Parents up in arms over school worksheet that puts Sharia law in a positive light

Parents up in arms over school worksheet that puts Sharia law in a positive light
(Image: Screen grab of KCET video, YouTube)

Up in arms, yes. Ready to lop off heads? Not exactly. Even though presumably the homework the children in a south Indiana school are receiving provides justification for decapitating someone who has run afoul of the law.

The Courier-Journal, a newspaper serving the community, notes that a recent worksheet assigned to seventh-grade students at Highland Hills Middle School contained a reading passage about a 20-year-old woman who feels “very fortunate” to live under Sharia law in Saudi Arabia followed up by questions.

The woman, Ahlima, reveals that she will soon become a man’s second wife and says of her modest attire:

I understand that some foreigners see our dress as a way of keeping women from being equal, but … I find Western women’s clothing to be horribly immodest.

One parent decries the the worksheet as “almost propaganda,” adding, “If you read that, you would think everything’s wonderful in that world.”

The worksheet was created by InspirEd Educators Inc., and has created a stir in other school districts where it was assigned. The creator of the worksheet, Sharon Coletti, is also the company’s president and defended her work, emphasizing that descriptions of Sharia in Western media tends to focus on “gross abuses of religious principles.” These, according to Asma Afsaruddin, a professor of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at Indiana University, “actually have no religious basis whatsoever” but are instead “cultural practices that predate Islam.”

If that’s true, which seems doubtful in light of some of the recent literature that has come out of the Middle East — such as a Sharia-compliant guide on how to rape and punish sex slaves — maybe seventh grade is not the best venue for setting the record straight.

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles is a freelance writer.

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