Why is an official of the Boise School District recommending Islamic religious material? And why is there not a single recommendation leading children to understand and appreciate Western civilization? Indeed, the only mention of it is negative: “the relentless march of the Roman Army.” This is no clash of civilizations, this is abject surrender. From The Idaho Statesman, with thanks to Teri:
Want your children to be good readers? Read to them. Or let them read to you. Educators recommend adults and children spend 20 minutes a day reading to one another.
These recommendations are from Stephanie Youngerman, educational services supervisor with the Boise School District.
Grades K to 3
“Magid Fasts for Ramadan,” by Mary Matthews. An interesting look at an Egyptian Muslim family’s celebration of Ramadan through the eyes of 8-year-old Magid.
“Crow Boy,” by Taro Yashima. In a small Japanese village, Chibi, the main character, is an outcast at school because he is different from the other kids. This memorable story is about a situation all children experience sometime .
Grades 4 to 6
“Celebrating Ramadan,” by Diane Hoyt-Goldsmith. This picture book for older readers follows devout Muslim Ibraheem, a fourth-grader living in New Jersey, through the holy month of Ramadan and Eid (the holiday that follows).
“Skeleton Man,” by Joseph Bruchac. Steeped in Mohawk lore and tradition, this story is contemporary both in its setting and its celebration of the enduring strength and courage of Native American women.
Grades 7 to 12
“19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East,” by Naomi Shihab Nye. Haunting and evocative poems about the Middle East and about being an Arab American living in the United States.
“Flame (Farsala Trilogy),” by Hilari Bell. Adventure, mythology, politics, military tactics, and intrigue combine in this sweeping fantasy that draws its underpinnings from ancient Persian poetry and the relentless march of the Roman army.
UPDATE: Apparently dhimmitude is quite entrenched at the Idaho Statesman: an October article exhorted non-Muslims to put crescent moons on their houses as an expression of respect for Muslims. Some acid responses from readers can be found here (thanks to Twostellas).