Virginia schools shut in Islam calligraphy row

The BBC is reporting that a school district in the US state of Virginia has closed all schools on Friday after a geography lesson that included Islam sparked vociferous complaints from around the country.

…Officials said the schools were closed out of an “abundance of caution” and there were no specific safety threats…

One week ago, students at Riverheads High School were studying the Middle East and were asked to trace a piece of Arabic calligraphy that translated to: “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah”.

Some pupils refused the assignment and parents accused the teacher of indoctrination.

Officials with the Augusta County school district were quick to point out that the study of a region’s religion and language are included in geography lessons.

However, anger built up and by Wednesday complaints had become so numerous that the school’s doors were locked and monitored.

By Friday, the messages – described as profane and hateful – had increased and the decision was made to close the schools.

Officials said that no specific threats were received, but law enforcement officials and the school district board recommended the closure because they were being cautious.

The lesson was intended to illustrate the complexity of the Arabic language, they said, and not meant to promote any religious system…

Read more at Virginia schools shut in Islam calligraphy row


Sounds like a very strange and worrying reaction to end up closing a whole school district because of this, doesn’t it?

Having said that, quite why that particular statement was used is also hard to understand – it would presumably be equally upsetting if the sentiment was reversed and it was given to Muslim students to copy out?

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  1. James Connolly

    The Great US of A! This is a great example of Democracy and Freedom, with so much negative Media coverage on Islam, people now feel threatened by a Calligraphy lesson, a sad example of how shallow we have become. From my research of Islam, I don’t see why we are so fearful.We shouldn’t let the scaremongering media and want to be Presidents think for us.

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