Here’s my question. Why is it that these “religious studies” assignments never, ever involve writing a “conversion to Christianity” letter, or a “conversion to Judaism” letter?
How is it that they always just happen to require children to write about converting to Islam?
Are we supposed to seriously accept that this is an effort at education, diversity, and tolerance? If this were done even once with Christianity as the religion being converted to, there’d be flame-throwing in the streets.
In the reported case, the school in question is on the island of Guernsey. Sarkus Zeronian mentions, at Breitbart, that there are only a few dozen Muslims on Guernsey out of a population of 62,000.
But that doesn’t matter. If it’s a public school (and it is), I don’t care if all 62,000 of the residents are Muslims. I wouldn’t require their children to write a letter about converting to Judaism, and no one should make other people’s children write one about converting to Islam. This is a tendentiously, insidiously framed intellectual attack on other people’s children. End of story.
Zeronian describes the assignment:
Children aged 12 to 13 have been tasked by their Religious Studies teacher, Amber Stables, to write to their families describing their conversion to Islam.
Assistance with content given to the pupils suggests:
Include: How you’re feeling, how becoming a Muslim has changed your life, how much you love your family and hope they can accept your choice.
Focus: How would it make you feel having to tell your parents this?? How would/could they react?
Zeronian also notes that Stables seems to recognize she’s doing something controversial here. He quotes her caveat to the students:
**Please also note this is a piece of creative writing and completely fictional YOU ARE NOT ACTUALLY CONVERTING TO ISLAM. It is purely to test your knowledge of what we have learnt this year and how well you can argue objectively!!!!
But, of course, writing a letter explaining your conversion to Islam isn’t about “arguing objectively.” No one converts to Islam through an “objective argument” process. Decision factors that make sense to you – the basis for embracing a faith perspective – are not the same thing as an objective argument.
(Not that a teacher who uses four exclamation points in her outline of a homework assignment is likely to recognize “arguing objectively,” in any case, even if she finds it dead in her lunchbox.)
The whole episode is another of those abstract lie-mosaics that increasingly clutter our intellectual horizon. It’s an event in a parallel universe of impressionistic falsehood, where nothing means what it formally purports to.
Here are screen caps of the assignment, in case it gets taken down when the publicity gets to be too much.
Exit proposal: require students to write a letter as if they are Muslims converting to Christianity. Requires students to write a letter as if they have decided they aren’t gay; they’re really straight. Require students to write a letter as if they realize they are “cis-gender” and always were. Require students to write a letter acknowledging that there is no such thing as an oppressive culture of “white privilege,” and it was silly to ever think so. Require students to write a letter explaining that they think marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Require students to write a letter explaining why they think an unborn baby has the right to life. Require students to write a letter pointing out how collectivist ideas impoverish and oppress people, holding them back and making their lives miserable.
Why not? We’re supposed to understand, respect, and tolerate each other, right?