The terrorist-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is demanding that public school students in overwhelmingly Christian Tennessee be taught that the Islamic prophet Muhammad is the one and only true messenger of God.
No one seems to know why the Volunteer State has become a target of Religion of Peace activists. A 2014 Pew Research Center study found 81 percent of Tennessee residents are Christian, and only 1 percent are Muslims. The national average is 70.6 percent Christian and 0.9 percent Muslim.
But the self-styled Muslim civil rights group is warning Tennesseans about a proposed law that would forbid public schools in the state from teaching the principles of The Religion of Peace and every other religion until the 10th grade. Of course, whether Islam is even a religion per se has become a topic of lively debate. As outspoken ex-Muslim Ayaan Hirsi Ali says "Islam is not a religion of peace, it's a political theory of conquest that seeks domination by any means it can."
As Hirsi Ali opines and FrontPage readers are painfully aware, Islam is not content to be treated equally alongside other world religions. It insists on supremacy. As the San Ramon Valley Herald reported, CAIR founder Omar Ahmad told California Muslims exactly that in 1998, years before Americans were paying attention to Islam.
"If you choose to live here ... you have a responsibility to deliver the message of Islam," he said. The report paraphrased Ahmad adding, "Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faiths, but to become dominant. The Koran should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on earth." Ahmad also said, "Everything we need to know is in the Koran. We don't need to look somewhere else."
Since the 9/11 attacks, and particularly in the Obama era, Muslim supremacists have been crossing the increasingly fuzzy dividing line between bona fide Islamic advocacy and outright Islamist infiltration of American institutions.
Aided by the Left's relentless agitation for so-called diversity and multiculturalism, which is the crude belief that all cultures are equal, the taxpayer-funded Islamization of America is well underway.
The activism of CAIR, which has ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, comes as FBI director James Comey warns that the head-cutting savages of Islamic State (a.k.a. ISIS, ISIL, and Daesh) are using social media "24 hours a day" across the United States to recruit homegrown terrorists. Aspiring jihadists who won't travel overseas are told to "kill where you are,” he said. “So we have investigations in all 50 states to try to identify, among hundreds of people who are consuming this poison, where are they on the stages from consuming to acting, and how do we stop them from acting.”
CAIR isn't concerned about terrorism and theocratic totalitarianism as it lashes out at its critics, preying on Americans' sense of fair play, as well as their belief in equality and religious freedom.
So naturally CAIR is smearing supporters of the anti-religious indoctrination bill as bigots and Islamophobes. Those who follow the news know that there is no such thing as "Islamophobia," a deliberately vague conceptual vessel into which meaning may be poured. It is a word coined by Islamists to silence critics. This is why CAIR, which the United Arab Emirates has officially designated a terrorist organization alongside Islamic State, the Taliban, and al-Qaeda, wields it like a cudgel.
The apparently popular Tennessee measure, House Bill 1418, "if it becomes law, would prevent the teaching of all 'religious doctrine' until students reach the last three years of high school," Eric Owens reports at the Daily Caller.
The bill was introduced by Republican Sheila Butt, the Majority Floor Leader in the Tennessee House of Representatives, and author of several parenting books. Butt is championing the legislation, according to the news report, after parents complained about "what they perceive as an inappropriate focus on Islam in history and social studies courses in taxpayer-funded middle schools."
"I think that probably the teaching that is going on right now in seventh, eighth grade is not age-appropriate," Butt said. Students "are not able to discern a lot of times whether it's indoctrination or whether they're learning about what a religion teaches."
Attacking Butt's proposal, CAIR government affairs manager Robert McCaw predictably sneered:
Islamophobes like Rep. Butt fail to recognize that there is a big difference between teaching students about religion as an important part of world history and promoting particular religious beliefs. The education of children in Tennessee should not be delayed because of anti-Muslim bigotry.
Bigotry, of course, has nothing to do with it.
As Owens writes:
Complaining parents from across Tennessee have expressed alarm in recent weeks because their children in public middle schools are learning about the Five Pillars of Islam in a world history and social studies classes. (The first and most important pillar is roughly translated as: “There is no god but God. Muhammad is the messenger of God.”) At the same time, the parents say, the course material pointedly ignores Christianity.
One of those worried parents, Brandee Porterfield, who has a daughter in the 7th grade at Spring Hill Middle School in Spring Hill, Tenn., complained when her child came home with schoolwork focused on Islam's central tenets, including the Five Pillars of Islam.
As Owens notes, Porterfield was alarmed that her daughter was directed by her teacher to write a truncated version of the first pillar, known as the shahada. Porterfield said the teacher directed the child to write: “Allah is the only God.”
Porterfield, who appears to be just one of many angry parents around Spring Hill, said she accepts that knowing something about Islam is essential to grasping world history. But she was alarmed that Christianity was excluded from her daughter's studies.
