CAIR teaching the teachers about Islam? Some say a workshop turned political

Nov 20, 2017 by

Teacher workshops on Muslims and the Arab word have come under fire by some who say they are an attempt to indoctrinate educators with a one-sided view of the Middle East conflict.

Small groups of teachers recently gathered, first in Los Angeles, then in Orange County, for workshops on topics such as Arabic music, the role of women in Islam and Islamophobia.

The goal was to teach teachers, to give them information they could apply in their classrooms. Ultimately, the thinking went, all students would benefit, particularly Muslim students facing bullying and discrimination.

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But the workshops–“Learning about Muslims and the Arab World”–have come under fire by some who say they are an attempt to indoctrinate teachers with a one-sided view of the Middle East conflict, portraying the state of Israel as the villain and Palestinians as the victims.

The two-day workshops were organized by the Greater L.A. chapter of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, an interfaith organization that supports the ‘boycott, divest and sanction’ movement against Israel, a movement known by the initials BDS that’s gaining traction on college campuses across the country.

The Israel Group, a Southern California-based organization that works to counter the BDS movement, filed complaints with both the Los Angeles Unified School District and the Orange County Department of Education.

“…It is apparent that the workshop was designed, not as a neutrally balanced presentation about a complex situation, but rather as a propaganda platform intended to vilify Israel and the Jewish people as being responsible for all suffering and for the entire refugee problem in the Middle East,” Jack Saltzberg, the group’s executive director, wrote the Orange County Board of Education in an Oct. 24 letter.

Critics questioned why an organization that takes an anti-Israel position is allowed to offer such workshops, why the Middle East conflict was discussed at all in courses that lead to teachers’ salary points, and why the districts offered workshops on one religion and not others. In Los Angeles, hundreds of teachers have taken the workshops for years without any apparent complaints.

Source: Teaching the teachers about Islam? Some say a workshop turned political

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