Some parents in Revere were angry when they learned students were being taught about Islam and the Muslim religion.
“No religion should be taught at school. In their paper it says Allah is their only God. That’s insulting to me as a Christian who believes in just Jesus only,” said Anthony Giannino.
A section of the textbook describing the beliefs of Muslims says, “I bear witness that there is no God but Allah.”
Giannino immediately pulled his son out of the classroom. “We don’t believe in Allah. I don’t believe in my son learning about this here,” he said. “If my son was from another country and came here, he would have been catered to. But where he’s not being catered to, they give him an F.”
The superintendent of Revere Public Schools wrote the parents a letter explaining that it is simply part of the history in that section of the curriculum, and stated, “I want to be very clear that no religion is taught with the purpose of converting students to that religion…”
Other parents said they had no issue with the assignment. “What is Muslim about, what is Christianity about. That’s what I teach at home. Everybody should respect everybody else’s religion,” said Idalia Garcia.
“When you’re talking about a specific region in the world, there’s going to be traditions and there’s gonna be religions that children should learn about,” said Ovidio Raffa.
But some parents said they did not want their kids learning anything about Islam. “They should also say to you, ‘in history, your son is going to learn about Islam,’ send out a letter,” said Giannino, who also said he was starting a petition and had plenty of supporters.
Update: See “Are Revere parents really angry about Islam in the curriculum?”, Boston Magazine, 22 October 2014