“I have big problem with that. From a historical point of view, that’s a lot of history these kids are missing,” Porterfield said. “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.”
One of the taxpayer-supported agents of this Muslim indoctrination, Metro Nashville Public Schools social studies teacher Kyle Alexander, is a living, breathing example of the problem. In an interview with the Tennessean, he defended inflating the accomplishments of the Islamic world before captive, impressionable 12-year-olds.
Demonstrating a superficial, politically correct understanding of Islam, he said, "[t]he reality is the Muslim world brought us algebra, 'One Thousand and One Nights,' and some can argue it helped bring about the Renaissance. There is a lot of influence that that part of the world had on world history."
While it is true that Muslim countries had an impact on world history, it isn't quite as Alexander described. For example, algebra. President Obama made the same claim in his fact-averse 2009 speech in Cairo that was calculated to flatter Muslims. As Ann Coulter indignantly retorted at the time:
Operating on the liberal premise that what Arabs really respect is weakness, Obama listed Muslims' historical contributions to mankind, such as algebra (actually, that was the ancient Babylonians), the compass (that was the Chinese), pens (the Chinese again), and medical discoveries (would that be clitorectomies?).
Education officials have been taking their cues from the White House.
Throughout his presidency Barack Hussein Obama, who has described the Muslim call to prayer as "one of the prettiest sounds on earth at sunset," has been obsessed with boosting self-esteem in the most backward countries on the planet. The president even made the space agency NASA into a Muslim outreach organization.
NASA chief Charles Bolden told Al-Jazeera in 2010 that he was tasked "to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math and engineering."
Michael Griffin, who ran NASA during George W. Bush's presidency, shot back:
NASA was chartered by the 1958 Space Act to develop the arts and sciences of flight in the atmosphere and in space and to go where those technologies will allow us to go. That’s what NASA does for the country. It is a perversion of NASA’s purpose to conduct activities in order to make the Muslim world feel good about its contributions to science and mathematics.
The kind of indoctrination Griffin references is legion. Universities, think tanks, and media outlets are armed to the teeth with Islamic propaganda, some of which is funded by U.S. taxpayers and Islamists overseas. For all we know, public school teaching plans in Tennessee and other states are already being based on these heavily biased materials.
Islamophile Carl W. Ernst, Kenan Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, provides a resource page on so-called Islamophobia on his taxpayer-supported website. It encourages readers to gorge themselves on self-serving drivel from the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center and the Center for American Progress. It refers readers to the Bridge Initiative: A Research Project on Islamophobia at the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University and the Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project at the University of California, Berkeley. At Berkeley, the Institute for South Asia Studies offers "K-14" lesson plans.
Resources for combating Islamophobia abound on the Internet.
There is the University of Pittsburgh-based three-state Consortium for Educational Resources on Islamic Studies (CERIS). There is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) booklet, "Guidelines for Educators on Countering Intolerance and Discrimination against Muslims: Addressing Islamophobia through Education." There is the Middle East Institute at Columbia University. There is "Teaching Tolerance," a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center. There is the teacher guide, "Islam in Asia: People, Practices, Tradition," put out jointly by the University of Washington and the Seattle Times. Portland State University provides "Middle East Teaching Tools: Resources for Educators," which is intended "to support education about the Middle East at the K-12 level." There are resource pages on the website of Harvard University's Center for Middle Eastern Studies and on the websites of many other institutions of higher learning.
In "Islam: Empire of Faith," taxpayer-supported PBS soothingly reassures Americans that "[i]n contrast to many other religions, the basic practice of Islam is simplicity itself. The believer worships God directly without the intercession of priests or clergy or saints." PBS even provides suggested lesson plans for 5th graders.
Meanwhile, there have been other incidents involving the teaching of Islam in Tennessee.
As Owens reports:
Since the fracas about Islam in middle school erupted across Tennessee earlier this school year, state education officials have insisted that the Islam curriculum is purely secular and designed to inform students about history.
Last month Maury County Public Schools middle school supervisor Jan Hanvey told The Daily Herald, a newspaper out of Columbia, Tenn., that students learn about the Five Pillars of Islam during a one-day segment of the seventh-grade curriculum.
Students also study Buddhism and Hinduism, the former social studies teacher noted.
However, at no point do Tennessee middle school students study Christianity per se. There is not, for example, one class day dedicated to the basic Jesus story.
Hanvey promised that Maury County students would eventually come across a reference to Christianity when history teachers reach the “Age of Exploration” in eighth grade. Then, students will hear about Christians persecuting other Christians in some countries in Western Europe.
Tennessee has also been targeted by Muslims in other ways in recent years.
