Michelle Edmisten is angry. The Christian mother from Tennessee is upset that her daughter learned basic facts about the Islamic faith in her seventh grade social studies class.
Specifically, the class was expected to know that Islam’s holy book is called the Quran, and that there are five pillars of Islam that include performing ritual prayers and a pilgrimage to Mecca.
Unfortunately, it can be hard for some to step outside of their comfort zones and learn about the lives and experiences of other communities, though also very American. So Edmisten is taking it up with the Sullivan County school.
Edmisten is now on a mission to “right this wrong” after giving a speech on Monday alleging that the textbook that was provided to her daughter is promoting Islam, the Johnson City Press reports.
She said, “It is time as parents, teachers, and administrators, we stand up and take back our families, our schools, and our country.” However, removing Islam from a social sciences curriculum only fosters an already prevalent culture of ignorance.
A Pew Research Center poll from March 2016 found that a third of American voters believe that “U.S. Muslims should be subject to additional security scrutiny” solely on the basis of their religion.
With that, shouldn’t American schools — a place of learning — actually provide information about different religions and cultures in order to foster dialogue and openness to communities about which many Americans know very little?
In response to Edmisten’s fiery speech, Sullivan County school board member Mark Ireson tried to move forward on removing the textbook from the social science class curriculum.
According to Edmisten, her daughter’s “personal religious beliefs were violated” simply by the expectation to learn about another religion. Patheos perfectly noted, though, that use of the textbook was not supposed to push for converting to Islam, simply to learn about it.
Edmisten said she would like to see Christians and veterans stand up with her in this fight, and suggested that the community “stand with the moral compass” on which this country was founded.
If Edmisten read about the history and founding of this country, however, she would also know that Islam is central to this country’s history and development.
Watch the clip below.