June 2017 – In an animated video, two boys play soccer: One, a Muslim boy, instructs the other on how to become a Muslim. Soon, the sad non-Muslim boy is smiling when the Muslim boy invites him to join him for prayers at the mosque.
The video, titled 5 Pillars, was shown to students as part of regular school curriculum at Chatham Middle School in Chatham, New Jersey.
The mothers of two boys in two different classes each complained to the Chatham Board of Education on February 6. They requested that, if the lesson on Islam was not dropped from classroom instruction, equal time be spent studying Christianity and other religions.
“One of my fundamental obligations as a parent is to guide the religious and secular education of my children,” explained Libby Hilsenrath, one of the mothers.
Superintendent Michael LaSusa refused their request. Both women became the subject of vehement verbal attacks and slurs after they spoke out about the issue.