Teacher claimed the assignment was given to practice “calligraphy”
By Sara Dogan
Another case of Islamic indoctrination in America’s public schools is headed for the courts. The Thomas More Law Center, a conservative Christian legal group based in Michigan, has stepped forward to represent evangelical pastor Richard Penkoski in a suit against Mountain Ridge Middle School in West Virginia. Penkoski alleges that Mountain Ridge attempted to indoctrinate his 13-year-old daughter in the creed of Islam, in violation of the First Amendment.
Mr. Penkoski, the father of six children and the host of an online evangelical Christian ministry named “Warriors for Christ,” first became alarmed this past May when his daughter brought home a packet of information and assignments on Islam as part of a unit on world religions. Instead of merely providing factual information on Islam, the lessons assigned in her public middle school encouraged students to study and identify with Islam’s key religious beliefs.
Among the assignments given in class:
- To write the Islamic conversion creed, the Shahada, which states, “There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah” in Arabic. This assignment was supposedly given as “calligraphy” practice.
- To fast for 24 hours while giving lunch money and food to a food bank, in order to empathize with Muslims observing Ramadan.
- To read chapters from the Koran.
- To learn the Five Pillars of Islam.
Penkoski also alleges that the assignments provided to his daughter did not accurately portray the darker side of Islam and whitewashed the violence and terror carried out by the religion’s followers across the globe. In addition, he contends that the public middle school spent much more class time on Islam than on other world religions, stating “most of the faith aspects of Christianity and Judaism were stripped from the lesson plan by the teacher. Students were not given calligraphy writing assignments in Judaism, or Christianity, only Islam.” He brought his concerns to the principal of his daughter’s school and then to the Thomas More Law Center.
Richard Thompson, president of the Thomas More Law Center, explained that this sort of indoctrination in Islam is disturbingly common in America’s public schools: “This is typical of the public-school systems across the country. Witless school officials have turned classrooms into Islamic indoctrination centers. They promote Islam in ways that would be unthinkable for Christianity or any other religion because they fear a lawsuit by the ACLU.”
Thompson continued: “Teachers sugar coat Islam. They don’t tell students about Islam’s barbaric brutality, where women and young girls are sold into slavery and used as sex-slaves, where men and women are stoned to death and burned alive—all in the name of Islam and the Koran.”
As for Penkoski, he notes that while it would perhaps be easier to pull his daughter out of school than to initiate a lawsuit, he is determined to hold his ground. “We don’t back down during persecution,” he stated.