by Dan Miller
The U.S. Department of Education has proselytized in our public schools on behalf Islam for many years through its “Access Islam” program. Federally funded, it is directed at children in grades 5 through 12. The Christian Action Network recently demanded that President Trump’s recently confirmed Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, terminate the program.
According to an article at Breitbart, a predecessor program began during the Bush administration in 2005. It “simply taught students about the traditions, culture, and holidays of Islam. Then, it became greatly expanded under the Obama administration. It has continued to develop, and now has had a greater, broader outreach.”
According to the linked Breitbart article, “Access Islam” is not only funded by DOE. It is also “being promoted on various websites,” Martin Mawyer, president and founder of CAN, told Breitbart News. “PBS Learning Media is one of the websites that is promoting it. The Smithsonian also promotes it, the Indiana Department of Education promotes it, and even the United Nations promotes it.”
The video features prominently a Christian convert to Islam, who declares emotionally how he has found the true religion without any “intermediaries.”
Here is the blurb following the video:
The United States Department of Education has developed an Islamic indoctrination program for public schools called, “Access Islam.”
The lesson plans are written for grades 5 through 12. They include worksheets and videos to help students perform the 5 Pillars of Islam – prayer, fasting, alms giving, pilgrimage to Mecca and the proclamation of Muslim faith. [emphasis added].”
This short video contains excerpted clips taken from the “Access Islam” program which not only teaches children how to perform a Muslim prayer, but asks students such questions as: “What does a Muslim prayer sound like?” “What do the movements look like?” and “What are some of the things Muslims say during prayer?”
Children are also expected to memorize verses from the Quran and give the meaning of those verses.
Taken as a whole, the U.S. Department of Education’s “Access Islam” program is nothing short of a Sunday school class on Islam.
DOE provides no even remotely comparable promotion of any other religion. Nor should it, because for any federal (or for that matter state) agency to do so is inconsistent with the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Watch a video of an interview by Tucker Carlson of Fox News with the founder of the Christian Action Network on the DOE program:
Will any of the many major “civil rights” organizations with which America is “blessed” take legal action against state entities which use Access Islam? They have been quite active in opposing even the display of Nativity scenes and the Ten Commandments on public property.
When will Betsy DeVos, President Trump’s recently confirmed Secretary of Education, repudiate the “Access Islam” promotion and insist that all video and other presentations of related materials it provided be returned? The DOE apparently remains a big swamp, very much in need of draining.
Dan Miller, a retired lawyer, blogs at DanMillerInPanama.