Thursday, June 12, 2008

Let's Embrace Ignorance

I came across this story at Racialicious, and it was originally reported at Houston News.  The Friendswood school district board will meet Tuesday night to discuss the replacement of a principal who invited two Muslim women into her school to teach students about their culture. image

The presentation created a controversy in the southeast-side town.

Approximately 800 seventh- and eighth-grade students saw a PowerPoint presentation put together by the Council on American-Islamic Relations just before school on May 22.

Asma Siddiqi helped present it. She said it was simply meant to explain Muslim tradition and culture, not to promote the religion.

"I didn't expect people to get upset because, I mean, we were just there telling kids, you know, this is who we are," Siddiqi said. "I explained what the holy book was, which is the Koran."

But plenty of parents were upset, such as Kim Leago. She was angry that she was not told her eighth-grade son would attend the presentation.

"If they're going to squeeze in religion, which is not allowed in school, why did they choose that religion? With the war and everything, I just don't think that was the right choice," Leago said.

Principal Robin Lowe allowed CAIR to make the presentation because a few weeks before, a Muslim student had been bullied and beaten at the school.

But criticism from Leago and other parents, which was echoed on local talk radio programs, resulted in Lowe being reassigned.

That move upset parents who believe Lowe was made a scapegoat. Both sides will tell it to the school board Tuesday night.

Yes, why oh why should innocent children be exposed to this foul, dirty religion. Better to let them live in ignorance.  We don't want to raise children that learn to think critically about the issues. Where will the future Republican voters come from?  Lets continue on in silence, and let the children believe that it is alright to physically assault someone because they are "different".  To do any less would be unpatriotic, after all "our boys" are dying over there.  It is not an illegal war of aggression, or a bid to control the oil spigot, noooo sir, Americans are bringing democracy to the ignorant backward peoples of Iraq and Afghanistan.  Teaching children about diversity implies that there are Americans that are not white, and Judeo-Christian. That is simply too radical to embrace. 

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

The aforementioned aren't words to live by. Bodies of color, or different religions are for exploitation, and marginalization damn it. Why can't these people just content themselves to driving taxis, washing dishes, and working as nannies?  A country that declared its independence in 1776, has nothing to learn from a culture that is centuries old.  What could the cradle of civilization possibly have to teach that would have any value...I mean they cannot tell us when the next Walmart price markdown is going to happen, or predict the release date of the next Disney movie...That's really valuable information damn it.

31 comments:

Tina said...

We don't want to raise children that learn to think critically about the issues. Where will the future Republican voters come from?

Does Womanist Musings have a keyboard replacement fund? I just spewed tea all over my keyboard from laughing at this one. Brilliant. Thank you, thank you.

Vadim said...

I find it interesting that you quote a diehard zionist Emma Lazarus. Lazarus was among those who believed in the creation of Eretz Yisrael (Land of Israel). Israel, however, is not too popular among its neighbors in the region that have denied its right to exist on a number of occasions. While I personally think that the state of Israel was a mistake, I also believe that it is wrong to deny the fact that it exists (which in turn caused/causing a number of clashes between Israel and its neighbors in the region). I assume that you did not know that history, since it is rather ironic that you quote a zionist while at the same time describing the wrongful insult to Islam. Here is another quote by the same author, "Recall today the glorious Maccabean rage." Furthermore, I think that the parent (Kim Leago) has a very good point concerning religion. She points to the fact that references to religion "is [are] not allowed in school." This, in itself, is a very interesting point, since one of the principles that are found in the Constitution of the US has to do with the freedom of conscience. That freedom requires, in Jefferson's words, "a wall of separation between church and state." A number of Supreme Court decisions have focused on this issue, among them Lemon v. Kurtzman which established the Lemon Test. Although, your assessment is not exactly informed or impartial, it is nonetheless worth considering the ignorance of the American society. I think that we could all benefit from the study of history in general, as well as other social sciences.

Vadim said...

I find it interesting that you quote a diehard zionist Emma Lazarus. Lazarus was among those who believed in the creation of Eretz Yisrael (Land of Israel). Israel, however, is not too popular among its neighbors in the region that have denied its right to exist on a number of occasions. While I personally think that the state of Israel was a mistake, I also believe that it is wrong to deny the fact that it exists (which in turn caused/causing a number of clashes between Israel and its neighbors in the region). I assume that you did not know that history, since it is rather ironic that you quote a zionist while at the same time describing the wrongful insult to Islam. Here is another quote by the same author, "Recall today the glorious Maccabean rage." Furthermore, I think that the parent (Kim Leago) has a very good point concerning religion. She points to the fact that references to religion "is [are] not allowed in school." This, in itself, is a very interesting point, since one of the principles that are found in the Constitution of the US has to do with the freedom of conscience. That freedom requires, in Jefferson's words, "a wall of separation between church and state." A number of Supreme Court decisions have focused on this issue, among them Lemon v. Kurtzman which established the Lemon Test. Although, your assessment is not exactly informed or impartial, it is nonetheless worth considering the ignorance of the American society.

lujlp said...

