Islamic prayers in your children’s school?

Update:

And always, always, the money disappears: 

THE finances of Queensland’s largest Islamic school are under the microscope amid allegations of thousands of dollars of “phantom debt’’ and secret payments to the former chairman of the board. …

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Questions have been raised over payments to former chairman Mohammed Yusuf.

 

Radeberg, former East Germany:

The article is deeply disturbing, but its only the tip of the iceberg.

Its going on everywhere:

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Here in Australia this has been going on for quite some time:

School textbooks gloss over jihad and undermine Christianity

The Australian Curriculum Studies Association has produced a book of 116 pages filled with the most staggering Islamic dawa and propaganda. Having already scanned through the text, we are totally shocked at the contents and false pro-Islamic claims that will be force fed to unsuspecting students.

This is being pushed into schools and onto children without of course, any opportunity to put counter views, not to mention the massive amount of evidence from Islam’s text, laws, example of Mohammad, records of Muslims themselves and Islam’s past and present history that clearly show Islam is anything but the sweet, victimised religion portrayed in this book!

This has to stop. Full article below the fold.

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Cover of Learning From One Another: Bringing Muslim Perspectives into Australian Schools.

Parents CONCERNED Over Children Having to Learn 5 Pillars of Islam and Required to Make Personal Prayer Rugs

In Seminole County, Florida, students and parents are witnessing firsthand the kind of double-standards that exist when it comes to promoting Islam in schools. Though the left maintains a frenzied and absolute assertion of a supposed wall of separation between church and state for Christians, according to WFTV, Islam is getting a free pass under the guise of education.

Muslim Immigrants Draining European Social Benefits*
An estimated 40% of Muslim youth in France and 50% in Germany are unemployed but far from destitute. Rather, they receive a wide range of social benefits. ACDEMOCRACY.ORG
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Italien weist Imam wegen islamistischer Propaganda aus 

Lucca, Tuscany: a radical imam got his marching orders. He must have been a misunderstander of Islam….

Italy deports radical Islamo propagandist

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Der Imam einer Moschee in der toskanischen Stadt Lucca ist wegen fundamentalistischer Propaganda aus Italien ausgewiesen worden.
Zum Opfer stilisiert

Muselmaniacs are worldchampions in grievance mongering:

Mit wachsender Geschwindigkeit besetzt der Islam symbolische und materielle Positionen im öffentlichen Raum. Was unter Schlagworten wie Antidiskriminierung, Teilhabe oder Gleichberechtigung stattfindet, ist in Wahrheit die Privilegierung…
BY JUNGEFREIHEIT.DE
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From the Australian

Joseph Ratzinger, better known as Pope Benedict XVI, in Without Roots: The West, Relativism, Christianity and Islam, details the rising tide of secularism that seeks to banish Christianity from European history and the public square.

While the situation in Australia appears nowhere near as dire, it is the case here that Christianity is often misrepresented and undermined. This happens especially in subjects such as history and in relation to what American political scientist Samuel P. Huntington terms the “clash of civilisations”.

The expectation is that school textbooks present a balanced, objective and impartial view of ideas, beliefs and events.

Such is not the case with textbooks such as Jacaranda’s SOSE Alive 2 (2004), Oxford University Press’s Big Ideas Australian Curriculum History 8 (2012), and Learning From One Another: Bringing Muslim Perspectives into Australian Schools (2010), published by the National Centre of Excellence for Islamic Studies at Melbourne University.

Instead, these three textbooks, all available to Australian schools, display a jaundiced and superficial view of Christianity. When describing the role of the church in medieval times, the Jacaranda textbook, instead of acknowledging its beneficial impact, presents a bleak and negative picture. The Catholic Church, supposedly, enforces its teachings by making people “terrified of going to hell”, a situation where “Old people who lived alone, especially women, and people who disagreed with the church were at great risk”.

One of the role plays students are asked to participate in involves imagining “that as a simple, God-fearing peasant, you have been told you were excommunicated”. In relation to how the church treated women, students are told, “mostly they did what the church told them to do — to be obedient wives, good mothers, and caretakers of the home”.

Not only is such an interpretation of the church’s impact on women simplistic, it also judges social relations occurring in the far distant past according to contemporary ideas and beliefs.

