The parents of a student in a public high school in Maryland filed a lawsuit against the school for allegedly forcing their daughter to study Islam.
John Wood, a former Marine, and his wife Melissa Wood, have filed a civil rights complaint against La Plata High School, alleging their daughter – identified only as C.W. – was forced to take classes that promote Islam over Christianity and Judaism.
‘Such discriminatory treatment of Christianity is an unconstitutional promotion of one religion over another,’ President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center Richard Thompson said.
Thompson claims that, for non-Muslims, reciting such a statement is the equivalent of converting to Islam. He also said the school failed to clearly make known to students and their families that a study of Islam was to be part of the world history curriculum. Students were also required to memorize and recite the Five Pillars of Islam and were subjected to disparaging teachings about Christianity, the Woods claim.
“The course also taught false statements such as Allah is the same God worshiped by Christians and Islam is a ”religion of peace’,” Thompson said in the filings.
“A school cannot achieve diversity by punishing and alienating students who hold Judeo-Christian beliefs, while bolstering the doctrines and teachings of other religions. Parents must be ever vigilant to the Islamic indoctrination of their children under the guise of teaching history and multiculturalism. This is happening in public schools across the country. And they must take action to stop it.”
Additionally, the suit claims that Mr Wood was banned from the school grounds after complaining about the curriculum. The suit also says that, following Mr Wood’s complaint, he was told his daughter would fail the subject if she were to pull out. The family is asking for declaratory and injunction relief barring the promotion of Islam over other religions on school grounds. They also want the no-trespass order against Mr Wood to be lifted.
The defendants are named in the suit as Charles County Public Schools, the Charles County Board of Education, La Plata High School principal Evelyn Arnold and vice-principal Shannon Morris.
“We are aware of the lawsuit, but we have not yet been served”, the spokesperson said. “We cannot comment further at this time.”
However, the school did send a statement to WTOP, clarifying the curriculum of their world history class.
“The particular unit in question is on the formation of Middle Eastern empires in which students learned the basic concepts of the Islamic faith and how it, along with politics, culture, economics and geography, contributed to the development of the Middle East,” the statement said. “Other religions are introduced when they influence or impact a particular historical era or geographic region. For example, when reviewing the Renaissance and Reformation, students study the concepts and role of Christianity. When learning about the development of China and India, students examine Hinduism and Buddhism.”
The separation of church and state dictates the religious affiliations should not be present in the public sector. The reason the Founding Fathers made this decree was because they wanted all people to have equal opportunity. If the state favored one religion over another, then people of the minority religion would become subject to discrimination.