Under the U.S. Department of Education-funded “Access Islam” study program, students in grades five through 12 are taught the following “Five Pillars of Islam” curriculum.
The study in the five pillars of Islam begins with the most shocking exercise, which is to have students silently read the Shahada – the Islamic statement of faith. In Islam, if a person recites the Shahada that person HAS BECOME A MUSLIM.
The study plan then compares the Shahada to the Nicene Creed in Christianity, as if stating a belief in the Lordship of Jesus Christ is the same as belief in the Muslim god Allah.
“This is possibly the most egregious example of indoctrination there can be,” said Martin Mawyer, president of Christian Action Network. “To compel students to recite the Islamic statement of faith is like asking a Muslim to recite the Lord’s prayer. It would NEVER be done in our public schools.”
In the second pillar of faith, which is prayer, or Salat, students are asked to watch Muslims praying in a series of videos, which includes studying how Muslims prepare for prayer, how they move during prayer, how many times a day they pray, why they face toward Mecca, and so forth.
In the third pillar, Zakaat, or almsgiving, students are again asked to watch a series of videos and to understand what is emphasized in Islamic almsgiving, why Muslims make donations, how giving in zakat is different from other Muslim charity, and more.
“I don’t see any lessons in this study about how Christians tithe,” commented Mawyer. “Why are our children learning how to give like a Muslim? It’s incomprehensible.”
In pillar four, “Sawm,” or fasting, students are asked to study why Muslims fast, and to explore the Muslim holy days of Ramadan. They are required to know what Eid al-Fitr is (the Muslim holiday that ends Ramadan). The study asks students: “How does fasting from eating and other activities affect people’s spiritual state of mind?”
Mawyer pointed out the hypocrisy of the study. “Again, where is the study of Christian fasting, in keeping with both Old and New Testament teaching?”
The fifth pillar is Hajj, pilgrimage. Students again must view videos of Muslims on pilgrimage to Mecca, which is a requirement in Islam at least once in a Muslim’s life. In addition to learning all about the pilgrimage, students will be asked to answer the following questions:
The culminating activity for the study of the five pillars of Islam is to create a poster depicting all five pillars and how Muslims fulfill each pillar.
“Leading a religious life and fulfilling religious duties can sometimes seem to conflict with modern life and society,” the study lesson states. “Contact local mosques or community centers and have students speak with Muslims in their community about how they fulfill their duties as outlined in the Five Pillars and how these practices fit into their busy lives with work, school, and family. If students cannot speak with Muslims in their community, use (other) resources … interview Muslims who have participated in hajj, and talk to Muslims during the month of Ramadan to learn about fasting and almsgiving. Contact religious leaders or scholars to learn more about prayer and belief.”
Mawyer expressed concern about the total immersion students must engage in to learn about Islam and its five pillars. “This appears to be much more like a study in how to become a Muslim, beginning with the all-important Shahada, statement of faith,” said Mawyer. “If Christian parents knew their students were being taught how to be Muslim, they would be appalled. To make it even worse, all this is being done at taxpayer expense through the U.S. Department of Education.”