A school in West Virginia has assigned students a homework that if not completed will result in a detention (presumably where they will be required to complete the assignment). The homework is to write out the Islamic Shahada. For those of you who are not Muslim, the Shahada is the profession of your faith in Islam. By saying it (or writing it), you are considered to have become a Muslim.
In translation, it reads:
“There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.”
The ruling is that once you say this in front of witnesses you are officially a Muslim in the eyes of the Islamic world. Why would a West Virginia school be setting this as a homework?
“Hi kids! Today's homework is to complete the math questions on page 22 of your books and convert to Islam!” Nice, right?
Mountain Ridge Middle School claims that the completion of the homework was optional and that it was only to be used as a calligraphy exercise. But surely if this were a calligraphy exercise, there is a wealth of Arabic writings that could be chosen… Perhaps the equivalent of “the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog?”
To choose the one passage in the entire Islamic world that for Muslims the world over effectively means that the child has converted to Islam seems somewhat idiotic at best, and downright suspicious at worst.