Two mothers of seventh graders are filing a lawsuit against Chatham Middle School in New Jersey, where students are taught, "May God help us all find the true faith, Islam." The mothers were attacked on social media and within their communities for their objections to the pro-Islamic curriculum.
Students had been shown a subtle propaganda cartoon video, "5 Pillars," which opens with two boys, one of them a Muslim, kicking a soccer ball, says the public interest law firm Thomas More Law Center, which has been hired by the two mothers, Libby Hilsenrath and Nancy Gayer, in a statement.
In the video, the Muslim boy teaches the non-Muslim boy about the five pillars of Islam. Additionally, a subtitle of bright, multi-colored words of various shapes pronounces a form of the Islamic conversion creed: "There is no god except Allah and prophet Muhammad is his messenger." The cartoon ends with a sad non-Muslim boy, who suddenly smiles when the Muslim boy invites him to join him at the mosque for noon-day prayers. Something the teacher can't personally do, but does through the cartoon.
"Clueless school administrators across our nation are allowing this type of indoctrination to take place and it's up to vigilant parents to stop it. Libby and Nancy should have been praised, not pilloried," says Richard Thompson, president and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center.
The two mothers were criticized as "bigots" and "Islamophobes," "hateful," "ignorant," "xenophobes," "intolerant," "racist," "closed minded" and "sad and ignorant" on social media after their appearance on Fox News' Tucker Carlson show to voice concerns about Islamic indoctrination of Chatham Middle School seventh graders.
The mothers detailed their concerns in person to the Chatham Board of Education at an early February public meeting. However, Superintendent Michael LaSusa suggested that any change to the curriculum was unlikely, and the following day refused their request to meet privately with him to discuss their concerns.
"Clearly, seventh graders had been presented with a sugarcoated, false depiction of Islam," the law firm comments in the statement. "They had not been informed of the kidnappings, beheadings, slave-trading, massacres, and persecution of non-Muslims, nor of the repression of women — all done in the name of Islam and the Quran."
Gayer said, "It's just not fair that within this unit of study the Chatham school district taught one religion to the exclusion of all others, and for the community to be so unkind and unwelcoming toward us, just for having raised legitimate questions as concerned parents."
Hilsenrath added, "One of my fundamental obligations as a parent is to guide the religious and secular education of my children. That's why I will continue the fight against the Islamic indoctrination now taking place at Chatham, regardless of the personal attacks."
In 2015, middle school parents in Tennessee also voiced concerns after learning that students in the Maury County School District were instructed to write "Allah is the only god" in order to translate the Islamic pillar of creed for a world history project.
The history book included roughly 28 pages on Islam, while it included only about "a half-page of watered down Christianity," Pastor Greg Locke, of Global Vision Bible Church in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, said at the time.