- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 7, 2017

A South Carolina elementary school is under the microscope after a parent realized her sixth-grade child was tasked with a “Five Pillars of Islam” worksheet.

Alston Middle School in Summerville has a class called “Survey of Civilization,” which includes lesson plans on different religions, economies, and geographic regions. A local CBS affiliate was recently sent a classroom assignment that has some parents angry that they weren’t given more details beforehand.

“Our concern is that if they need permission to teach sexual education, they should be getting permission to teach religious values,” said a mother who chose to remain anonymous for the story, the station reported Feb. 3.

The worksheet provided to the station required students to know the following:

  • “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his Prophet.”
  • “Pray five times a day and visit a mosque on Fridays.”
  • “Give alms to the needy.”
  • “Fast from sunrise to sunset during the month of Ramadan.”
  • “Make a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in your lifetime”

Another worksheet asked students to complete sentences like, “Islam is a religion of peace,” and “We call God Allah,” with the words “peace” and “Allah” missing.

Dorchester District II spokeswoman Patricia Raynor defended the assignments as a small portion of a much more comprehensive curriculum.

“Worksheets on all these features of a civilization are used as teaching tools, including all religions involved,” the school officials said in a statement. “One of the next civilizations beings studied in the course will be ancient Rome that will include the study of Christianity. South Carolina curriculum standards specify the material covered in this study of civilizations. This curriculum is taught in all school districts in South Carolina.”

Ms. Raynor added that parents who do not want their children to take part in the class may opt out.

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