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Parents Angry About Muslim Character in Child's Homework

By Modupe Idowu
By midowu@wbbjtv.com

CHESTER COUNTY, Tenn. - A reading assignment about a camel has some parents in Chester County upset. The children's story references an Islamic spiritual being which has some parents upset that an element of one religion is being taught while others are not.

"If you're going to teach on or infiltrate one religion, infiltrate all of them," said concerned parent Jarrett Bishop.

Bishop said he was helping his third grade son with homework and saw the unexpected.

"Then he mentioned the word Muslim legend, and I said do what?," said Bishop.

Students were sent home to read about how an Islamic spiritual creature gave the camel its hump.

Bishop said, "I found it not to be a Muslim legend but an actual Muslim faith or belief out of the Koran."

"It's just a typical child story not meant to cause harm," said Jacks Creek Elementary School Principal Amy Wooley.

The term comes from the Koran. Muslims believe the creature can influence humans and comes in the form of a person or animal according to experts.

"It'd be different if we were sitting here with the Koran open but we're not.," said Wooley.

Bishop stated, "It infuriated me that that's allowed in our schools but the Bible, God, the Holy Ghost are not."

While Parents were outraged about the assignment, school officials said school curriculum states students should learn about different cultures.

"I didn't see anything cultural about it. It's a story about how a camel got its hump," said Bishop.

And its the lack of culture, that has parents furious.

Wooley said, "No one is trying to push anything. It's just exposing kids to different kinds of stories."

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