Did you know that in Alberta they have a madrasah operated with the government blessing within the public education system? The recent revelation that in Toronto there is a school, which allows Muslim prayers during school hours, caused fierce debates.
The Sakinah Circle School in Edmonton is much worse – it is an educational institution under full Islamic control – there are not only prayers, but the whole curriculum is supposed to represent the “Qur’anic worldview”.
I learned about it from an article in Globe and Mail titled A New School of Thought. The online version is quite short. I read the larger version in the printed edition. Designed to make us excited about the marvellous accomplishments of the OISE-style public education, the article introduces us to a few weird
For example, in Toronto we have an Africentric Alternative School. Shouldn’t that be considered racist by the Human Rights Commissions? What if somebody started a Whitecentric Alternative School? How do you teach Africentric physics and math? Maybe in Ebonics?
There is also a Skateboard School, which has skateboarding and street-art focus. That’s even more stupid – with Mayor Ford’s hostility towards graffiti, I am not sure how far the street artists would go.
And then we have the madrasah in Edmonton. The previous two schools are not that dangerous – they may provide an incomplete education, which would force the graduates to look later on for places that teach real skills.
However, Sakinah Circle is a completely different animal. The Islamic schools are conduit for imposing the Muslim values on the West. They usually prevent the integration of Muslims in the Western societies. Madrasahs also receive a very strong moral (and often material) support from the reactionary Islam of Saudi Arabia and could spread further once a precedent is created.
That Islamic educational institution is located in Grace Martin Elementary School, 8210 – 36 Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta, T6K 0C7.
Don’t get me wrong – I am not totally against such schools. They are fine as long as the instruction takes place after the regular school hours, paid for by the particular religious community. During the regular school hours, the students must receive education that would allow them to function in harmony with the other people in Canada – this won’t be possible without a secular curriculum common for all schools of Canada.
This is not what we find here. As you’ll see below, Sakinah Circle is under total Islamic control. We don’t have similar Christian or Jewish schools in Canada – all of them follow the official curriculum and teach religion as an additional subject.
Sakinah Circle would be the equivalent of a school attached to a monastery during the Dark Ages in Europe. That might still be the case in some eccentric Mormon community, but the problem is that in Edmonton the taxpayers foot the bill for that medieval-style institution. The organizers may argue whether their bias is so strong, but you’ll find out what they stand for in their own programs and documents quoted below.
In a board report, presented when Sakinah project was about to expand (initially it was a homeschooling program), this is how the members pitched the idea in 2010:
Proposed Program: The Sakinah Circle alternative program links the Alberta Program of Studies learning outcomes to the Mission and Vision Statement (Appendix I) for the program by appropriately integrating Qur’anic content and Islamic concepts…
Carefully prepared classroom and outdoor learning activities are used to connect students with their natural world and their Creator. This connection is the foundation for encouraging conscientious choices for a wholesome lifestyle. Arabic as a second language instruction, with emphasis on communication and understanding, supports and extends knowledge of the teachings of the Qur’an. The intent is to enable the students to develop an authentically Islamic personality and become a contributing member of the Canadian and world community. Sakinah Circle is nondenominational and non-proselytizing and seeks to reflect the diversity of the community. The program includes a shortened lunch hour. The time accrued enables the Society to provide learning opportunities for the technical study of the Qur’an during non-instructional time.
Parents seeking enrolment for their child(ren) will be asked to sign a commitment of their support for the vision, mission and integrated objectives of the program.
They propose total immersion in Islam, with a goal of developing an Islamic personality, with learning Arabic and the Koran. I can’t understand how you can consider this a “nondenominational and non-proselytizing” institution.
And then comes the explanation about how the program would be implemented:
…Learning at Sakinah Circle is sustained and nourished by daily prayers, morning assembly and memorization and recitation of Qur’an. Periodic visits by guest speakers and emphasis on community service further enrich the learning experience of the students. Activities are meaningful and the goal is to transform learners through character development and the attainment of spiritual courtesy and etiquette. Students and teachers at Sakinah Circle are expected to dress for learning in accordance with the principles of the Islamic worldview – with
modesty, comfort, simplicity and dignity for oneself and for others.
… Curriculum documents for Sakinah Circle address the outcomes of the K-6 Alberta Programs of Study. Units of study are approached thematically, integrating Qur’anic content, Islamic concepts, and Prophetic Tradition where appropriate, to enrich the worldview central to the Islamic way of life. To do this, thematic statements are identified for each General Outcome in each grade level of the Program of Study.
