WAY TO GO, GUYS! What was intended to be a so-called “educational” presentation about Islam turned into a controversy when threats prompted school officials to cancel the event. Superintendent Susan Moreau said going through with the talk was too risky.
Courant Bristol school officials had an opportunity to stand up for tolerance (toward the most intolerant people on earth) and diversity and to decry internet bullying and small, hateful attitudes (like those represented all over the quran?). They failed.
Superintendent Susan Moreau said she canceled a scheduled speech by Annam Choudhry, who was to talk with a Northeast Middle School class about Islam and her experiences as a Muslim woman, “because the teacher felt threatened,” Ms. Moreau said. “She was getting phone calls and emails that were, in her words, threatening.”
It began, as self-righteous fury usually does these days, on Facebook. A member of the private “Bristol Talks” Facebook group posted about the planned presentation, and the comments began — people saying that the talk would be a snub of Christianity and so forth. Some angry residents contacted the schools in “emails to the principal and the teacher [that] were very confrontational,” according to school board Chairman Chris Wilson.
So, under the blanket of “safety reasons,” the program was canceled.
In doing so, Bristol officials only emboldened loathsome attitudes. Does anyone with a complaint and a threatening manner now get to dictate what’s taught in our schools? (Think of it as payback for decades of Leftist political correctness bullying/punishment of anyone who disagrees with them, especially in schools)
Are internet trolls in charge now? If safety and security were a legitimate concern, officials should have called the police, who are trained to deal with this. But as of Wednesday night, police hadn’t been notified of any threats.
The politically correct response would have been to reject the threats, condemn those making them, call the police if someone felt her safety was legitimately threatened, and continue with the planned presentation. If some informed parents wanted to keep their children out of the classroom for it, fine.(The only children who would not have been blown up if the baghead turned out to be a terrorist )
But what sort of threat is there in listening to a Muslim woman describe her religion and her experiences? Is that not a relevant issue in today’s world? The class where Ms. Choudhry was scheduled to appear has been studying world religions (a rabbi scheduled to talk as well was also cancelled – but not because of any threats – out of political correctness). Should students stop studying world religions? Should they also stop studying Communism? (No, just Islam will suffice)
The Council on American Islamic Relations said in its online statement that “canceling speakers outright emboldens individuals and organizations in Bristol who are Islamophobic and anti-Semitic.”
A number of incidents have been reported around the country, some of which may be connected to national organizations. The conservative American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) claims there is “a nation-wide epidemic” of Islamic “indoctrination” in public schools, some of which it deems unconstitutional. It singled out a chapter in a 7th grade Tennessee study guide called “Origins of Islam.”
The group is active in cases in Wisconsin, Georgia, and California, and its “Stop Islamic Indoctrination in School” petition has over 200,000 signatures. Another group, ACT! For America, has inspired local groups to challenge history textbooks; in March of this year, activists filed formal complaints about two textbooks in Charlotte County, Florida, claiming that they whitewash Islam.