'Kite Runner' too Islamic, school board told 

The ACLU of Arkansas is paying close attention to a move by Jonesboro high school patrons to remove "The Kite Runner" from a senior English class curriculum because of its "presentation of Islam as a viable and genuine religion."

An article in the Jonesboro Sun did not name the two Valley View School District patrons who want the curriculum changed, but one is apparently a substitute teacher who learned of the curriculum while substituting in the class.

"The Kite Runner," by Khaled Hosseini, is a redemption story about a boy who betrays his servant friend, flees Afghanistan as the Soviets rise to power and returns years later as the Taliban take over to make amends to the servant's family. The servant boy is sodomized in one scene, and that and language in the book were also named as objectionable.

As quoted in the Jonesboro Sun, the patrons complained that the book "may cause some students to question the validity of our 'one nation under God' ... Is it permissible to have a book which deals with Islam and a man's journey to receive it as truth when most schools are not allowed to teach the same in relation to the Bible?"

Attempts to reach the school board president, Dr. Brian Gray, were unsuccessful, but according to the Jonesboro Sun, a couple of board members suggested the book be kept in the curriculum but not read aloud in class.

The board will take up the issue again at its Jan. 10 meeting.

Norm Stafford, a former professor of English at Arkansas State University and a member of the ACLU board, said he will join other ACLU representatives at the meeting. He said students were exposed to "far more explicit stuff about the Penn State story," referring to the publication of allegations of abuse by former football coach Jerry Sandusky. He cited the irony that the patrons would try to ban a book whose story line is set against the evils of the rise of the extremist, book-banning Taliban.


From the ArkTimes store

Speaking of...


Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Most Shared

  • ASU to reap $3.69 million from estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn

    Arkansas State University announced today plans for spending an expected $3.69 million gift in the final distribution of the estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn, who died in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.
  • The inadequate legacy of Brown

    LRSD continues to abdicate its responsibility to educate poor black students.

Latest in The Insider

  • All in the family

    Old habits die hard. We may have a new Republican majority in the legislature, but like the old Democratic majority, it still doesn't hurt to have a lawmaker spouse to land a part-time job during the legislative session.
    • Jan 30, 2013
  • 'Circuit breaker' legal

    When we first asked Gov. Mike Beebe about the "circuit breaker" idea out of Arizona (automatically opting out of Medicaid expansion if the feds reduce the matching rates in the future), he said it was fine but noted that states can already opt out at any time, an assurance he got in writing from the feds.
    • Jan 30, 2013
  • Church goes to school in Conway

    An interesting controversy is brewing in Conway Public Schools, periodically a scene of discord as more liberal constituents object to the heavy dose of religion that powerful local churches have tried to inject into the schools, particularly in sex education short on science and long on abstinence.
    • Jan 23, 2013
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »


  1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments


© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation