Re: Theater collaboration (April 29)


A young student of my acquaintance at JCDS was recently involved in the Promoting Peace and Understanding program at the school. 

Apparently JCDS maintains a number of partnerships in the community, although only one is a school, and that school is the Islamic School of RI. That partnership is generously funded by the Rhode Island Foundation. Wouldn’t you think that JCDS’s partnerships with schools should (at a minimum) also embrace schools that reflect Judeo-Christian values, e.g., Roman Catholic schools, Christian schools, Latino schools, etc.?

Dr. Stephen M. Kirby, noted author of three books about Islam, raises in, April 26, 2016, the question of what values Muslim “school friends” carry. He notes that a popular curriculum of private Islam schools, “I Love Islam,” provided by the Islamic Services Foundation, has troubling content. Israel, for one thing, does not appear on many of the maps contained in teaching material, and is barely visible on others. The series also teaches that Jerusalem is located in Palestine, and that Christians are inferior to Muslims. Further, it holds Muhammad out as a role model, as in the Sira or Seerah of Muhammad, even though the Sira teaches that Muhammad ordered adulterers to be stoned, owned and gave away slaves, beheaded Jews and approved of wife-beating.

The values listed above should be troubling to the Jewish community and to all Americans. But has the JCDS done due diligence as to the teaching curriculum of its partner, Islamic School of RI? Needless to say, friendships made at elementary-school age can be influential in shaping attitudes later in life.

As a concerned member of the community, I would encourage JCDS to explain the thinking behind their participation in this program and partnerships. 

Howard Brown

North Kingstown