Islam is Not a Religion

Continuing the discussion of the teaching of Islam in Tennessee schools:

“The Tennessee Department of Education Commissioner said the intent of the curriculum is to provide a deep understanding of how world religions have affected world history. However, she acknowledged the state is speeding up the review of social studies standards. “While we desire to maintain the intent of this approach, we believe a statewide social studies standards review process will help further an appropriate balance in the coverage of world religions,” she said.

“In light of recent concerns from educators and stakeholders, the department has asked the State Board of Education to move the social studies standards review process up ahead of the traditional six-year cycle.”

The Director of Legislative Affairs for the Tennessee Department of Education, sent an email to lawmakers in response to concerns about the curriculum. In her email, obtained by The Tennessean, she acknowledges the “Islamic World” is covered in seventh grade. But she notes Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism and Shinto are also covered in various courses throughout middle school and high school.

Students have learned the same content included in the seventh-grade curriculum for years, she said. The information was mainly included in the sixth-grade curriculum until the state Board of Education adopted new content standards in July 2013. “While it appears that some seventh-grade teachers are covering Islam longer than Christianity, it’s important to note, that the last chapter of the sixth-grade textbook covers the rise of Christianity extensively. That chapter is repeated at the beginning of the seventh-grade textbook,”.

Several conservative Republican state lawmakers weren’t satisfied. In more emails and public statements obtained by The Tennessean, they call for the revision of the curriculum. “The section on ‘Ancient Israel’ isn’t called the ‘Jewish World,’ ” Rep. Tilman Goins, R-Morristown, wrote in an emailed response.

“If a study of a geographic region such as ‘The Middle East’ were to discuss the major religions found there, so be it! But until there is a section on India referred to as ‘The Hindu World,’ I do not believe this favoritism toward Islam should be allowed to continue to exist.” Rep. Bill Sanderson, R-Kenton, agreed with Goins. In an emailed response, he said the “time is here for those accountable to either ‘out’ the ones responsible for the bias or stand and defend their position.” The standards were developed in conjunction with Tennessee teachers and were publicly available for review or comment before they were adopted.

The recent outcry caused state Rep. Andy Holt, R-Dresden, to take a look at the standards. Holt, one of the chief opponents of a bill providing undocumented immigrants with in-state tuition this year, agreed with his colleagues that it’s time to remove the “strong bias in favor of Islam” from the curriculum. “While I can certainly understand the desire for cultural knowledge, it must never be at the cost of our own cultural identity,” Holt wrote in a post on his blog, a site he uses to issue statements and raise money. “Many of our children are not being taught the Ten Commandments in school, but instead the Five Pillars of Islam and the ‘Prophet’ Muhammad as a sovereign to Jesus Christ.”

Holt noted the recent shooting death of five U.S. service members in Chattanooga by a man called a “perverted jihadist” by Vice President Joe Biden. “Tennesseans have seen the radical side of Islam, and many have grown skeptical of this ‘peaceful religion,’ ” Holt wrote.

The state reviews standards every six years, but general outcry over the controversial Common Core caused the state to start that process earlier for math and science. While standards describe the minimum learning expectations for students in each grade, curriculum and instruction are local decisions made by districts, schools, and teachers.

This last example however, provides an interesting hypocrisy (or conundrum) for the PLDC.

If it is acceptable for students, under the tutelage of the PLDC controlled teacher’s unions, to engage with the “Pillars of Islam”, then that must be because the PLDC does not see that as a violation of their mantra about the “separation” of church and state. How can that be?

Only one way. Aristotelian Logic (first proposed by the Greek philosopher, Aristotle, about 330BC) demands that could only be the case if Islam is not considered to be a religion.

“Logic enables one to recognize when a judgment requires proof and to verify the validity of such proof. Aristotle’s logical work is collected in the six texts that are collectively known as the Oreanon. Two of these texts in particular, namely the Prior Analytics and De Interpretatione, contain the heart of Aristotle’s treatment of judgements and formal inference.

With Prior Analytics Aristotle made his most important contribution to logic: the syllogism. A syllogism consists of certain assumptions or premises from which a conclusion can be deduced. We can define a syllogism, in relation to its logical form, as an argument made up of three categorical propositions, two premises (which set out the evidence), and a conclusion (that follows logically from the premises).

The validity can be understood (in modern terms) as the requirement that if the premises of the argument are true, then the conclusion must be true. On seeing the arrangement of terms in such cases, one immediately understands that the conclusion follows necessarily from the premises.

In the case of imperfect syllogisms Aristotle relies on a method of proof that translates them, step-by-step, into perfect syllogisms through a careful rearrangement of terms.  He does this directly, through conversion, or indirectly, through the relationships of contradiction and contrariety.

To cite only one very simple example, consider a brief passage in the Prior Analytics (I.5.27a5ff) where Aristotle demonstrates that the propositions “No P are M,” and “All S are M” can be combined to produce a syllogism with the conclusion, “No S are P.”  If “No P are M,” it must follow that “No M are P” (conversion); but “No M are P” combined with the second premise, “All S are M” proves that “No S are P.”

This conversion of an imperfect syllogism into a perfect syllogism demonstrates that the original arrangement of terms is a genuine deduction. Aristotle referred to the terms as the “extremes” and the “middle.” The middle term is the conclusion that links the two extremes. A traditional example runs as follows:

·         All men are mortal.