I'm confused. In the post just before this one you mention the frightening fact that women in islam are routinly killed for what we consider to be slight infractions of morality.

But in this post you are upset with people who dont want their children being lied to by an islamic PR campagin which activly misleads children about the true horror of the death cult that is islam.

So which is it? Is islam bad for killing people or are americans bad for being upset that their children were lied to?

Renee said...

Honor Killings are not a part of Islam, they are reflective of a patriarchal construct. To invite someone into a class to present an alternative view of Islam as a religion to me is acceptable when the school had an incident of violence specifically targeting a Muslim child. I personally am not a believer in ANY organized religion however I support tolerance of the views of others as long as they do not impede upon freedom, autonomy and the sanctity of the body. Teaching children that there is beauty in all religions and all cultures is not a negative thing. One other thing I neglected to point our in my previous post is that hymen replacement surgery is also happening among fundamentalist Christians. This is not an issue of Muslim women alone. This is an issue regarding the male desire to control female sexuality period.

Renee said...

Actually Vadium, I posted the article as it was printed in its entirety without and additions on my part. I am only responsible for my commentary on the issue and not the opinions of others.

As for the parent in question, she is taking this seminar completely out of context. The administration did not suddenly decide one day to invite Muslims in for something to do. They were invited after an incident of violence towards a Muslim student. The idea was to increase cultural/religious tolerance. If we only see reflections of ourselves we can never transcend the baser instincts of our society.

Vadim said...

I assume that your comment about the "opinions of others" has to do with your quotation of the Lazarus text. However, it is wrong to ignore the beliefs of that author in regard to zionism, and the message that she was trying to send.

Also, religious activity of any kind should be done outside of the school propery. That was my point. I also think that the parent had the same idea in mind. The individual did discuss Islam, and the school did provide the forum for that purpose.

lujlp said...

I'm sorry renee but death is at the center of islam.
Death to those who dont conform,
death to those who disagree,
death to those who speak out,
and death to those who are not muslim.

Islam is to only religion that commands death to all infidels in its texts, and is the only religion preaching death from its pulpits. And its not some patriachal construct to control women - its a death cult desgined to control everyone men as well as women.

And somehow I doubt that nice slide show said anything about the saudi religious police, or how women are killed or beaten(if their lucky) for being raped because her testimony is worth half of a mans.

Or how an entire country wanted a school teacher tortured to death for allowing school children to name a teddy bear after one of her more popular students

Renee said...

lujlp please don't apologize for your opinion, you are entitled to it. The only thing that I would point out is this...If Islam is only about death please explain to me why so many reside in western countries without either advocating death or participating in activities that are harmful to others? It is all about interpretation of religious texts. Islam is no more violent than Christianity. Those that are performing violence in the name of Islam are working an economic socio/political agenda. Islam is only being used as a rallying tool..or the opiate as Marx would say.

lujlp said...

Well, why do so many who live here refuse to speak out against the violence commited by their fellows?

Accotding to one poll more than 80,000 canadain muslims felt it was acceptable to kill the prime minister and blow up the capital.

Also the koran encourages muslims when in the minority to activley decive the majority until such time as they can effect a takeover either thru violence or population density.

Islam is far more violent than christianity. When christianity was spread by the sword it did so in opposition to its core message, it was perverted to allow violence.

That is not the case in islam.
The koran ENCORAGES such acts and offers a reward for doing so. There is no comparison

lujlp said...

If Islam is only about death please explain to me why so many reside in western countries without either advocating death or participating in activities that are harmful to others?
-renee

Becuse they are biding their time

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5igZiBbZdKa9Gvx8uwXlsIOxoBQ5wD91859CG0

read that

Renee said...

You know what the Koran encourages because you have read it right? Many people Islamic scholars speak out daily about the acts committed in the name of Islam. I don't hear you complaining about the Christian leader who are silent btw on the treatment of women by the FLDS. How many years did the Catholic Church deny the sexual assault of young boys?
This is not about religion...it is about socio-political stratification vis a vis western hegemony and oppression. Islam is the tool being used to convey a message but it does not mean that the tool is the message.
What you are saying is boarding on hate speech. When you lump all people together in one group this is how discrimination is spread and upheld. Everyday Muslims contribute to our society. They want to raise their children in peace and practice their religion that is no different than any other group.

lujlp said...

They want to raise their children in peace and practice their religion that is no different than any other group.


Except for the fact that they want to replace western laws and values with sharia law.

Because if they truly wanted to abide by our laws they woulnt be refusing to let blind people in their cabs if they have a seeing eye dogs

http://abcnews.go.com/International/story?id=2827800

And FLDS movment is a child abuse cult not a religion.

And the reson the catholics tried to keep the child abuse debacle underwraps was finacial not as a matter of endorsed and celebrated religious practice.

And on thing? How exactly is it hate speech to provide a link to a news story detailing th fact that school childeren within our country are being taught to hate anyone who isnt muslim?

Amy Alkon said...

