DC Trawler

VA High School Calligraphy Lesson: ‘There Is No God But Allah’

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Shahada happens.

Emily-Erin Robinson, WSET-TV:

Calligraphy Assignment Causes Uproar with Parents

HARRISONBURG, VA — Kimberly Herndon says she felt her rights as a parent had been violated when her 9th grade son came home with a controversial homework assignment. It asked him to copy the Shahada, the Islamic statement of faith which translates to “there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah…”

The assignment says it’s meant to give the students “…an idea of the artistic complexity of calligraphy.”

But, Herndon says she feels the assignment tried to indoctrinate her child into the Islamic religion…

Augusta County School Superintendent Dr. Eric Bond said this assignment was not “…an attempt at indoctrination to Islam or any other religion, or a request for students to renounce their own faith or profess any belief.”

Relax, teabaggers. It’s separation of church and state, not mosque and state!

Now, as the old adage says, “Never ascribe to malice that which can be adequately explained by incompetence.” It seems unlikely to me that a small town in Virginia is trying to convert kids to Islam. And even if they were, conversion requires the initiate to recite the Shahada with intent, which isn’t the case here. The kids had no idea what they were writing out.

But the same double standard we see in so many other Islam-related stories is firmly in place here. Imagine if the sample text for this calligraphy assignment had been: “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.” Or: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Or any other passage from the Bible. Would anybody have a problem with that?

And notice the headline of that WSET story: “Calligraphy Assignment Causes Uproar with Parents.” That’s the most important part of the story, isn’t it? Calligraphy. Gosh, you silly parents, stop freaking out about calligraphy!

Notice a word missing there? HINT: It rhymes with “Is comic.” And it is comic, the way we’re all supposed to tiptoe around this stuff. If this story was about Muslim parents protesting religion in schools, do you really think the word “Christian” would be left out of the headline?

Well, you wouldn’t want to offend those peaceful Muslims, right? You never know what they’ll do.

(Hat tip: Todd Starnes)