A middle school teacher in Bristol, Connecticut had arranged for a Muslim speaker to come into her World History class to talk about Islam. However, her plans were quickly derailed by community members emailing and calling her to express their concerns, some in a threatening manner.
Superintendent Susan Moreau took the decision to shut down the program in light of the controversy. Moreau mentioned to the Hartford Courant that “going through was too risky”, and that she hoped that “the opinion of a few Bristol residents are not seen as a representation of Bristol as a whole”.
Muslim members of the Bristol community, however, disagreed. The Council on American Islamic Relations warned that shutting the program down would cause more problems and claimed that it would “embolden Islamophobes and is a disservice to students.
The Muslim Coalition of Connecticut furthered, “the people who placed the threats are kind of winning — what are we teaching the kids?”
This event would feature other religions alongside Islam and would have been a great learning experience for the World History class. The Washington Post reports, Superintendent Moreau intends to organize a panel with representation from various religions in the near future.
The school says educating the youth about various religions is essential to fostering a peaceful and understanding environment in the future.
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