Are Revere Parents Really Angry About Islam in the Curriculum?
A WHDH story this week reports that “Some parents in Revere were angry when they learned students were being taught about Islam and the Muslim religion.” Oh boy. Might this be a time to put head in hands and shudder? Actually, it might not be, but we’ll get there.
The story features the very colorful Revere parent Anthony Giannino, who takes issue with his son’s textbook, a section of which states, “I bear witness that there is no God but Allah.” That’s from the Islamic call to prayer. Presumably the book was not professing faith in Allah, but rather, listing the tenets of the major world religion’s central belief sys—oh never mind. You get it.
“That’s insulting to me, as a Christian who just believes in Jesus only,” Giannino says, which either shows deep understanding of the Holy Trinity theology or … doesn’t. At any rate, his son is now failing his class. The superintendent sent parents a letter stating, “I want to be very clear that no religion is taught with the purpose of converting students to that religion…”
There is cause for hope. WHDH might be using the words “classroom controversy” and “some parents” very liberally. The anchor notes that the reporter spoke to “at least one parent.” The reporter then notes, “other parents we spoke to had no issue with the assignment.” Two parents then explain the difference between learning about religion and learning to follow that religion. “But some parents certainly disagree,” the reporter says. We then cut back to Giannino. He tells the reporter he is starting a protest and a petition and has “plenty of supporters.” Nevertheless, this is a story about a “classroom controversy” that presents twice as many non-angry parents as angry ones.
Might we just tell ourselves that Giannino is mostly alone on this? Might this restore our faith in parenting and humanity? Sure. Just don’t read the WHDH comments section.