UPDATE FROM TUESDAY’S MEETING:
SPARTA , TN (October 21, 2015) – 350 parents and concerned citizens gathered for a townhall meeting in Sparta on Tuesday night at the Christian Life Assembly church to learn more about a controversial textbook that is being used in 7th grade classrooms across Tennessee. The Pearson textbook promotes an inaccurate and biased pro-Islam agenda that is supposedly intended to comply with the Tennessee standards on social studies instruction, according to a press release by the White County Citizens Against Islamic Indoctrination.
In addition to circulating a petition calling for the immediate resignation of the seven school board members who unanimously adopted the textbook over the objections of the community, the townhall included an update from attorney Mike Sheppard regarding the numerous alleged violations of school board policies by the White County School Board.
Usama Dakdok (an Egyptian Christian who eventually immigrated to the US and now operates a ministry teaching the truth about Islam and spreading the Gospel http://www.thestraightway.org/) spent nearly two hours dissecting the textbook chapter on the Islamic World and comparing what is contained in the text against what is actually contained in the Koran and other foundational documents of Islam.
“This book is not ‘accurate and unbiased’,” Dakdok noted while holding up the textbook, “it is FICTION.” Dakdok specifically pointed out that a portion of the textbook claiming the Islamic Empire spread because of “religious toleration” shown to other faiths (page 87) is clearly false. “It was false then and is false now, as is evident in the world today in any area where Islam is in control and other faiths are not allowed to be
practiced freely and openly. Just ask the Syrian Christians.” Dakdok provided numerous other specific examples of false, inaccurate and pro-Islam biased information contained in the textbook.
School board member Roy Whited claimed to WSMV Channel 4 (Nashville) that the board reviewed the textbook and “found absolutely nothing wrong with the material.” Whited also claimed that White County schools have been teaching this for “twenty years” including when he was a teacher. However, the textbook was only introduced this year.
Dale Walker, President of the Tennessee Pastors Network, spoke at the townhall meeting, telling the crowd: “Now is the time for school leaders, educators, parents, elected officials and the church community to take
action and work to remove this Islamic invasion from our local schools via these biased and inaccurate textbooks.” “Schools should be held accountable, and this issue of soft-peddling Islam to impressionable young students must not be ignored,” Walker noted.
Over 200 signatures were gathered on a petition calling for the immediate resignation of school board members in White County. Signatures will be collected and presented at the next White County School Board meeting on November 12, 2015. Another Townhall is scheduled for November 3, 2015 in
Sparta and will feature Kamal Saleem, who will discuss more about the truth of Islam and the misrepresentations in the Pearson textbook.
Overton County, Tennessee has adopted a set of supplemental materials to provide a fair and balanced teaching of social studies and religion but the White County School Board has refused to accept any alternative to the textbooks and materials they adopted despite significant and growing parental objections, according to the press release.
Anthony Wright, Chairman, White County Citizens Against Islamic Indoctrination, issued this statement about the teaching of Islam in schools:
SPARTA , TN (October 20, 2015) – Concerned parents and citizens in White County, Tennessee are hosting a townhall meeting in Sparta TONIGHT, Tuesday October 20 @ 6pm @ Christian Life Assembly located at 117 North Spring St, Sparta to continue efforts to inform and engage the community about the pro-Islamic textbooks and materials being forced upon teachers and students by the White County School Board. Over 100 parents attended an organizational meeting at the White County Library last week.
School board members, including Chairman Edd Cantrell and Vice Chairman Gary Sparkman, have ignored parents’ objections to the textbooks and materials and refused to remove them or restrict their use in classrooms, according to Wright. Seventh grade social studies textbooks in White County contain nearly 50 pages devoted to a sugar coated view of Islam and the “Islamic World” while barely mentioning Christianity. Wright alleges the School Board has also violated at least 14 of their own policies and procedures in connection with conducting school board business.
Usama Dakdok (an Egyptian Christian who eventually immigrated to the US and now operates a ministry teaching the truth about Islam and spreading the Gospel, http://www.thestraightway.org, will be one of the guest speakers, along with Anthony Wright, Chairman of White County Citizens Against Islamic Indoctrination.