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From The Azzi Archives Of “Ask a Muslim Anything” (Part Two)

Texas School District Backs Off Mandatory Arabic Classes

43

Good job, freedom lovers. You fought back against mandatory Arabic Classes in Public Schools in Texas.

"It shows how we mischaracterized, we willfully misunderstand Islam. Yes, on the face of it, yes, Arabic is a language. In a sense there would be no difference between opening a foreign language school — a Spanish language school or a french language school — but in fact Arabic is more than a language. It is explicated the language of Islam, so in that sense it is part of the Islamic religious imperial project. Radical Islam advances through the Arabic language. And you go all kinds of places that aren't in the Arab world now, like Pakistan, Indonesia, Central Asia, the Balkans, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Canada and the United States, and you will here those Imams preaching in Arabic. Arabic is not just another language like French or Italian, it is the spearhead of an ideological project that is deeply opposed to the United States."

Mansfield backs away from Arabic studies program Star Telegram

The Mansfield school district has backed off plans to implement an Arabic studies program after almost 200 people showed up with questions at a parents meeting at Cross Timbers Intermediate School on Monday night.

Superintendent Bob Morrison apologized for not communicating with parents and invited them to be part of developing the curriculum.

"Nothing will be taught in the classroom until the curriculum is rolled out," said Richie Escovedo, Mansfield district spokesperson.

The Arabic studies program, funded by a federal five-year $1.3 million Foreign Language Assistance Program (FLAP) grant, was to begin this semester at Cross Timbers, then spread to Davis Elementary and Howard Middle Schools in the fall and to Summit High school by the fall of 2012.

Arabic culture was to be integrated into the curriculum in elementary and intermediate schools, then offered as a language credit in the middle and high schools. Davis, Cross Timbers and Howard are feeder schools to Summit High School.

"Part of the grant language brings in targeted instruction that will be embedded in the classes," Escovedo explained. "Algebra comes from the Arabic world. You talk about things while you’re doing your lessons. Instead of a Valentine's cake, you might make a Moroccan dessert."

Parents attending Monday night's meeting ranged from supportive to upset, said Willie Wimbrey, assistant principal at Cross Timbers.

"We had people who were animatedly fearful of anything to do with Islam," Wimbrey said. "Others want their children exposed to everything. Others who say we teach about Christmas, why not other religions? All cultures and major religions are taught throughout the state."

Cindy Henderson, whose son Kolton is in the fifth grade at Cross Timbers, said she wasn't as upset about the content of the program as she was about the way it was implemented.

"The parents weren't notified," Henderson said. "We should have been told and excited about the grant. The school knew about it, but it wasn't publicized. Unless you were digging on the website, you wouldn't know about it."

Her son is excited about learning about the Middle East, but Henderson doesn't think Arabic studies should be mandatory.

"I don't think we should spend all our time on one culture," she said. "I think we should spread it around and be fair. I don't like it being stuffed down our throats."

Read the rest.

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