HAM LAKE, Minnesota (LifeSiteNews) — Muslim parents are speaking out about the pro-LGBT content of books in a public charter school in Minnesota, putting liberals in an awkward position between two identity groups they claim to represent.
Catholic News Agency reports that DaVinci Academy, whose student body has been estimated to be one-fifth Muslim, recently announced implementation of a curriculum featuring 120 “anti-bias” books, two dozen of which favorably represent homosexuality and transgenderism, meant for children as young as kindergarten.
The curriculum was developed by the nonprofit AmazeWorks, which specializes in “anti-bias education theory as a model for identity development, appreciating differences, and understanding bias, prejudice, and stereotypes.”
Among the books are When Aidan Became a Brother, about a girl who decides she is a boy, and One of a Kind Like Me, about a boy wanting to dress like a princess.
In a school board meeting last month, teacher Hannah Dalske claimed such content was important because “no one is born inherently knowing how to take action against systemic inequality. Our understanding and empathy are meant to become action, vocabulary, and age-appropriate ways to seek help and equity, and simple knowledge of the lives that other people live is integral to this.”
She also invoked an “openly queer” friend she knew during her high school years who killed himself, which she said was due to bullying. A wealth of social science data, including a report from the Biden administration, indicates that mental strife including suicidal ideation is a deeper issue for gender-confused youth than simple lack of outside affirmation.
However, the new material has reportedly provoked “dozens” of families to temporarily remove their children from class, including several Muslim parents who spoke out at the meeting.
“We teach our children to basically respect others. But however, when the topic of LGBT comes up, we strongly believe that we need to be the ones who approach it and teach it to our children based on our beliefs,” said father Aboubakr Mekrami. “This is a fundamental belief for us and one in which we have no wiggle room.”
“These subjects are opening up a box in our kids’ minds that we don’t want anyone to tamper with. These topics will create unnecessary stress, anxiety, and worries within our kids because it goes against our fundamental beliefs, our religion,” said mother Amna Soussi. “It is our right to introduce these sensitive, controversial, and religious-based topics to our kids when we feel is the appropriate time and age to do so. No curriculum, no teacher, no one else but the parent themselves will have the key to this box. The material in this curriculum will strip us from that right.”
DaVinci executive director Holly Fischer, who argued that LGBT students “need to see themselves represented in the books and the conversations” at the school, also acknowledged it would be “horribly detrimental” if DaVinci were to lose 150 students for good.
“Fischer said during the board meeting school officials were scrambling to come up with substantive alternative content for the large number of students whose parents object to the gender and sexual orientation portions of the curriculum,” Catholic News Agency adds.
Another meeting on the matter is slated for October 23.
The American Left has historically anointed itself an “ally” of both Muslims and LGBT Americans, as part of their claims to a monopoly on representing the interests of all racial, religious, and sexual minorities in a society supposedly rigged against them. But the relationship is sometimes a contentious one thanks to conflicts between the groups’ values.
Islam teaches that homosexuality is a grave sin punishable by death, and to this day, majority-Muslim countries in the Middle East subject homosexuals to criminal penalties, violence, and alleged abuse unheard of in America. Yet liberals tend to hold this record to a strikingly different standard than they do to mainstream Christian and conservative views on homosexuality.
Leftists regularly cast LGBT-identifying Americans as ongoing victims of institutionalized discrimination and deep-seated cultural bigotry, with the labels “homophobia” and “transphobia” commonly deployed against individuals who merely hold religious views of sexual morality incompatible with homosexual activity or object to the notion that gender is a malleable social construct, while nevertheless treating individuals with same-sex attraction or gender confusion humanely.