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PUBLISHED: 15:44 EST, 6 July 2012 | UPDATED: 15:49 EST, 6 July 2012
An Indiana Congressman has caused controversy after saying American schools should be modelled on Madrassas – Islamic schools with religious teachings founded on the Quran.
André Carson, the U.S. Representative for Indiana’s 7th Congressional District, made the remarks during a May 26 presentation at an Islamic Circle of North America convention.
A video taken of his speech shows the Muslim 37-year-old democrat argue that America will never achieve ‘educational innovation and ingenuity’ unless they look to madrassas for inspiration.
Controversy: During his speech at an Islamic Circle of North America convention in May Congressman Andre Carson said ‘America will never tap into educational innovation and ingenuity without looking at the model that we have in our madrassas’
Six minutes into his speech, the congressman says: ‘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 Quran.
Outspoken: Andre Carson also told the crowd that ‘America must understand that she needs Muslims’
‘And that model that we are pushing in some of our schools meets the multiple needs of students,’ he continues.
In the speech, which lasts 19 minutes, the Democrat also tells the crowd that ‘America must understand that she needs Muslims.’
The Congressman issued a statement to the MailOnline on Friday afternoon saying his remarks call attention ‘to the fact that faith-based schools throughout this country have excelled because of innovative instructional methods and a willingness to engage different learning styles.’
He said that he not believe that ‘any particular faith should be the foundation of our public schools’, adding that ‘it is important that we take note of the instructional tools these schools utilize to empower their young people.’
‘Christian, Jewish, and Islamic schools have experienced notable success by casting off a one-size-fits-all approach to education, and this is a model we must replicate,’ the statement continued.
Innovation: The Indiana Congressman said that innovation is encouraged in madrassas arguing they should serve as a model to U.S. schools
The Congressman, who has been in office since March 2008, concluded: ‘If we are going to take American education to the next level, we must expand successful models and implement the practices that will enable success for our students.’
In April, Arizona passed a bill to create a high school curriculum that only teaches the bible, excluding the Quran and the Torah, the Huffington Post reported.
Republican state representative Terri Proud, who sponsored the bill, told the Arizona Star that the Quran has not ‘influenced Western culture the way the bible has.’
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