The following comes from a November 4 Los Angeles Daily News article by Brenda Gazzar:
An Acton school district superintendent said Wednesday he has banned depicting religious leaders after middle school students drew images on a history worksheet of Muhammad, which is forbidden in Islam.
Following a parent’s complaint and media inquiries, Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District Superintendent Brent Woodard told a reporter Tuesday he would consult with an expert on Islam to determine whether a vocabulary handout given to a 7th-grade history class at High Desert School in Acton was offensive. The worksheet, Vocabulary Pictures: The Rise of Islam, listed words such as Quran, Mecca, Bedouins and Muhammad with spaces for students to draw pictures or images related to those words.
Palmdale resident Melinda Van Stone said she was “very upset” when her 12-year-old son brought home the assignment about two weeks ago.
“It’s not appropriate to have our children go to school and learn how to insult a religious group,” said Van Stone, a chiropractor who declined to state her or her son’s religion.
According to Islamic tradition, Muhammad forbade the creation of the image of any human being in an effort to discourage idolatry, said Berj Boyajian, professor of Comparative Islamic Law at USC. However, in today’s practice, the sensitivity is concentrated on Muhammad, he said.
David could not say how long the worksheet had been in use or how many Muslims, if any, were in the history class of about 33 students. Only Van Stone complained about the assignment, she said.