Writing on the Alliance for School Choice blog, right-wing activist Nancy Salvato uses a recent controversy over a Harry Potter book in Georgia to claim that public schools are being used to indoctrinate children into radical Islam. The Georgia controversy started when a parent complained that the book promotes the wicca religion and demanded it be removed from an elementary school library. Salvato, an aide to Illinois state senators Ray Soden and Carole Pankau. says that debating wicca is a waste of time. The real danger, she says, is Islam:
We are facing clear and immediate dangers to our way of life and shouldn’t waste time entertaining the paranoid delusions of any person(s) declaring that Wicca is being proselytized through the Harry Potter series, especially anyone who hasn’t bothered to read an entire book. Indeed, from everything I’ve ever read about Wicca, it is a very peaceful practice.
Yet, one can conclude that another religious practice is spreading evil amongst us; those who believe in the inalienable rights of every person to pursue life, liberty, and happiness; and respect and defend the U.S. Constitution which protects these rights…Radical Islamists, in the name of Allah, will commit indiscriminate, non-selective and suicidal acts of terror, as has been demonstrated on American soil.
Despite this, in our nation’s public schools, children are being taught about Ramadan…
This is what the mainstream media should be reporting, this is what parents should be worrying about. Harry Potter is a fantasy, and though no one is telling readers which characters are good and evil, it can be agreed that most kids fantasize about being Harry, the good guy, not Malfoy (the bad guy). Do the kids indoctrinated into radical Islam understand good and evil? They haven’t had enough experiences to recognize that they are being brainwashed. Let this be on what our energy is focused, not distractions like magic and witchcraft. Leave that to the imagination.
The Alliance for School Choice has made many outlandish accusations against public education, but the suggestion that our public schools are in danger of becoming virual madrassas is certainly…novel. Clearly the not-so-subtle difference between teaching about religion and indoctrination is lost on Salvato.