On Wednesday September 30, parents in Walton County, Georgia met with the school board to discuss the removal of Islam from the curriculum.
In my AP World History class, my teacher showed us a clip from Fox News about Walton County parents being upset about their children being educated about Islam.
I was repulsed by this as soon as I heard what the problem was, but it just got worse. One of the parents’ reasons for not wanting their child to know about the religion was the fact that they didn’t teach about the radical side of Islam, which includes terrorist organizations like ISIS and Al Qaeda.
The parents claimed that teachers teach more about Islam than Christianity, however, being in the south, most children have been exposed to Christian beliefs for most of their lives and do not need much education on the subject.
I think that it is very important that children understand different cultures, especially ones that are often stereotyped. If these kids don’t learn about Islam, they are going to grow up with tainted views of a major world religion that will impair their understandings of other people’s beliefs.
If these kids aren’t taught about Islam in a non-biased environment, they will develop their teacher’s opinion, and if that person thinks that all Muslims are terrorists, then we will have a generation of people who are terribly misinformed.
Telling people that all Muslims are terrorists is like saying that all Christians are like the Westboro Baptist Church. That is one group of people who have done terrible things, but people don’t group all Christians with that one specific group, so why do people do the same thing for Muslims?
In every belief system, there are people who will take things the wrong way and will do terrible things, but those people don’t define everyone associated with that belief system.
I think that stereotypes are a very dangerous thing in societies, because people judge people based on one fact about them, whether it be how they look or in some cases, their religion.
People have begun to associate Islam with terrorism because of the groups of radicals, and they allow those outliers to define everyone involved in the Islamic religion.
Muslims in America are constantly being threatened, and if nobody could tell that it was a problem, the hashtag #afterseptember11 began trending earlier in 2015.
The hashtag was created to show the struggles that Muslim people in America faced after the Islam-Terrorism stereotype formed.
Twitter user @TypicalRiss tweeted “#afterseptember11 my parents refused to let me wear Hijab in fear I would be attacked.”
This hashtag showed how people began to associate terrorism with Islam, and how it affected Muslims in America. From this stereotype, people began to assume that all Middle-Eastern people were Muslim and that meant they were terrorists. It was no longer a stereotype of a religion, but a whole ethnicity.
The parents in Walton County may not understand the importance of understanding other cultures properly, but their children need to be able to learn about Islam in a good environment.
The teachers in Walton County’s goal is not to convert their students to Islam, they just want to teach them their belief system, it’s their job.
Without proper education, the upcoming generations of children in Walton County will not have the skills they need to interact with people who follow Islamic beliefs, and it could have a big impact on those people.