2016-10-01 / Religion

Muhammad who?

Plan could mean fewer Islam lessons

KINGSPORT, Tenn. — Seventhgrade students in Tennessee would no longer spend as much time learning about the history of Islam by 2019 under a proposed draft revision being developed by state educators, a newspaper reports.

A section on Islam currently taught in social studies classes has been removed from the state Board of Education’s draft , which went online for public review Sept. 15, the Kingsport Times-News reported. Most of the sections involving Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and other religions have remained in the draft in some form.

With the proposed deletion of the “Islamic World, 400 A.D./C.E. - 1500s” section, students would no longer be learning about the Quran or the differences between the Sunni and Shiite branches of the religion, the newspaper had reported.

Laura Encalade, director of policy and research at the State Board of Education, said the proposed draft revisions to social studies standards still would cover all the major religions in accordance with current state standards.

An emailed statement sent via the State Board of Education emphasized that the draft revisions are part of an ongoing process of an educator task force in reviewing all K-12 social studies standards. It added that the educator advisory team accepts and welcomes public input and added that the proposed changes “reflect a consistent approach to what students across grades and courses should learn about all topics, including religion.”

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