Booklet stirs tensions between Coptic Christians, Muslims

April 7, 2006

> Concerned about “a clear attempt to engrave Islam in the minds of our
>children,” a Christian group is expanding distribution of a guidebook
>originally intended for Californians.
>
>Coptic Christians of California has upon request distributed 5,000 copies
>of its 28-page booklet, “The Islamization of American Schools” since its
>first press run in December 2004.
>
>The booklet focuses on California, where a seventh-grade world history
>curriculum examines Islamic civilization, among others of the Middle Ages.
>
>People in other states increasingly are ordering the booklet as well, says
>author Abdullah Al-Araby. The booklet, which Muslims denounce as
>misleading, is available on the group’s Web site.
>
>The Coptic Christian group alleges that children learn by emulating Islamic
>practices, such as kneeling to pray, donning traditional Islamic dress,
>receiving a Muslim name or chanting in Arabic. Such school practices amount
>to “indoctrination,” says Al-Araby, who says he writes under that pen name
>because he fears reprisal from angry Muslims.
>
>”It seems a good idea to teach culture, but they have crossed a line” into
>promoting a religion, Al-Araby says. “It’s a one-sided version of Islam as
>a religion of peace. . . . We have to make sure they give true history of
>Islam, not a polished or refined version.”
>
>Muslims object to the guidebook.
>
>It uses “lies” and “bigotry . . . to incite anger and hate against
>Muslims,” says Sabiha Kahn, spokeswoman for the Southern California Chapter
>of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
>
>”It’s laughable that they’re even suggesting that somehow Muslims are
>trying to indoctrinate students unknowingly,” Kahn says. “It’s really a big
>joke. I’m sure Americans are smart enough to read through their lies.”
>
>The Coptic group says it is prepared to give away 5,000 copies through its
>Web site, islamreview.com, to those willing to pay for shipping.

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One Response to “Booklet stirs tensions between Coptic Christians, Muslims”

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