In the end of the document they list specific examples of indoctrination, where Islam would be interwoven into the curriculum. That’s not much different than an Afghani madrasah – daily prayers, memorizing and reciting the Koran, Islamic dress code (does that include burqas?), and outside speakers. Who would be invited as speakers? Judging from the convictions of the people who control Sakinah, those speakers could hardly be trusted.
Apparently, the principles were implemented exactly, because here is no difference between this proposal and the current reality of the school, the way it is explained on their website:
We envision a process of education that brings us closer to the Creator; a process of learning based on the Qur’anic worldview, encompassing all curricular disciplines, in order to develop critical minds, conscious hearts, and compassionate human beings; learning that will support the lifelong journey to embody the teachings of the Qur’an.
Our mission is to provide guidance and an environment that recognizes the learner’s fitrah (innate nature), nurtures taqwa (God consciousness), and cultivates learners who strive to become khulafah (vicegerents of Allah).
Holistic curriculum content that
- Meets the outcomes of the Alberta Program of Studies
- Integrates Qur’anic content, Islamic concepts and tradition
- Emphasizes holistic learning of useful knowledge
- Addresses intellectual, aesthetic, practical and spiritual needs of the learner
Who is behind that school? The materials available online show that it’s an organization called Muslim Education Foundation (MEF), which is registered in Alberta. It provides the spiritual guidance and advice for running the school. Years ago, an organization with a similar name (Muslim Education Fund) was indicted in the Holy Land terrorist financing case. For the sake of the government of Alberta, I HOPE the Albertan MEF has no links with the American organization. Their vision is reflected in the principles upon which the school is organized:
Origin of the Initiative
Sakinah Circle has grown out of a specific vision of education based on the Qur’anic worldview developed by the Muslim Education Foundation (MEF)—a society registered with Alberta Registrar of Corporations. Articulated in considerable detail in Concentric Circles: Nurturing Awe and Wonder in Early Learning: A Foundational Approach (2006), this approach to holistic learning, grounded in Islamic spiritual and intellectual tradition, has received enthusiastic response from Edmonton’s growing Muslim community. As a result of well-established educational needs in the Muslim community, MEF approached the principal at the Argyll Centre for Home Education in 2006 for support in developing a program of education based on the vision described below. Sakinah Circle started as an alternative pilot in 2007…
At the current time, the Sakinah Circle day pilot consists of 46 students in a community of learners from kindergarten to grade four. Two classes (K–1 and grades 2, 3, and 4) are facilitated by two teachers with a shared classroom assistant. The Qur’an instructor assists with the development of the Islamic principles through daily interactions with the students and teachers. Parents are an integral part of the program.
The MEF official site introduces us to several personalities, who supervise the school. The structure of the learning process follows the book Concentric Circles: Nurturing Awe and Wonder in Early Childhood by Elma Ruth Harder (written in consultation with Muzaffar Iqbal). The purpose of the book is to “provide an Islamic approach to learning”.
As its theoretical background, MEF lists a short book titled WHY MUSLIM EDUCATION FOUNDATION? by Muzaffar Iqbal.
There is also an MEF Advisory Board, which includes Dr. Zafar Ishaq Ansari, Shaykh Ramzy Ajem, Shaykh Zahir Bacchus, and Shaykh Abdullah Idris Ali (a.k.a. Sheikh Abdalla Idris Ali).
According to the information about Muzaffar Iqbal (a Canadian of Pakistani background), he is simultaneously a chemistry scientist and a Muslim scholar. Daniel Pipes has extensive information about him, which is worth reading, if you want to understand the true intentions of that “scholar”.
In 2002 Iqbal was questioned by the US immigration authorities at the Toronto airport. To avoid further scrutiny, he decided not to enter the USA. Iqbal is known for his hostility against the USA, he thinks that they have imperial ambitions in collaboration with Israel and Great Britain. He wrote on that issue in one of his articles:
They [the new rulers of the USA] emerged in the post-Reagan era from various think tanks and policy study institutes and have gathered around a certain vision for America in which Israel looms large. Most of these neo-colonists have ties with the Zionist state. They all are interventionists with a strong and aggressive language that advocates use of overwhelming force and pre-emptive strikes. There is also a strong tendency toward the use of religious language: “a struggle between good and evil”, “the moment of truth” and the “day of reckoning”.
He is also author of a hostile “letter” to President George W. Bush, in which he wrote:
Let me assure you, Mr. President, American peanut butter tastes so good that our Afghan children became so keen to pick up the food packages that they could not even distinguish between the food packages and thousands of canister bombs that your B-52 bombers left behind in their wasteland. But, of course, it was their bad luck; we will just add them to the list of collateral damage. That way, we will not have to go through the tedious ritual of calculating the number of dead.
