Obama Is Forcing Tennessee Schoolchildren To ‘Bow Down To Allah,’ Right-Wing Bloggers Claim [Photo]

A photograph circulating online purports to show a group of Tennessee public schoolchildren being forced to kneel with their faces to the ground in the posture that Muslims assume during Mosque prayer. Several conservative blogs have featured the photo recently, making the claim that the children shown in the photo were American schoolchildren being forced to “bow down to Allah” under a “cultural immersion school program” imposed on public schools by the Obama administration

Today Christian featured the photo on August 23, 2016, with the claim that it shows public middle school children in Tennessee being forced to “bow down to Allah.”

The photo and the claim that it shows American schoolchildren being forced to kneel and worship like Muslims inside a mosque, have sparked anger online, with many accusing Obama of implementing “during the last days of his presidency” the final stage of an alleged sinister plan to Islamize America.

But online fact-checkers say that the claim that the photo shows American schoolchildren participating in Muslim worship is misleading and that the photo has been circulating online since at least 2011.

According to Snopes, the photo first appeared in 2011 on a gaggle of anti-Muslim European blogs and websites — such as Islam versus Europe and EuroIslam — that claimed it shows English children kneeling and bowing their heads in a mosque. Other blogs claimed it shows schoolchildren from Glasgow in Scotland, and yet others said they were Danish school children.

“Here’s a photo from something similar in England,” the anti-Muslim blog Islam versus Europe, wrote in an October 2011 update. “Note the evil-looking Muslim dressed in white. He seems to be enjoying himself as the little blonde white girls bow down in front of him.”

The photo soon began circulating on American white supremacist websites, such as the Daily Stormer. It also appeared on several right-wing blogs, with various contradictory claims about its source.

Some bloggers claimed it was taken in Alabama, others claimed Florida and still others said the photo was taken very recently in Tennessee. A few gave a long list of U.S. states where schoolchildren were being forced to kneel in Muslim prayers.

Muslim women kneel and pray outside a mosque [Image via Shutterstock]
“Some schools take students to mosques for a field trip and force them to get on their hands and knees and pray to Allah,” the anti-Muslim blog Bare Naked Islam claimed in September 2015, under the headline, “Tennessee public middle school is forcing non-Muslim students to praise Islam and ‘Allah as the only god.'”

But the same website had featured the same photo in a July 2013 post, saying it shows Danish schoolchildren being forced to kneel and pray like Muslims inside a mosque. But in a December 2013 article protesting “Islam-centric” social studies standards in Alabama schools, the same website appeared to suggest the kneeling children were American students.

More recently on August 12, 2016, the Conservative Daily Post featured the photograph and claimed that it shows American schoolchildren being forced to participate in Muslim prayer under a “new ‘Cultural Immersion’ School Program.”

The blog alleged that public schools were disallowing Christian prayers but allowing Muslim prayers. It blamed Obama for the alleged discrimination against Christians.

“Obama is effectively pushing Muslim ideologies and spitting in the face of all Christians.”

An anti-Islamization protester (Image via David Greitzer/Shutterstock]

The Conservative Daily Post claimed that schoolchildren were being forced to kneel and say Muslim prayers in several schools across the U.S.

According to the blog, students were being forced to say Muslim prayers in Desert View High School in Tucson, Arizona and in “all schools in Dearborn, Michigan.”

The blog went on to claim that schoolchildren in Parkdale High School in Riverdale, Maryland, and Carver Elementary School in San Diego, were being forced to say Islamic prayers.

Joy Ellis, a parent with a child in one of the listed schools, confirmed stories that children were being forced to “bow down to Allah” in several American public schools, according to Conservative Daily Post.

The blog argued that the photo proved President Obama was trying to force Americans to become Muslims.

“Things have gone too far,” the blog declared. “It’s time to take back our country and institute the values that we Americans hold dear. If Muslims want to pray to Allah, that’s perfectly fine, but they need to go to their own country. We aren’t going to allow it any longer.”

“We all need to work together to stop Obama’s evil actions,” the blog concluded.

The Daily Stormer also featured the same image in a July 2016 diatribe against “multiculturalism.”

Snopes reports that Sara Gast, a spokesperson for Tennessee’s State Department of Education, denied allegations that public school students were being forced to say Muslim prayers and “bow down to Allah.”

“No Tennessee student is being forced to pray to any god,” she told Snopes. “Earlier this year, the Tennessee General Assembly passed a bill to require that any inclusion of religion in… academic standards be for educational purposes only and not be used to proselytize or establish any religion or religious belief.”

She noted that Tennessee’s social studies standards include world history lessons covering the world’s major religions, such as Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Islam and Shinto.

“The intent of the standards is to help students develop a larger context around world religions and world cultures and see how that impact world history,” Gast said.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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