Parents in a Indiana town are furious after students were given a work assignment that includes mentions of Sharia law, with one parent calling it “propaganda.”
According to the Courier-Journal, seventh-grade students at Highland Hills Middle School in the New Albany-Floyd County school district were given a worksheet containing a passage written by a fictional Saudi woman who feels “very fortunate” to live under Sharia law.
The passage includes the line, “I understand that some foreigners see our dress as a way of keeping women from being equal, but … I find Western women’s clothing to be horribly immodest,” which many parents found objectionable.
“The way that the worksheet is left would be like describing how effective Hitler was at nationalizing Germany and creating patriotism but leaving out that he slaughtered 6 million Jews,” said parent Dean Hohl, who complained about the classwork during a recent school board meeting.
“I’m just not OK with my daughter – or any child that age – leaving class with the understanding that anything about Sharia law is OK,” Hohl added.
According to another parent whose daughter received the worksheet, “That document by itself, it’s almost propaganda, If you read that, you would think everything’s wonderful in that world.”
This is not the first time the worksheet has come under fire, with its creator saying she received death threats over it in 2011.
According to educator Sharon Coletti, who described herself as a Christian, the idea behind the quote is to draw the students into the life of the character so they can “decide for themselves” about the religion.
“If I can shape something so that kids have to decide for themselves, once I get them involved in the situation, they never forget it,” she said.
According to Bill Briscoe, a spokesman for the school board, the curriculum will be reviewed in accordance with district policy when there are complaints.