Hundreds gather to protest Islamic content in Tenn. school textbook

About 350 concerned citizens gathered at a church in White County, Tenn., upset about a textbook. They want the school board to get rid of a 7th grade history book that they believe promotes Islamic indoctrination.

"It is our time, it is our place to stop it here," said Steve Gill, a speaker at the event.

People gathered after what they heard on the radio and after getting word about what children are learning in school.

"It's in our classrooms in White County," says the radio ad paid for by the Citizens Against Islamic Indoctrination.

"This is the book," said Bryan Wright, co-chair of Citizens Against Islamic Indoctrination. "And this is supposed to be history right? Islam Today."

Many in this mostly Christian Tennessee county, believe 7th graders are getting too much religion in their curriculum.  "So you'e be fine with no Christianity?" asked reporter Sabrina Hall.   

"I'd be fine with no religion being taught in school," said Wright. Despite protest, the White County School Board has voted to keep the textbook, one of two approved by the Tennessee Department of Education.

"We voted not to get rid of the book because it's a book about world history not indoctrination," said Edd Cantrell, the chairman of the White County School Board. The school board said it reviewed the book and found it factual and without bias.  Parents, who say they read it, disagree and want the school board to replace it with something else.

"It's wise to understand and have a better understanding of the world around you but you need to understand the truth. When you say Islam stresses the equality of all people, that is not true," said Parent Ed Butler.

Organizers say they are going to keep gathering people, organizing protests and circulating petitions until the White County School Board votes their way.

"I hope they will wake up and realize that parents and this community do not want this book," said Wright.

A petition is being passed around asking for the board members to immediately resign. Some believe the board originally approved the textbook without permission from the people they represent. 


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