The article about Shaykh Abdullah Idris Ali on the MEF site states that he is “an educator, thinker, scholar and past president of ISNA (from 1992-1997). He co-organized the Canadian Islamic Banking Conferences for 1996 and 1997. Sh. Ali serves as a member on the Board of Trustees for the Islamic Teaching Center (ITC) and North American Islamic Trust.”
Further digging into his activities show a darker side:
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Hate sheikh featured speaker at upcoming Sunrise Academy fundraiser
…The fundraising event this coming Sunday, December 9th, is scheduled to be held at the University Plaza Hotel (flyer below). Abdalla Idris Ali is best known as the former President of the Muslim Brotherhood front group, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), and his virulently anti-Jewish and anti-Christian website, Islamicity.com. The website also features videos of extremist speakers, including multiple videos by a US government designated global terrorist and al-Qaeda cleric, in addition to promoting violent interpretations of jihad.
Ali’s presidential tenure of ISNA from 1992–1997 marked one of the most radical periods of the organization’s existence. In 1995 under Ali’s oversight ISNA established a defense fund for HAMAS terrorist leader Musa abu Marzook. Reporters for the St. Petersburg Times examining
the organization have described ISNA as “the main clearinghouse for Wahhabism in the US” and say that the group is funded by the Saudi government.
Shaykh Zahir Bacchus is a leading figure in the Lote Tree Foundation, Brampton, which promotes Halal food.
With people like these behind MEF, it’s no wonder that Sakinah Circle would be shaped to reflect the vision of radical Islamism. In his booklet WHY MUSLIM EDUCATION FOUNDATION? – included in the site, Iqbal states immediately that the West is a bad environment for Muslim children and how that should be changed:
[p.10] Every Muslim parent knows that children living in the West have been deprived of the spiritual, moral, cultural, and institutional ambience that through history has nurtured the young in their tender years in traditional Muslim lands; even today, and given a rapid erosion of values, the moral code that has become the acceptable norm of the West is not sanctioned by traditional societies where individual cases of transgression are looked upon as sins. The absence of this moral shield is, however, merely one of many aspects of deprivation that
Muslim children face in the West; there are other, more subtle but equally important, deprivations— even the sound of the Ádhan, that refreshing reorientation toward the Creator which permeates the Muslim space and resonates five times a day, is absent in the West. Then there is the elaborate infrastructure that has evolved over centuries and that helps children to mature with an Islamic worldview.
One may wonder if Muslims miss all of the things described above, why they even moved to the West. All the elements of the “moral shield” of Islam are abundant in Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan.
To compensate for what is lacking here, Iqbal provides the principles for Islamic indoctrination in schools:
[p.13] PRINCIPLES FOR DEVELOPMENT OF AN ISLAMIC CURRICULA
The fundamental principles that would govern the development ofa truly Islamic curricula demand that this be a comprehensive curricula,
covering all subjects and all grade levels. This is so because merely appending Islamic studies to existing curricula would not serve the purpose: textbooks of chemistry, geology, and mathematics need to reflect the Islamic worldview as much as those of history and sociology. True, the Canadian Muslim communities of each province will need to modify this basic curriculum to meet the local standards and requirements of the province, but there is sufficient ground to assume that at least a foundational countrywide curriculum can be developed
that would serve the needs of all Muslims living in Canada and that would require only slight modifications to meet the different provincial standards.
This is a call for a total transformation of the public school curriculum to reflect the demands of the Muslim fanaticism. Further on in the document he goes into great details about how to inject Islamic worldview in chemistry. He gives an example with the water molecule and how it expresses Allah. Hint – Allah created everything out of water and he personally arranged the structure of the molecule.
Then Iqbal concludes:
All of these missing elements in the standard chemistry textbook deprive Muslim students the opportunity to slowly root their spiritual, intellectual, and emotional beings in various dimensions of Islamic tradition. This is only one example out of countless that can be produced in all branches of knowledge. The purpose of a distinctively Islamic curricula would be to incorporate all aspects of the vision of Islam into the very texts that students would use, in a manner that is subtle, elegant, reflective, and rooted in solid scholarship.
That’s nothing more and nothing less than total destruction of the scientific knowledge in the school environment under Islamic influence.
