Hijab Days, Shahadas & “Conversions”

Here are some examples of the well-meaning but thoughtlessly one-sided attitude towards Islam commonly displayed in Western school rooms.

1. A Hijab Day in Rochester, New York:

Questions:

Were Muslim children encouraged to wear crucifixes or yarmulkes the following week?

Was the exercise put in the context of what not wearing a hijab can mean in some Muslim countries or even in North America?

Answers – Presumably not or the school would surely have made it public.

2. A teacher in a Virginia school required pupils to copy the Shahada as part of a geography class.

The County Superintendent issued a press release saying that the intention was “to give the students an idea of the artistic complexity of the calligraphy” and that they “will engage in a similar assignment when they learn about China.”

Questions:

Is there any text in Chinese literature which carries the momentous implications of the Shahada? (Recitation of it, “There is no god but Allah and Mohammed is the messenger of Allah” is the sole requirement for conversion to Islam and, as ex-Muslims know to their cost, recanting can have life-changing consequences).

Answer – No.

Were Muslim students required to write the Christian creed the following week?

Answer – We can assume not or there would have been hell to pay.

3. Perhaps the most bizarre example of this kind of flirting with Islamic symbols and practices occurred in Guernsey when a Religious Education class were required to write an imaginary letter informing their parents that they had converted to Islam and explaining how becoming a Muslim had changed their life.

Questions:

Would the teacher require a Muslim pupil to imagine converting to Christianity (or just to make it more interesting, Judaism)?

Answer: Not if they know what’s good for them.

Are some teachers not aware of the possible effect on immature minds of trying on the mental trappings of other faiths?

Answer – Apparently not.

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