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New Jersey school apologizes for teaching students that ISIS is a terrorist group

After receiving criticism from a Muslim group, the school stated: "We apologize for this incident and understand the impact and deep concern."


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Schuyler Colfax High School in Wayne, New Jersey, publicly apologized after claiming on a quiz that the Islamic State (ISIS) is a terrorist group.

The quiz asked students to select the correct answer to the question:

It is a terrorist organization that commits acts of violence, destroys cultural artifacts, and encourages loss of life to achieve its goal of global rule under strict Islamic Sharia law. 

The Islamic State was included as one of the possible answers.

One group says the message reflects "anti-Muslim hatred"

The apology comes after the Muslim group Teaching While Muslim (TWM) criticized the quiz and urged its social media followers to "call and email everyone you can" in response to the description of ISIS as a "terrorist group."

The group posted on their Instagram account:

We have seen anti-Muslim and anti-Palestinian sentiments, teachers, and content in our schools over and over again. But we must not allow it to continue. Call and email everyone you can. This is NOT okay on a million levels. Go. And yes. This is real.

The group stated that, in its opinion, the teacher "should be held responsible for this misinformation," since the response contains historical information of an "inaccurate fact." It also indicated that the post contained a message that reflected anti-Muslim hatred:

This is a continuation of American and Zionist propaganda aimed at fear propaganda against Muslims AND Palestinians. Why is the PLO in that questionnaire? This is indoctrinating children to hate Muslims and making Muslim students targets of bigotry and prejudice in a place where they should feel safe.

ISIS was designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S.

The Islamic State (ISIS) was designated as a terrorist organization by the United States. According to the director of National Intelligence:

ISIS is a Salafist jihadist group that has carried out and inspired terrorist attacks around the world, resulting in thousands of people killed or injured (...) The United States Department of State designated AQI, the predecessor of ISIS, as a foreign terrorist organization in December 2004, a designation that remains in effect for ISIS. Several ISIS leaders have also been named Specially Designated Global Terrorists, including former leaders Hajji 'Abdallah in 2020, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in 2011, and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in 2003.

The school's response

The group called Wayne for Palestine also posted the school's response apologizing for asking an "offensive" question:

Yesterday, a concern was brought to my attention in regard to a question that was included in one of our classes. We immediately launched an investigation into the matter.
The question was offensive and contrary to values ​​of respect, inclusion and cultural sensitivity that we foster at Schuyler. A priority is always to cultivate safe learning environments for all students, regardless of background or belief. We apologize for this incident and understand the impact and deep concern.