Islamic Indoctrination Under Biden Administration
Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has announced that American public schools must teach more “about the Islamic faith.” Speaking to the largest Muslim political action council in the country at the “Million Muslim Votes” conference, Biden said, “I wish we taught more in our schools about the Islamic faith. I wish we talked about all the great confessional faiths. It’s one of the great confessional faiths.”
In an age of ignorance, learning more about other religions is a very noble goal, and tolerance for others’ beliefs is one of the most basic tenets of American society. But is Biden correct that American schoolchildren are not taught enough about Islam?
The teaching of any religion for the purpose of instilling belief or participation in it or its rituals is contrary to the establishment clause of the First Amendment. For many years now, however, concerned parents and organizations from across the country have documented that Islam is indeed taught in schools, but not in the scholarly, disinterested, factually accurate fashion appropriate to our religiously pluralistic society.
As far back as 2008, Cinnamon Stillwell documented in The San Francisco Chronicle that, in school districts from New Jersey to Texas, American K-12 students received what she called “indoctrination” in Islam. Examples she cited included students being taught (compulsorily) how to perform Islamic prayers by Islamic evangelists, being segregated according sex and dressed in traditional Islamic clothing, and learning from textbooks which describe jihad as an effort to convince “others to take up worthy causes, such as funding medical research,” as well as almost completely erasing Jews from the history of the Middle East. Not only that, some of the people who brought those workshops into the schools were also members of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), an organization long tied to terrorist groups such as Hamas and even al-Qa‘idah.
A decade ago, high school students in Wellesley, Massachusetts, were brought for a field trip to the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center to experience a Muslim mid-day prayer ceremony. While there, boys and girls were segregated according to Islamic practice and invited to join the adult Muslims in their prayers. Parents were only told that students would be taught about the mosque’s architecture, and then watch the prayer service without participating. (This particular mosque has also been revealed as having been founded and financed by clerics with deep terrorist ties — not to mention that both Boston Marathon bombers, as well as many other terrorists, were known congregants of a sister mosque several miles away.)
In 2015, in both Florida and Tennessee, students were taught to write out the English translation of the Shahadah, the Islamic equivalent of the Catholic credo. The Nashville seventh graders’ class also taught, without qualification, that the “angel Gabriel told Muhammad that he was to be a prophet of Allah,” and, reportedly, “skipped Christianity.”
In 2018, in West Virginia, seventh-graders were actually assigned to “Fast for 24 hours and give lunch money and food to a food bank, to sympathize with Muslims going through Ramadan.” Parents of the student who complained said that, “most of the faith aspects of Christianity and Judaism were stripped from the lesson plan by the teacher.”
And in 2019, concerned parents in Newton, Massachusetts, sued their local school district after students were taught that “Jews and Christians deliberately forged their holy texts to contradict the Muslim Koran” and that “Zionism has ‘little connection’ to Jewish history in ‘Palestine[.]’” The plaintiffs’ massive complaint details how ninth graders read from a supposedly scholarly book by a Georgetown University professor saying that, “Arabic is… in a very real sense… the language of God.” Furthermore, these same teenagers — from one of the most heavily Jewish suburbs in America — were subjected to blatant anti-Israel propaganda in their history courses, some of it via the use of teaching materials financed by the government of Qatar, a well-known funder of Hamas.
Most of these examples — only a small list out of many dozens — coincide with the implementation of Common Core throughout American public schools during the Obama administration. Common Core’s origins lie with global educational initiatives funded by Libya, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. Recipients of such funding include the massive textbook publisher Pearson Education, which also received funding from CAIR.
The organization which hosted the “Million Muslim Votes” conference at which Vice President Biden spoke is called Emgage Action. They have proudly partnered with CAIR in organizing American Muslims ahead of the 2020 election, and this particular event prominently featured Nihad Awad, CAIR’s president. They have also accused the Israeli army of using “Torture or cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment” against Palestinian children, and support the anti-Semitic BDS movement against Israel.
These are not organizations with which anybody, let alone a presidential nominee, should be associating — especially urging to help him win an election.
The irony of Biden’s comment is that while American public school students actually learn quite a bit about Islam in their required classes, very little of what they learn is either accurate or presented appropriately. In a sense, Biden is correct that American children should learn more about Islam — as in the truth, both good and bad, taught like any other academic subject. Fairness is imperative: telling Muslim children to recite Christian prayers as part of an assignment would rightly result in mountain ranges of lawsuits; the reverse cannot be allowed either.
In teaching Islam, schools must use properly vetted curriculum which gives equal time to all religions, and does not officially endorse tenets of Islamic belief as fact. School materials must also not originate from terrorist-linked organizations, let alone foreign governments or any other overtly political entity.
As a man jockeying for a position of enormous influence over American public education, Vice President Biden should be aware of this problem. If he is not, and persists in believing that curriculum on Islam is scarce in American schools, his ignorance is deeply troubling. If he is, and seeks to encourage yet more taxpayer-funded Islamic indoctrination, then that is far more troubling still. And when such supportive intentions are pledged to the likes of CAIR and its allies, then we are reminded again for the thousandth time that we, as voters, take our children’s futures in our hands.
By Barry Nussbaum, Son of Auschwitz survivors, Founder American Truth Project, Foreign and Domestic Policy Commentator