·         All Athenians are men.

·         Therefore, all Athenians are mortal.

 In our discussion, the syllogism would go as follows:

 ·         In America, there is a separation between church and state so religious doctrine cannot be taught in government run public schools.

·         The “Five Pillars of Islam” are taught in American public schools.

·         Therefore, American public schools must not consider Islam to be a religion.

 Following logically therefore, Islam should not be included in “Comparative Religion” courses in American public schools.

But, while Islam is apparently now a favored religion in academia, Christianity barely qualifies. Consider:

Former pro-tennis player David Wheaton, the author of the book University of Destruction, tells the story of an incoming freshman at a prestigious university. She had enjoyed an idyllic childhood, had graduated at the top of her class at a highly regarded Catholic high school and was active in all of the normal undertakings of today’s teens.

 Within a month of arriving on campus, she had literally disappeared into the campus culture devoid of any contact with family or hometown friends. After eighteen years in the loving care of her family – she was gone – lost to them forever.

 Dr. John MacArthur, bestselling author, writes; “In my experience as a researcher, according to the feedback of my colleagues, a major goal of many professors is to break the religious faith of those Christian students who try to live their religion and act on it in their daily life. Young people entering college often encounter overwhelming temptations while being force-fed with godless philosophies – and the results can be spiritually catastrophic. “

 The statistic is staggering: Fifty percent of devout Christian college students lose their faith or at least have made it a low priority by the time they graduate from secular institutions. 

 But, destructive cultural influences go much farther than this. “A Hampshire College student is facing charges after allegedly assaulting a visiting team’s basketball player over her “culturally appropriated” hair braids [yes, hair braids]. The 20-year-old Hispanic student, Carmen Figueroa, claimed in District Court that she’s not guilty of charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and disorderly conduct, the Daily Hampshire Gazette reported.

The charges stem from an incident at Hampshire College’s Robert Crown Center on January 27, 2017. Figueroa, who was merely attending the game, allegedly came up to the Central Maine Community College women’s basketball team and insisted that they remove braids from their hair, saying it’s “cultural appropriation.” The ethnicity/race of the basketball players Figueroa allegedly confronted is unclear. They were obviously not Hispanic.

After the team members dismissed her demands, she allegedly started a fight with one of them. Another Hampshire College student, who also participated in the incident, pulled the hair of one of the players and caused her to fall down, local news reports said.

According to court documents, Figueroa allegedly stepped on the fallen player and injured her. The documents also claim that one Central Maine Community College player tried to protect her teammate, but Figueroa “grabbed her by the head and threw her to the ground,” causing her to suffer scratches.

The two coaches helped break up the fight, while Figueroa “screamed swears and racial slurs” towards the Maine basketball team and tried to punch female players, the charges allege. Hampshire, a small private liberal arts college in Massachusetts,  didn’t comment on the incident, only confirming the accused student’s enrollment at the school.

This apparently is not an isolated incident but, only the most recent example of what passes for education at the nation’s universities. The topic of “cultural appropriation”, or CA, has become a heated issue on many college campuses in recent years.This incident is similar an incident caught on video at San Francisco State University in which a white student with dreadlocks was aggressively confronted by a black student.

Defined loosely, CA refers to the adoption of a culturally specific item by someone not directly involved in that culture. Why this is offensive, if done in a respectful manner, escapes most attempts at logical explanation. One attempt proposes that it is used to describe Western appropriations of non‐Western or non‐white forms, and carries connotations of exploitation and dominance.”However:

In 2015, students at the private liberal arts school, Oberlin College in Ohio, protested the school cafeteria’s “cultural appropriation” of Vietnamese cuisine after the school used the “wrong ingredients” to cook a banh mi sandwich. At the time, Oberlin’s student newspaper also apparently called the cafeteria sushi a product of the school’s “culturally appropriative sustenance system.”

In stark contrast to all of this chaos and controversy on American college campuses, is the mission statement of the Students for Academic Freedom called the Academic Bill of Rights authored by another Horowitz, David Horowitz, noted conservative author. Notice the absence of any political bias. It reads:

“The central purposes of a university are the pursuit of truth, the discovery of new knowledge through scholarship and research, the study and reasoned criticism of intellectual and cultural traditions, the teaching and general development of students to help them become creative individuals and productive citizens of a pluralistic democracy and the transmission of knowledge and learning to a society at large.”

Can any reasonable person disagree with any concept contained within this definition? Apparently so, since the PLDC controlled American university campus acknowledges virtually none of the ideas cited above – as I have described in the previous 700 pages of this treatise.

And so it has come to pass that in the United STATES of America, the academy, both private and public, the intellectual heart of the nation, its history and culture, the locus of the free exchange of ideas in pursuit of learning (facts), critical thinking and knowledge (truth) – has instead been taken hostage – sometimes violently – by ideologues whose sense of purpose has led them to extinguish learning, to sacrifice thinking and to relegate truth to the trashbin of history in order to institute an age of government control of thought, in its entirety – through indoctrination into what passes for liberal thought – all for the benefit of the enlightened progressive/liberal/ Democrat cabal of elite politicians – and other pseudo-intellectuals – who alone, apparently, know what is best for us all. Next time: From Patriot to Politico.

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