Earlier this month, a large, clamoring group of outraged parents descended on their local school board, armed with signs declaring “Homosexuality Big Sin” and “Keep Your Dirty Books In The Closet.”
The meeting got so out of hand as parents crushed into the room, the board had to suspend the meeting before the public comment section over fire hazard concerns.
“The tightly-packed, rambunctious crowd was reminiscent of free-wheeling, 19th century American political meetings, when citizens cared far more about exercising their rights than their comfort,” conservative writer Joshua Arnold recently opined for The Washington Stand. “Nothing like a fire code to suppress democracy.”
There is no doubt that, to many, such a description would conjure up images of white, Trump-supporting Christians that the media is so fond of portraying as virulently hateful and bigoted.
However, being that this was the school board meeting for Dearborn, Michigan and that the parents in attendance were well-representative of its Muslim population, which is the highest per capita in the United States, that could hardly be further from the case.
The turnout was inspired by Imam Hassan Al-Qazwini, leader of the Dearborn Islamic Institute of America, who encouraged the community to show up to the meeting during a sermon on October 7, the Detroit Free Press reported at the time.
It takes no stretch of the imagination to understand why any conservative Muslim parent would be outraged by school district policy in this day and age, as parents of all political and ideological persuasion have been voicing their outrage in public comments and protests at school board meetings since 2020.
In the case of Dearborn, Muslim parents take issue with the placement of sexually explicit books in school libraries as well as a policy which would require parents to state the reason they object to a given book before it is reviewed by media specialists, the Daily Caller reported.
“You see this frustration growing all across the country and in Dearborn we’re not tied to the left or the right on this issue,” parent Hassan Chami told the Daily Caller. “We believe that education should be impartial. The media is trying to change the narrative that this is about LGBT. It is not. Whether this is a homosexual book or heterosexual book, sexually explicit material is immoral and does not belong in schools.”
Parental rights in education, particularly as regards sexuality education and ideology, has quickly become one of the top issues in the upcoming midterm elections and, as seen in Virginia’s closely-watched gubernatorial race last year, could turn out to be a deciding influence on the outcome.
As parents have voiced objection to sexually graphic material, such as books containing references to pedophilia, graphic illustrations of sex acts, or positive depictions of sex work as a legitimate career, the left-wing establishment has responded with fabricated claims of ignorant bigotry, despite the fact that a strong majority of parents object to sexually graphic books in school libraries.
Muslim parents appear to be right along with this majority, if Dearborn is any indication.
“We don’t need those books in Dearborn and Dearborn Heights,” Al-Qazwini told the Detroit Free Press. “Take them somewhere else. The majority rules. If you are the majority of people in Dearborn, you decide for your children. We live in a democratic society. And there are certain tools and techniques with which you can change the law in this country.”
He’s not wrong—and there’s no doubt that a broad demographic of parents is coming to this conclusion, too.
“Listen, it’s not just about the books,” Chami told the Daily Caller. “The sexually explicit material in these books was just a catalyst that brought forward broader concerns about the state of public education today and where it’s at, and that the traditional partnership between parents and public education has been compromised. What you’re seeing now is a grassroots movement of concerned parents try to reassert their right to direct education for the children.”
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