lot of the kids in this district in Virginia, the kids I taught were usually more aware than their parents. The InterNet is a good thing in many ways.

Education can't bend to the raging of ignorance.

We'll get nowhere that way. I wouldn't teach that Islam is evil and Muslims are terrorists just because some Faux News watchers want me to. So it was easy for me.

No one in education is trying to put Muslims in the crossfire. It's the ignorant  folks causing the issue. I've always been of the opinion that the people causing the trouble should be in trouble and no one else should be troubled.  Go after the threateners that caused the shut-down. It's really the kids of all stripes in this district who are being injured in this one, Muslim or not.

lol! And it was my own son, not SG, that had the airport issues. It seems some of us can get into it on our own without the help of Muslims. :grin:

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3 minutes ago, forte said:

What I wrote above was within the context of what I was explaining to you and was obviously not a declaration of faith.  To me, my declaration of faith is not a trivial matter and should not be treated as such.  It is really obvious that having kids write “There is no god but Allah; Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah” in a history lesson would be upsetting to parents of a different faith.  If you cannot see this than there is no point arguing.  

It wouldn't be upsetting to me nor anyone in my family nor most folks I know. None of us are Muslim. It was not a " history lesson". It was a lesson on world religions. I would expect my child to write the statements of faith for the religions that had them as a matter of information. In fact, I myself have them in my old notebooks.

 If you think having someone of another faith write it is offensive....different matter. But that's not the angle you are arguing.

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2 minutes ago, LeftCoastMom said:

It wouldn't be upsetting to me nor anyone in my family nor most folks I know. None of us are Muslim. It was not a " history lesson". It was a lesson on world religions. I would expect my child to write the statements of faith for the religions that had them as a matter of information. In fact, I myself have them in my old notebooks.

 If you think having someone of another faith write it is offensive....different matter. But that's not the angle you are arguing.

That is very benevolent of you.  But I can assure you that the great majority of Muslim parents would have a huge problem with their kid coming home from public school with a written out declaration of faith stating "there is no God but Jesus, the son of God, the saviour of mankind".

And that is exactly the "angle"I am arguing... but I am done.

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I'm sorry you think Muslim parents wouldn't understand  context, either,especially  if they had read the course description and signed their child up for this course. I'd like to think they would. ( That's not really an actual statement of Christian faith, btw, I'm sure you know that). 

Doubt any of these young Christians became Muslim because of a calligraphy assignment.

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7 hours ago, hameedeh said:

Choosing the shahada to practice calligraphy was a poor choice. Can't imagine how many of those papers will be thrown in the trash. :cry:

That is the reason I myself would have avoided using it. To me, it is a sacred statement. I would be concerned that using it as a art project ,even as part of a world religion lesson, by non-Muslims, might be offensive to Muslims for a lot of reasons...or not. I don't know.

just because I wouldn't feel offended by Muslim kids writing the Christian confessions of faith doesn't mean the reverse is true.

I wouldn't feel too comfortable about it unless I'd checked it out. 

Edited by LeftCoastMom

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My son is currently taking world history. He told me today when he got home that he learned about a war between Israel and the Philistines, and the Philistines had a giant in their army, so a small man took some rocks and flung them at the giant and killed him. 

I'm pretty sure he didn't turn Jewish, or Christian for that matter, after hearing the biblical rendition of the story of David and Goliath. Should I protest anyway, just to give the kids an extra day off? 

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