Publisher of ‘pro-Islam’ school textbook receives threats

Police are looking into a series of online threats made against a Georgia textbook publisher after a parent complained that one of the books promoted Islam and polygamy.

The controversy began last week when Hal Medlin, the parent of a student at Campbell Middle School in Cobb County, Georgia, complained to the school about an assignment that he said “slanted positively” toward Islam.

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the part of the assignment in question was called the “letter from Ahlima”: “The assignment by a teacher at Campbell Middle School, which asked students to write on the issue of dress codes, included a fictional two-page letter ostensibly written by a 20-year-old Saudi Arabian woman. In it, the character writes approvingly of wearing the Islamic veil – and of her fiance’s multiple wives and the law of Sharia.”

The letter is part of a unit in the textbook devoted to the Middle East, and according to the AJC is paired with a letter from an Israeli woman discussing her own life.

The story was picked up by anti-Islam blogger Pamela Geller, which she called “grotesque”. “Misogyny, homicide bombing, Jew hatred, packaged in multi-culti tolerance of Islam, is being spoon fed to our young,” Geller wrote.

And the publisher, InspirEd Educators, complained that a number of other bloggers made “terroristic threats” and that it has “received what the police have classified as hate email and phone calls, and the company and its staff have been threatened and discussed with threatening language on various websites and blogs.”

Local police say they are investigating the threats, which include one blogger’s comment that “there will be a blood bath,” according to WSB-TV.

An official for the publisher defended the lesson: “It’s important for kids to have some empathy for other people in the world. Some people think we’re trying to teach their children to be Muslims, and that could not be more ridiculous.”

TPM, 29 September 2011