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School administrators have removed a large, controversial illustration of the Five Pillars of Islam, after a picture of the display went viral over the weekend and drew unwanted attention to the school.
According to the school district, the controversial Islamic illustration at Minneha Core Knowledge Elementary school was supposed to help students understand one of the major religions of the world. Images from other religions, including an image of the Last Supper, were also displayed in other areas of the school.
However, the photo of the Islam illustration (shown below), was reportedly posted on a conservative Facebook page over the weekend, entitled “Prepare to Take America Back,” which has has 130k “likes,” without mention of the other displays, according to The Wichita Eagle.
“Students at Minneha Core Knowledge Elementary School in Wichata (sic) Kansas were met with this their frist day of school,” the page’s caption reportedly read. “This is a school that banned all forms of Christian prayer. … This can not stand.”
The photo has since been reportedly shared thousands of times on Facebook and posted on several conservative leaning websites sparking a nationwide controversy.
While school officials have removed the controversial display, they insisted in a statement released Monday that the picture took their intention out of context.
“A photo taken of a bulletin board without context is misleading and some have taken it out of context without having all the information,” a statement released by the school district, and obtained by TheBlaze, said.
“The school does not promote or proselytize any religion,” the statement continued. “Christianity, Judiasm, Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam are all taught in a historical context of their study of the world to understand the place of religion and religous ideas in history.”
“The students at Minneha have received these lessons for years,” the statement added.
A letter sent to parents echoed these comments.
“Unfortunately, a photo of this bulletin board has been posted in an online forum without appropriate representation of the historical context in which it was to be used,” it said.
The letter added the school district removed the photo to “alleviate the distraction” it has caused, after receiving “numerous phone calls, e-mails, and media inquiries.”
A spokesperson for the school also reportedly told The Wichita Eagle that Wichita schools have not banned Christian prayer, as the “Prepare to Take America Back” Facebook page alleged in its post.
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