The Jacarada book, after describing those who attacked the World Trade Centre as terrorists, asks students, “Might it also be fair to say that the Crusaders who attacked the Muslim inhabitants of Jerusalem were also terrorists?”.

Equating 9/11 terrorists with the early Crusaders displays a misguided understanding of the historical circumstances surrounding the church’s desire to reclaim Jerusalem and the Holy Lands.

The Oxford textbook (2012) represents an improvement on the Jacaranda book as it acknow­ledges the beneficial impact of the church on European civilisation. The statement is made that in medi­eval Europe the “church was a positive influence on societies across Europe — providing education, caring for the sick and supporting the community”.

Such a positive statement is ­undermined by the illustration accompanying this description that depicts “heretics (people whose religious beliefs conflicted with the teachings of the church) being burned at the stake”.

The observation that “Christian beliefs and values had many positive effects on daily life, architecture, the arts and the justice system”, while welcome, is also undermined by the qualification that Christian values and beliefs “also provided motivations for wars, and justifications for some people’s prejudices and fears”.

The portrayal of Christianity and the Catholic Church is one where wrongdoers “were doomed to hell”, missionaries enforced “very strict and Catholic beliefs” and the medieval church worked against “new inventions, exploration and scientific discoveries”.

In relation to scientific discoveries and advances, those familiar with James Hannam’s book The Genesis of Science: How the Christian Middle Ages Launched the Scientific Revolution, will appreciate how misleading the Oxford textbook is.

The negative portrayal of Christianity is made worse as the same kind of close scrutiny is not applied to other religions, such as Islam. The description of Islam is matter-of-fact and ignores the often violent and destructive nature of jihad; the authors write, “caliphs, who succeeded Muhammad, continued to spread the Prophet’s teachings throughout a growing Islamic empire”.

The statement that, “The Ottoman Empire and Islamic faith spread from Asia into Africa and Europe, challenging the Christian belief system of medieval Europe”, implies the process was benign.

No mention is made of prac­tices such as dhimma, under which non-believers are denied the right to own property, are unfairly taxed and often live in fear of violence and expulsion from their communities and homes.

The third textbook, Learning From One Another: Bringing Muslim Perspectives into Australian Schools, circulated to Australian schools,continues to offer a misleading and one-sided view of Islam.

On asking students to explain what they associate with the word jihad and after noting “there are no wrong answers”, the textbook explains that it can refer to “spiritual struggle” as well as “armed fighting, often in self-defence”.

An extract taken from The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World, volume 2, is cited that claims the Crusades and the “modern war on terror” are motivated by “greed and scorn for Islam”.

The book also repeats the argument that the reason many Muslim nations are “socio-economically and educationally disadvantaged” is because of “former colonial powers”. Ignored is the counterargument that fundamentalist interpretations of the Muslim religion, especially sharia law, run counter to economic and scientific advancement and that the theocratic nature of Islam restricts innovation and change.

Similar to the Oxford textbook, the third textbook also presents the growth of Islam in a neutral way that ignores the violence, destruction and loss of freedom experienced by those living in the conquered lands.

The impact of expansion is described as “many of the peoples of the newly conquered regions converted to Islam. Those who did not were allowed to live peacefully and practise their faith as long as they abided by the law of the land and paid the jizya, a tax imposed on non-Muslims.”

Once again, there is no reference to the suffering, financial hardship and executions faced by those who wished to remain true to their religion.

Unlike secular critics who often attack non-denominational, Christian schools for teaching creationism and conservative views about reproduction and sexuality, the authors of the Learning From One Another textbook counsel tolerance and respect for Islamic beliefs about such matters.

To point out that the above textbooks present a biased and simplistic view of religion, in particular Christianity and Islam, is not to argue against a full, objective and, where justified, critique of religion.

Rather, it is to argue that any such analysis should be fair and impartial.

In arguing for a more inclusive and comprehensive treatment of religion, especially Christianity, it is also important to distinguish between proselytising and educating students about religions and beliefs systems in a broader sense.

Kevin Donnelly is a senior research fellow at the Australian Catholic University and co-chaired the Australian national curriculum review. This is an edited extract from an essay in the April issue of Quadrant, out next week.