Muslim parents delivered passionate speeches against elementary schoolchildren in Maryland’s Montgomery County Public Schools being forced to learn LGBTQ sexuality curriculum against parents’ wishes at a Tuesday school board meeting.
Parents, students and activists have taken issue over the past few weeks with the school district removing an opt-out option for LGBTQ sexuality curriculum.
“We [as Muslims] reject the implication that acting on our faith’s principles is a willful means of harming others. In fact, we see it as a point of bigotry that some only care for our community and will only protect our rights when we assimilate to their way of life and ways of thinking,” Sameera Munshi of the Coalition of Virtue said.
“Our faith is not partisan and our people are not backwards,” she continued. “Part of the American dream of our people is that they pass on their values to their children. But members of this school board have mocked our values and have said we cannot be allowed to opt our children out precisely because they want to end that dream.”
“And the conversations that they will have with these members of our community will serve as education on these matters later in their lives. But we’re asking that our children not be strong-armed at such a young age into believing certain ideas about gender and sexuality, or that the school system insist on turning our children against the religious values that we hold.”
Other speakers against the opt-out option being removed included a child named Sa’ad, a middle school student in MCPS.
Following the children speaking out at the June 6 meeting, a Montgomery County council member, Kristin Mink, accused them of being on the “side of White supremacists.”
“This issue has unfortunately does put… some Muslim families on the same side of an issue as White supremacists and outright bigots,” the Democrat representing County Council for District 5 said. “I would not put you in the same category as those folks, although, you know, it’s complicated because they’re falling on the same side of this particular issue.”
The Montgomery County Board of Education did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication.