Ron Wagner read with shock a part of his son’s world history book, “There is no god, but God. Muhammad is the messenger of God.”
The father says his son’s 10th-grade
world history class at Lyman High School recited Islamic prayers at the Seminole County public school.
“Students were instructed to recite this prayer as the first Pillar of Islam, off of the board at the teacher’s instruction,” Wagner tells WFTV.
“For it to be mandatory and part of the curriculum and in the textbooks, didn’t seem right,” he adds.
But it wasn’t just the recitation of prayers. Another part of the assignment included students actually making prayer rugs.
Wagner was alarmed when he reviewed his son’s book and discovered the sections on Christianity and Judaism were “missing.”
The district countered that was merely a “manufacturer defect” in the books that are one year old.
(They didn’t address how that wasn’t caught by the administration, textbook review committee or the teacher.)
When asked by the media if the district was going to change the curriculum, a district administrator responded, “The Pillars of Islam are benchmarks in the state curriculum.”
Dr. Michael Blasewitz, the Seminole County Public Schools’ high school curriculum director, then refused to answer any other questions.
Before storming out of an interview, Blasewitz stated, “If anything, it’s a little imbalanced toward Christianity and Judaism.”
Hassan Shibly, executive director of the Council of American-Islamic Relations Florida, defended the school’s lessons, saying, “In a diverse society, young people should be taught about a wide variety of beliefs, cultures and faiths, and particularly about a faith practiced by millions of Americans and more than one fifth of the world’s population.
“Denying all students access to vital information based on the biased political or religious agenda of Islam phobic groups or a handful of misinformed parents does a disservice to our school system, our state and our nation. History is not kind to those who censor information or ban books.”
“There’s a difference between teaching of the significance or the impact of a religion and teaching the specific tenets of a religion,” Wagner, the father, tells the news station.