Sunday, September 25, 2011

Another day: back up the Sisyphean mountain

This morning, I wrote an email to Ethan HIldreth, school superintendent of Henry County schools in Georgia, in the Deep South of America, at this email address. What follows is my email to him, nearly verbatim (other than a couple of minor tweaks for polishing-up).

One little thing, before I get to that. I had pressed "Send" a little too impetuously, and had neglected to check my spelling of "Ante-Bellam" (shame on me!). In an immediately subsequent correction emailed to Mr. Hildreth, I wrote:

I meant to spell it "antebellum". (And if you could catch that error -- which I'm sure you could -- why can't you spot the errors in the propaganda of "Ahlima" in your school curriculum?)

So, anyway, here's my first email to Mr. Hildreth (with my misspelling corrected):


Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch reports that your school district is purveying this kind of material at the schools in Henry County, Georgia (that's the Georgia in the United States of America, not central Asia; I think).

Spencer then asks his readers the following:

Please contact Ethan Hildreth, the superintendent of the Henry County School District, where this material is being used, and explain to him politely that a curriculum that promotes polygamy and veiling of women is demeaning to women and contradicts American notions of the equality of rights of all people, as well as Judeo-Christian notions of the equality of dignity of all people. Tell him that this flagrant advertising for Islam also effectively amounts to proselytizing, of a kind that would never be tolerated in public school material if the religion were Christianity.

Spencer failed to prep his readers first, by asking them please to restrain their reasonably outraged fury -- which would help with the "explain to him politely part".

While I have restrained my reasonably outraged fury (I have had good practice doing so, beleaguered over the years from encountering other similar stupidity from those -- whether in the school system, in academe, in journalism, or in politics -- who are tasked with, but fail miserably in, the pedagogical role of educating my fellow citizens about one of the most significant problems facing the world), I find Spencer's subsequent advice supremely redundant.

I'd rather ask the more pertinent question:

Why do I have to point out to a school superintendent of a school district in America (in Georgia no less!) the painfully obvious?

"Ahlima", a Muslim woman touting how wonderful life is for women in Saudi Arabia!? With all due respect, Mr. Hildreth: Are you out of your cotton-picking mind!? You might as well be providing your students with material in which antebellum black slaves narrated glowingly and affectionately how "kind" their slave masters were and how life was peachy for a slave.

I'd say "shame on you", if I thought you were even capable of the Reason by which such elementary shame may be awakened in a heart and mind.

Unfortunately sincerely,


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