Booklet Stirs Tensions Between Coptic Christians and Muslims

July 2, 2005

Source: Orlando Sentinel,0,6270922.story?coll=orl-home-lifestyle

On July 2, 2005 the Orlando Sentinel reported, "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... 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, [author of the booklet] 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."

See also: Christianity, Islam