Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Kentucky pupil objects to teacher's anti-Islam film

A Pulaski County High School student has objected to being shown a video that depicted images of dead bodies, beheadings and bombings to illustrate its creator's opinion that the "Islamic incursion" must be stopped. Amber Cruey says she first felt hatred toward Muslims after watching the film, Bill Estep of the Lexington Herald-Leader reports, but decided the film was wrong in its hatred of Islam after a discussion with her parents.

Sonya Wilds, an assistant superintendent in the school system, told Estep the teacher showed the film on Sept. 11 "in order to commemorate the anniversary of the terror attacks in New York and Washington and generate discussion on the dangers of extremism." The teacher was not named by the school system, but Cruey identified him as Michael Foncannon, a teacher in the Junior ROTC program. The school system says that the teacher's intentions were pure, but that the film was not proper for a class of juniors and seniors.

The fifteen minute film, Fitna, was made by Dutch politician Geert Wilders, whom a Dutch court prosecuted in January for allegedly inciting hatred against Islam. "Islam is not a religion. Islam is an ideology." Wilders said in an interview with the Boston Globe in March. "You keep comparing it to Christianity, Judaism. It's not. It's an ideology that wants to dominate every aspect of society. I know billions of people believe it's a religion. I don't." Jenny Sutton-Amr, executive director of the Kentucky Islamic Resource Group in Lexington, told Estep: "Islam is definitely against violence. The notion of killing innocent people ... does not have a place in Islam." (Read more)

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