A state lawmaker in West Virginia is looking into what's behind the report that a public school in his hometown had its seventh-graders practice some of the Pillars of Islam and write out that religion's main creed.
OneNewsNow reported last week that Mountain Ridge Middle School in Gerrardstown, West Virginia, asked its seventh-graders to write out the "Shahada," a Muslim's main confession of faith by which one converts to Islam. One of those students shared with OneNewsNow her discomfort and her feeling "weirded out" by that particular assignment.
State Delegate Marshall Wilson (R-District 60) – who also has a seventh-grader in that school – says he's going to get to the bottom of the controversy.
"[I'm going to] gather as much information as I [can], conduct a valid analysis, write a white paper, publish that white paper along with my recommendations for what should be done about it, and then take that to the legislature and actually try to enact those changes," he explains.
The curriculum used was a product of Teacher Created Resources, which offers study booklets on several major world religions, including Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, and Sikhs.
Pastor Rich Penkoski, the father who first brought his concerns about the curriculum to OneNewsNow, has asked the Thomas More Law Center to look into the matter. As a result, the school has lawyered up as well.
Wilson says the school's response to threatened legal action is slowing down communication with the school. But the Christian lawmaker says he has a strong suspicion who's behind the pro-Muslim bias at Mountain Ridge Middle School.
"CAIR has an overall influence throughout the country," he offers, "and they have a very active evangelical element to their activities in the United States – and one of those is they have been seen in other places to be involved in putting curricula in the schools." (Another more recent related article)
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), based in Washington, DC, was declared a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates in 2014 and was named by federal prosecutors in 2010 as an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas-funding operation. CAIR denies any connection with Hamas.