An Exclusive Debate: Including Islam in Tennessee Middle Schools
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An issue of debate has befallen many public schools in Tennessee. The teaching of Islam in curriculum standards has upset many teachers and parents, while many believe that Islam education is vital in modern American culture. This tension has created much controversy between the idea of the separation of church and state and religious education. In my research, I have weighed both sides, concluding that Islam should indeed be taught in public schools. Both sides have valid arguments, but it is ultimately the school’s job to educate, especially impressionable youth who are the future of our nation. It is imperative that they know the history of Islam and its influence on America in order to properly function in political, cultural, and social affairs. My paper takes this stance while addressing common stereotypes of Muslim culture. It seeks to absolve these misunderstandings, such as the role of violence and jihad. I address the First Amendment, the Constitution, and religion’s role in education. My research results in a positive view of Islam in schools with respect to religious boundaries and encourages informed Americans to live at peace with different cultures.