A U.S. lawmaker – who prides himself on being only the second Muslim elected to Congress – has declared that America “needs Muslims” and U.S. public schools should be modeled after Islamic madrassas, “where the foundation is the Koran.”
André Carson, the U.S. Congressman from Indiana’s 7th Congressional District, created controversy when he told an Islamic Circle of North America convention in May, that he believes American schools are lacking:
America will never tap into educational innovation and ingenuity without looking at the model that we have in our madrassas, in our schools, where innovation is encouraged, where the foundation is the Koran. And that model that we are pushing in some of our schools meets the multiple needs of students.
For those that don’t know, madrasas are Islamic religious schools – schools that, according to at least one State Department report, have been accused of fostering anti-American, terrorist sympathies. Specifically, the report singled out the Pakistani educational system, where madrasas are common.
This isn’t the first time Carson has stirred controversy at an out-of-state speech. Last August, while speaking at a Congressional Black Caucus event in Miami, Carson criticized the tea party movement, saying “some of these folks … would love to see you and me hanging on a tree.”
He later dismissed calls for an apology, saying: “I stand on the truth of what I spoke.” Still, he conceded then that his word choice wasn’t the best!