The Muslim public was involved in the practical steps to establish the Sakinah Circle School – a campaign was organized in Facebook:
Within a very short amount of time, with the blessings of Almightly Allah, we have become a strong pilot program. Now, we are at a point where the school board needs to decide the next phase for Sakinah Circle. They need to determine if there is a need and a demand for Sakinah Circle in the community to make their decision. This is where each one of us can help. We can all write a letter of support for Sakinah Circle to the Director of Programs at Edmonton Public Schools-Ms. Gloria Chalmers. We can each write about why and how we are part of Sakinah Circle. Each parent should submit their own letter as well as other family, friends and acquaintances who support Sakinah Circle.
In total agreement with the guidance of the advisory board, even the job recruitment ads for teachers reflected the demand for extreme Islamic indoctrination:
June 12, 2008
The MCE has received the following job opportunities with Sakinah Circle:
*Teachers’ Assistant, Sakinah Circle*
The Sakinah Society Board of Directors is currently inviting applications for *Teachers’ Assistants *for the 2008-2009 school year. Sakinah Circle is a new partnership between the *Sakinah Society*, the *Muslim Education Foundation* and *Edmonton Public School Board* that endeavours to provide early childhood learning from an Islamic Worldview.
1. Support Arabic learning in the classroom
2. Help develop curriculum resources for Sakinah Circle.
3. Help develop spoken and written Arabic learning resources for Sakinah Circle,
4. Develop workshops for parents to help them continue on their journey of life-long Islamic learning.
5. Work with other stakeholders to bring the Sakinah vision into reality
6. Be an inspiring role model of Islamic etiquette for all members of the Sakinah Family.
7. Be an active member in the growth and development of Sakinah Circle.
Although we realize that true knowledge of the following qualities is with Allah, *The Ideal Candidate for this position*:
1. Has a supreme love for Allah and His Messenger (peace and blessings of The All-Mighty be upon him);
2. Has demonstrated a continuing commitment to serving Allah and His messenger, (Allah bless him and grant him peace);
3. Has a mastery of Tajweed;
4. Is fluent in proper English and classical Arabic;
5. Has demonstrated an understanding and commitment to the foundations and principles of Sakinah Circle;
6. Is committed to establishing sound Islamic institutions within North America;
7. Has studied most areas of individually obligatory Islamic Knowledge (Fard Ain)
8. Has the ability to motivate, inspire and interact meaningfully with the young children attending Sakinah Circle.
9. Is a team player who envisions the Sakinah Circle vision coming into reality through success from Allah alone.
10. Has experience teaching young children within a North American context
I don’t think that any comments are necessary. The teachers who could work for Sahinah Circle are supposed to be true Soldiers of Allah, dedicated to the Muslim and spreading Islamism within North America.
I am sure that after I listed all those facts, many of my “progressive” friends would still ask: “So? What’s the problem? Alberta is providing support for the rich multicultural mosaic.” Since they live in their own delusional world, they are right and any arguments with them would be meaningless.
My conclusion is for those who still are willing to think. Yes, Sakinah Circle is a big problem, because it poisons the minds of young children (the students range from kindergarten to Grade 6). They are locked in a twisted world, where the country they live in is presented as a hostile and sinful environment. That is backed up by the activities and writing of those “scholars” who control the school.
The minds of those kids will be manipulated in ways we would never fully know. Iqbal and the people around him would transfer their bitterness and hostility into those minds, thus creating even more bitter people, who will hate Canada and have no intention to integrate. The only result would be even more “multicultural” fragmentation of our society, with the inevitable tensions and hostilities.
I am not sure if that was the final goal of Alberta’s government, but that would be the practical result they’ll achieve.
Turning things like that around would be difficult.
Two weeks ago, Haroon Siddiqui, Toronto Star’s resident Islamist, wrote an article about tolerance on the issue of Muslim prayers in a Toronto school.]
In the end he described how Thorncliffe Park (where the school is) is the number one destination for immigrants from South Asia (i.e. it is turning into a Muslim ghetto). The area is going through a transformation supported by mosques. His last sentence is:
“These folks deserve bouquets, not the brickbats being thrown at them by bigots who don’t live in the area — outside agitators disturbing the local peace.”
Translated from Islamese, that means: “Leave our Muslim ghetto alone, no kaffir should tells us what to do.”
Unfortunately, we can’t leave you alone. This country is prosperous, because it has been built upon certain principles that ensure progress and tolerance.
Thinking that you can impose a medieval cult on the Canadians and expect the same progress is either naïve or sinister, depending on your position.
We shouldn’t allow our tax money to be used by our government to finance our self-destruction.
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