In July, Kuwaiti-born Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez, killed four U.S. Marines on military property in Chattanooga. In February, Islamic State urged its supporters to assassinate American-born Yasir Qadhi, a professor at Rhodes College in Memphis. In 2013 Sunset Elementary School in a Nashville suburb pandered to Islamic sensibilities by banning pork. The prohibition was lifted a day later after parents complained.
And in the age of Obama, classrooms across America have become both metaphorical, and to a lesser extent, literal, battlegrounds for Islamists.
Binghamton University anthropologist Richard T. Antoun was stabbed to death in his office in 2009 by Saudi-born graduate student Abdulsalam al-Zahrani. Antoun, reportedly a Unitarian Universalist, was on the three-member doctoral dissertation that was to judge Zahrani's thesis. Likely a jihad supporter, Zahrani "was all the time shouting in Arabic, shouting threats, insulting this country for no reason," according to his roommate.
Although the 2009 mass-shooting at the Fort Hood military base in Killeen, Texas, did not take place in a classroom, the shooter, U.S. Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan, used classrooms to advance jihad and attack the Global War on Terror.
He once gave a medical lecture to fellow psychiatrists in which he called for Muslims to pour burning oil down the throats of infidels and slice their heads off. Studying for a master's degree in public health, "[h]e was put on probation early in his postgraduate work ... for allegedly proselytizing about his Muslim faith with patients and colleagues[.]" While other students in an environmental health course examined topics like mold and water contamination, Hasan's project was about "whether the war on terror is a war against Islam," a classmate said.
At his 2013 court-martial, Hasan bragged about his crimes. He said he "switched sides" and that "we mujahideen are imperfect soldiers trying to establish a perfect religion in the land of the supreme god." Evidence showed Hasan had been in contact with Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born jihadist who, before he was killed by a U.S. Hellfire missile, was a senior al-Qaeda operative.
A fortnight ago Chris Harper-Mercer shot and killed eight classmates and his Jewish instructor at Umpqua Community College in Oregon. His manifesto has yet to be released. Although no publicly available evidence shows Harper-Mercer, a collector of overpriced Nazi-SS paraphernalia, was influenced by Islamofascist groups, Islamic State reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack.
Harper-Mercer murdered the bulk of his victims the same way that Muslim terrorist groups like Kenya's Al Shabaab do. The 26-year-old man reportedly asked those present if they were Christian. Those who answered in the affirmative were shot in the head.
Like Harper-Mercer, Al Shabaab asks people their religion and executes them on the spot if they give the "wrong" answer. Notably, Alek Skarlatos, a devout Christian who helped prevent a jihadist attack on a packed train in France this summer, was registered as a student at Umpqua. Hours after the attack he told TV host Ellen DeGeneres that he would have been on campus if he hadn't been in Los Angeles to appear on "Dancing with the Stars." "I had classes picked out and everything," Skarlatos said.
Robert Spencer reported last year that Sudanese cleric Muhammad Al-Jazouli said in a sermon that if the United States conducts airstrikes on Islamic State fighters in Iraq that all U.S. embassies and interests would become “legitimate targets.”
Relying on the work of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Spencer wrote that the Muslim leader said schools in the U.S. are fair game for jihadists:
Oh Americans, if your armed forces land in Iraq once again, this will mean a new phase in targeting you – your tourist resorts, your embassies in our Arab capitals, your diplomatic delegations, your universities and schools, your coffee shops and restaurants, your airplanes and ships, your shops and companies.
If a single American plane flies over Iraq in order to strike at ISIS, it will be one of our most obligatory religious duties to support the nucleus of the righteous caliphate, by turning all the American embassies and interests into legitimate targets. Play a role in defending the nucleus of the caliphate!
The U.S. has yet to re-invade Iraq, but it has been carrying out airstrikes against Islamic State.
As you read this, would-be killers may be preparing to honor the cleric's wishes.
Although it happened in France, one young would-be terrorist just took action for Allah in school.
The Daily Mail (UK) is reporting that a 15-year-old student attacked his teacher in a French classroom while screaming the jihadist battle cry "Allahu Akbar." The unidentified pupil shot his teacher with a BB gun after reportedly "devising a plan to kill his literature tutor and die a martyr." A week after devising the plan, the boy "brought a knife and airsoft gun and grenade to Oehmichen Technical School in the city of Chalons-en-Champagne, France."
And when it happens again, stateside or not, young American public school students will be asked to define deviancy down as they ponder the real "root causes" behind the attack and are cautioned against judging the terrorists too harshly. Islamophobia, U.S. foreign policy, the continuing, stubborn existence of Israel, capitalism, the exploitation of the Third World, poverty, or unemployment drove the jihadists, youngsters will be told.
But the clock is ticking. As Muslim values are inculcated in young Americans, toleration of Islamism is likely to spread. In fairly short order it may be too late to retrieve young American minds from error.