Thursday, September 16, 2010

Training public school kids how to be good Muslims in Massachusetts and Germany

From the Boston Jewish Advocate:
Sixth graders from Wellesley Middle School took a trip to the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center in Roxbury in May to learn about Islam as part of their Social Studies curriculum.

The students heard a presentation on the history and culture of Islam and then the girls were separated from the boys to observe the daily prayer at the mosque.

Five boys from the class appear to have taken part in the prayer, bowing and touching their foreheads to the floor, according to a video shot by a parent chaperone. The boys were flanked by mosque members. One of them was Jewish, according to the chaperone.

The chaperone, a Wellesley mother whose identity has not been revealed, gave the video to Americans for Peace and Tolerance, a Boston nonprofit that acts as a watchdog for radical Islam in America.

“None of the teachers or school officials at the mosque intervened to stop them from participating in a Muslim ritual prayer,” said Charles Jacobs, the group’s co-founder and executive director. “One can only imagine if students were taken to a church and the priest had them kneeling and crossing themselves or taking the wafer; it would cross a line.”

From Al Arabiya:
The German state of Lower Saxony will start including Islam in its schools’ core curriculum as part of an initiative to counter growing anti-Islam sentiments in Europe.

Dr. Bernd Althusmann, Minister for Education at the northwestern state of Lower Saxony, announced that schools in the state will start including Islamic education in their main curriculum, the London-based Asharq al-Awsat reported Thursday.

“I think we will be able to start implementation by the academic year after the next,” Althusmann said during a visit to an elementary school in the city of Hanover and in which he attended an Islamic education class.

For the time being, Islamic education has not exceeded a few experimental models in 42 schools in Lower Saxony. Almost 2,000 Muslim students in these schools currently get Islamic education in the state.
The German media has been reporting this as well, although those articles imply that the Islamic education is for Muslims, not for the general student population. it is unclear however whether non-Muslim students would be required to take part in this part of the "core curriculum."