ISIS and the Christian right are in agreement on evolution

According to CNN, ISIS has announced their K-12 curriculum in Syria, and certain elements sound surprisingly familiar.

In swaths of Syria now controlled by ISIS, children can no longer study math or social studies. Sports are out of the question. And students will be banned from learning about elections and democracy.

Instead, they’ll be subjected to the teachings of the radical Islamist group. And any teacher who dares to break the rules “will be punished.”

ISIS revealed its new educational demands in fliers posted on billboards and on street poles. The Sunni militant group has captured a slew of Syrian and Iraqi cities in recent months as it tries to establish a caliphate, or Islamic state, spanning Sunni parts of both countries.

In the letter, ISIS said alternative courses will be added.

It also said teachers must erase the phrase Syrian Arab Republic — the official name of Syria — and replace it with Islamic State, which is what ISIS calls itself.

Educators cannot teach nationalistic and ethnic ideology and must instead teach “the belonging to Islam… and to denounce infidelity and infidels.”

Books cannot include any reference to evolution. And teachers must say that the laws of physics and chemistry “are due to Allah’s rules and laws”…

I know I should just be thankful that our religious fundamentalists in this country aren’t fond of cutting off the heads of disbelievers, but I do think it’s worth pointing out the fact that a certain degree of commonality does exist between the fundamentalists in Syria and those here at home. One would hope that this fact alone would be enough to motivate the Christian right in America to rethink their stances on issues like evolution, homosexuality, and birth control, but, given the interactions I’ve had with fundamentalists over the years, I don’t have a lot of faith. I just know that, if I ran, say, a restaurant, and there was another restaurant down the street that had an almost identical look, and feel, and menu, only they were known for decapitating their diners, I’d probably drop everything and begin a pretty extensive rebranding campaign.

One last observation about this newly rolled out ISIS curriculum… Given the realities of the world in which we live, is really likely that you could build a state capable of taking on the United States when you’re not teaching your boys math, and not teaching your girls at all? Is that really a tenable strategy? I mean, I guess you can cut heads off without knowing math, and hack at people with machetes, but that’s about it, right? I’m not complaining. I think it’s a great strategy, and I’d encourage all of our enemies around the world to stop educating their kids. I just found it interesting that ISIS, after horrifying us with gruesome decapitation videos, chose to follow up with a promise not to educate their kids. That, to me, is like a bully punching you in the nose, and then announcing, “I’m going to go home now and cut off my legs.”

And this image, by the way, was not produced by ISIS.


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  1. EOS
    Posted September 18, 2014 at 4:33 am | Permalink

    I’ve read that they eat meat, drive cars, and wear a lot of black too. By your line of reasoning, we should all rebrand ourselves as vegetarians who walk and avoid dark clothes.

  2. Krum
    Posted September 18, 2014 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    If you don’t teach them how to count, they won’t be disappointed when they die and find that 72 virgins aren’t really waiting for them.

  3. anonymous
    Posted September 18, 2014 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    It’s hard be be terrified of a nation that doesn’t know how to program a computer. Fortunately for them, though, we do that for them. And we make the guns they’re using. And the cell phones. They don’t need to know math.

  4. Bob Krzewinski
    Posted September 18, 2014 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    There is no shortage of bizarre behavior locally either. At the Ann Arbor Art Fair we had some Catholic priest come by (at least he was dressed for the part – black shirt/white collar) the Vets For Peace booth in the non-profit area. He started admonishing us for wanting to create a world where people can’t defend themselves against tyranny. When one of us mentioned that we could not imagine Christ advocating shooting someone, his retort was that “Christ would do all in his power to protect people”.

  5. Eel
    Posted September 18, 2014 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Darwin better never fucking come back. People here hate him worse than Satan.

  6. Posted September 18, 2014 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed watching IS this morning on TV driving Chevy trucks.

  7. Meta
    Posted February 13, 2015 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Get dinosaurs out of education!

    A parent, who’s part of a group that believes dinosaurs are one big lie, is getting international attention after making an angry post on a parenting site.

    The writer starts the rant with, “I am getting sick and tired of dinosaurs being forced on our children.”

    The page long diatribe against dinosaurs on the popular parenting site quickly set off a flurry of mockery and went viral, the Mirror reports.

    The writer thinks the scientific evidence for dinosaurs is scant and also claims they set a bad example for children. The writer illustrates the point with an anecdote:

    “At my children’s school, several children were left in tears after one of their classmates (who had evidently been exposed to dinosaurs) became bestially-minded and ran around the classroom roaring and pretending to be a dinosaur. Then he bit three children on the face.”

    Read more:

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