Posts on social media make the claim that U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden wants “Islam to be taught in our schools”, suggesting this would be at the expense of teaching Christianity. This claim is misleading and misrepresents Biden’s remarks.
On July 20, 2020 Biden sought support from Muslim Americans during an online event hosted by Emgage Action, a membership organization mobilizing around issues affecting American Muslims ( here , emgageaction.org/about-us/ ).
Speaking virtually before the Million Muslims Vote Summit, Biden said, “I wish we taught more in our schools about the Islamic faith.” He added: “I wish we talked about all the great confessional faiths. It’s one of the great confessional faiths.”
Biden specified that, from a theological standpoint, “what we don’t realize is that we all come from the same root here, in terms of our fundamental basic beliefs.” ( here )
During his remarks, Biden did not imply substituting the teachings of one religion over another but encouraged learning broadly about the “confessional faiths”, or faiths usually associated with a formal statement of doctrinal belief, including different denominations of Christianity and Judaism.
Biden is a Roman Catholic who for years has written and spoken publicly about his faith ( here ). Most recently, Biden has leaned into his religious commitments, emphasizing his faith during the presidential election and the Democratic National Convention this past week ( here ).
Biden has previously called the separation of church and state as fundamental. ( here )
“I don’t have any problem with separating my specific beliefs as a Catholic from my role as a public official, sworn to protect agnostics, atheists, and the most religious conservatives,” Biden said in 2007. (see minute 3:53)
Missing context. Joe Biden said schools should teach more about the “confessional faiths” but did not imply the U.S. should substitute the teachings of one religion over another. The posts on social media misrepresent his remarks.
This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here .
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