Published On: Thu, Jun 18th, 2015

Pennsylvania school teachers being trained on Islamic culture, visting mosques

A group of 50 Pennsylvania public school teachers recently attended a training on Islamic culture and religion with the district’s superintendent and visited a mosque to better accommodate Muslim students in their district, according to new reports.
According to the Lebanon Daily News, the day-long training session began at Lebanon Senior High School where Mohamed Omar, a former teacher’s aide who also served for a year as the president of a local mosque, talked about Arabic culture and how it differs from the United States.Teachers and administrators were then bussed to a local mosque where they observed an Islamic prayer service where Omar continued his speech to those gathered, further providing instruction on the practices of the Islamic religion.

Mosque founder Hamid Housni expressed his gratitude for the training, saying, “I think this is the first time ever in the United States that a school district goes to a mosque. Usually a representative of a mosque goes somewhere. We don’t have words to explain to you how we appreciate that.”
cover of a Quran  photo by crystalina  via wikimedia commons

cover of a Quran photo by crystalina via wikimedia commons

Christian News Network quotes some of the critics (see below) and the Global Dispatch reached out for a comment from the Freedom From Religion Foundation for statement, but there has been none.

“Had this been a trip to a church, the ACLU and other ‘secularist’ groups wold be going ballistic and whine about ‘separation of church and state,’” one online commenter stated.

“87 Muslim students in the district, and 50 staff members take the day off to learn about Muslim culture? … And they attended a prayer service?” another asked. “Since religion has been pretty much expunged from public schools, shouldn’t the staff have learned about Muslim culture at a non-religious venue?”

“How sad that our schools are willingly rejecting God’s truth in the schools and turning around and submitting to a false god, leading the children away from the true God who loves them and gave His life for them,” a third commenter stated.




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- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

Displaying 3 Comments
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  1. Iftikhar Ahmad says:

    There should be a positive co-relation between home and school, otherwise, the child would be lost in Western Jungle. A Muslim child needs a state funded Muslim school with Muslim teachers as role models during his/her developmental period. There is no place for a non-Muslim child or a teacher in a Muslim school. I am willing to bet there are lots of Brits who have jumped through hoops to get their children into high performing Catholic or C of E schools yet claim to be atheist. I am also willing to bet they would be the first to complain if their children were offered a place at a school with a high proportion of Muslim children. Faith schools are popular with families across denominations and none. If there was a ‘don’t like’ message they would want a place. The whole problem with the “Trojan Horse” schools was that they were providing the education that parents wanted. Speaking to a head of one of the inspected schools it turns out that one of the failed six schools failed because of negative answers given by pupils. The following question was crucial. ” Have you been told that it is morally ok for lesbians and gay men to have same sex relationships?” If pupils answered in the negative this was taken as evidence that the school had not taught tolerance and therefore didn’t safeguard against extremist views. I heard a parent of a child at one of the Birmingham schools on News night say something like “as 90% of the children here are Muslim, the school should cater for their needs as Muslims”.

    Muslim children in state schools with non-Muslim teachers are not in a position to develop positive self-confidence and self-esteem. Muslim children need state funded Muslim schools with Muslim teachers as role models during their developmental periods. There is no place for a non-Muslim child or a teacher in a Muslim school.

    Muslim community would like to protect their children from the evils of the western society. You better educate your children and let Muslim community educate their children according the needs and demands of the parents.

    Muslim schools teach Muslim children that sex outside marriage is a sin. Homosexuality is also a sin. Sex before marriage and homosexuality are western values and Muslims are not supposed to adopt them.

    British values, which are said to include respect for legally protected characteristics such as homosexuality, religion, gender change, disability, race and marital status. what a warping of British values, the British values I was taught are respect for the institution of marriage, freedom of religious pursuit, freedom of speech, respect for the monarch. respect for others.

    Indiscipline, incivility, binge drinking, drug addiction, gun and knife crimes, teenage pregnancies and abortion are part and parcel of British schooling. These are the reasons why majority of Muslim parents would like to send their children to Muslim schools with Muslim teachers as role models during their developmental periods. Only less than 5% attend Muslim schools and more than 95% keep on attending state and church schools to be mis-educated and de-educated by non-Muslim monolingual teachers.

    The British establishment is wrong in thinking that Imams are to blame for extremism. Imams are not solution to the problem for extremism. Extremism is nothing to do with Imams. Extremism is not created from abroad, it is coming from within. Britain fails to help Muslim communities feel part of British society. Race trouble is being predicted by the Daily Express, because of an ethnic boom in UK major cities. Muslim communities need imams for the solutions of their needs and demands in their own native languages. Muslim parents would like to see their children well versed in Standard English and to go for higher studies and research to serve humanity. The fact is that majority of Muslim children leave schools with low grades because monolingual teachers are not capable to teach Standard English to bilingual Muslim children.

    • Brandon Jones says:

      What good would keeping the Muslims separate be for society? Wouldn’t that segregation just breed more animosity and a lack of understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims?

  2. John Latimer says:

    I wrote the original story and was only reporter in the room. To correct the above comment, this was an in-service day, not a day off. And it was held after the regular school year dismissed. Similar Latino cultural lessons have been offered to these same teachers because of the district’s large Hispanic population. They, of course, did not include a religious component because the teachers are familiar with Christianity. — John Latimer

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