Islamic Studies Lesson at Lumberton, Texas, High School Causes Political Firestorm

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The Daily Caller, quoting a story from World Net Daily, reports an incident at Lumberton High School in Lumberton, Texas, in which female students were encouraged to dress in burqas and students were taught that Islamist terrorists are "freedom fighters."

World Geography class's approach to Islamic studies

According to the Daily Caller account, students in a world geography class at Lumberton High dressed in Islamic clothing, were taught that Islamist terrorists are, in fact, "freedom fighters," and were told that problems afflicting Egypt were brought about by "democracy" but are now being fixed by the current Muslim Brotherhood regime, based apparently on a Washington Post article.

Lumberton High School is located in East Texas

Lumberton High School is located in the town of Lumberton in Hardin County near Beaumont in East Texas. The population of the town is 92.9 percent white, 4.7 percent Hispanic, 0.7 percent Asian, 0.4 percent African American, 0.3 percent Native American, 0.9 percent mixed race, and .04 percent "other." The number of Muslims who live in the town is not listed.

State Senator promises an investigation

The Washington Times reports that State Sen. Dan Patrick, the chairman of the Texas Senate Education Committee, has promised an investigation of the incident. Patrick suggested that the lesson was "anti-American" since it seemed to denigrate democracy as well as being discriminatory against Christians, since a view of Islam was taught in Lumberton High School but that Christianity was not.

CSCOPE lesson plan blamed for the incident

Both the Daily Caller and the Washington Times accounts made reference to an electronic lesson plan widely used called CSCOPE in relation to the Islamic studies incident at Lumberton High School.

CSCOPE describes itself as providing a "TEKS-aligned and updated K-12 curriculum, assessment, and instruction components for English and Spanish Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies (foundation curriculum). The CSCOPE system, including all content, is delivered to participating school districts in a web-based format, which also allows districts to customize content to address the unique district and community expectations and priorities."

A website called Texas CSCOPE Review suggests that the curriculum advanced by the program is left-wing biased and advances values that most parents in Texas would find abhorrent. An analysis of the way CSCOPE approaches Islam suggest that the lesson plan advances the view that the mistreatment of women in Islamic countries stems from a misinterpretation of the tenets of the Koran and not from any basic teaching of Islam, providing what it considers an even-handed view of the role of women in Islam.

Texas resident Mark Whittington writes about state issues for the Yahoo! Contributor Network.

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