The Quran commands Muslims to convert or kill the "infidel" - meaning anyone who doesn't believe in Allah. If anything is taught about it in schools, it should be what a death cult it actually is: totalitarianism masquerading as a religion.

I'm neither a Democrat nor a Republican; just somebody who's astonished at those who swallow propaganda about "the religion of peace," which is anything but.

Muslims who are "moderate" either don't follow the Quran correctly or are too lazy to have read it.

By the way, I came here via a link one of your commenters posted on my blog at advicegoddess dot com.

Renee said...

lujlp when you universalizing terminology to speak about large groups of people in a manner that is not pleasant it is racist. I don't have a problem with your link.

As for the FLDS that are protected under freedom of religion in both Canada and the US. You may want to view them as a cult because they don't practice a form of the Christian religion that you believe in but the point is that they still consider themselves Christian. Does that make all Christians bad? Does that make all Christians pedophiles? This is what happens when you start to paint people with the same brush based on affiliations. The same argument applies for the Catholic church...not all catholics are pedophiles.

As for wanting Sharia law, they are are not the only group in Canada that wants their own legal system. Natives have separate laws and a criminal code that they practice as well. I don't agree with SHaria law but I will state that it is not a crime to want to completely assimilate into "Canadian culture". Your arguments are very xenophobic in nature. It is easy to pick on people of different culture and or religions because they are different, but if you only see a reflection of yourself how do you expect to ever grow?

moreta said...

If "Muslim" is a culture, then it is the teachings of the Quran that we are talking about. By its own current window dressings, "Muslim" would equate to "Christian" or "Jew" or "Bhuddist". These are religions, not cultures. If they wanted to bring in someone to talk about the general idea of not beating people up because of the color of their skin, where they are from or what they claim their religious beliefs are...that would have been appropriate. To teach kids about Islam is to bring religion into the schools where it does not belong.

I don't believe in any religion, but I find it interesting that former members of the FLDS or the Catholic church who speak out in the media about those atrocities don't have to live under police protection.

Are there people who claim to be Muslim who are "moderate"? Sure. But they're the same as those folks who claim to be Christian and don't have a clue what's in the bible or ever go to church and have some wishy-washy vagaries around the stories of Christmas and Easter. The difference we need to be concerned about is that the bible isn't being quoted in an effort to get people to strap bombs onto themselves and blow up the rest of us. You can speak to the violent history of the other religions all you want. But, we live in an elightend age. And this is when I live...I'd prefer to keep doing so.

Renee said...

reply @AMy....In a word bullshit. THe Koran refers to Christians and Jews as people of the book and does not command killing them.
While you sit and spew about people buying into propoganda it seems that it is you that is bought into the hate propaganda. So-called moderate muslims are those that follow their religion without using it as a justification to deal with the inequalities of our soci-political situation. You speak as though Muslims don't have a right to their resentment towards the west..It is no more violent than any other religion.

lizzylights said...

"You speak as though Muslims don't have a right to their resentment towards the west..It is no more violent than any other religion,"
says Renee.

Wake up, Renee. Who else is strapping bombs to themselves to blow up as many infidels as possible?

Renee said...

Lizzy long before Sept 11 western foreign policies crippled Iraq, supported Israel in its colonialist mission against the Palestinians, deposed the democratically elected leader of Iran, supported and installed Saddam Hussein, trained and armed Osama, armed both sides in the Iran/Iraq war etc and etc. These of course are geo-political moves in futherence of American and Israeli hegemony. Islam as I have already stated has been used to rally people in defense of western or rather more specifically American aggression.
Just so that you are aware the Tamil Tigers who also employ suicide bombers are Buddhists...this is not a tactic of religion. This is what people turn to when they have no other weapon to fight with. It is no different than than the kamakizee during WWII. Since they do not have access to conventional weapons they resist the only way that they know how. I am not advocating violence by making this statement.

lizzylights said...

Actually, Renee, that makes you an apologist for Islamic fascist violence.

Renee said...

Lizzy other than meaningless accusations do you have any facts to offer to this discussion?

lizzylights said...

The facts are all around you Renee. Why does Ayaan Hirsi Ali receive death threats from Muslims? Why are Muslims rioting over freedom of speech such as Danish cartoons? Would you like to live as a woman or a homosexual in an Islamic country?

And heaven help us all if Iran gets nuclear weapons.

Renee said...

Right because women don't get raped, beaten, or murdered her in the west right? Women are treated fine here...I'll just call MS right now and cancel my subscription. Ditto for homosexuals.

lujlp said...

Well women hear arent pulically whipped and then imprisoned when they report being raped. And neither do the men of their famillies kill them.

Juliana said...

Thanks for the link, Lujlp!!! I'm a bit late in joining this post, and want to bring it back to the beginning; bottomline, the school erred in not informing the parents beforehand. When school districts presume that they alone know what's best, and can act on this presumption with or without parent's consent, you have totalitarian government. The only time they ask permission is to divest themselves of financial responsibilty in case of injury (signed permission slip for a field trip). Otherwise, they will mold small minds in whatever manner they see fit or PC.

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