When the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals declared unconstitutional the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, some Americans bemoaned the fact that their country founded upon religious freedom was fast becoming atheistic.
The same court could now be touted as an Islamic force. Atheists are no longer getting the special treatment, in certain schools anyway. Allah is “what’s up” now.
If the increasing slant by the media and special interest groups towards militant Islam today is not enough proof, several public schools throughout the nation have exposed their own thoughts on the problem. In legal war of attrition, parents of students in a California school district eventually lost authority over the education of their own children to the 9th Circuit Court.
The controversy began in the Byron Union School District. As a integral part of its World History and Geography curriculum, students were educated on the Islamic religion, using the state-adopted textbook Across the Centuries which had the students emulate a Muslim soldier on a pilgrimage to Mecca. However, the district’s curriculum furthered the religious education. The classes were required to “become Muslims” for a three-week period. Each student was forced to adopt a Muslim name and forego some delight or commodity for a day to imitate Islamic fasting on the feast of Ramadad. The classes as a whole recited daily the Muslim profession of faith “Allah is the only true God and Muhammed is his messenger.” In response to teacher prompts, they chanted “Praise be to Allah.” At the end of the time period, they critiqued the Islamic culture on their final test.
The indoctrination was ridden with controversy, and the parents’ response proved to be disbelief over the curriculum. “Way over the constitutional line,” remarked Richard Thompson, chief counsel for the Thomas More Law Center, of the school’s decision. Thompson continued, “public schools would never tolerate teaching Christianity in this way.”
Byron district superintendent Peggy Green retorted that “dressing up in costume, role-playing and simulation games are all used to stimulate class discussion and are common teaching practices used in other subjects as well.”
Down the coast in San Diego, Carver Elementary School extends students the privilege of a 15-minute afternoon break in classes—during a traditional Muslim prayer time, according to CNSNews.com. Last September, Carver opened its doors to nearly 100 students from a failed Muslim charter school nearby. An editorial appearing in the Investor’s Business Daily described how numerous exceptions in the school rules are now in effect to accommodate the Muslim students. Pork and other foods conflicting with the Islamic diet have been banned from the school’s cafeteria. The Arabic language has been added as a language to the school’s curriculum. Girls are even segregated in classes. “Our country has to now accommodate things that are not traditionally accounted for before,” maintained the spokesman for the San Diego chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
Advocates of differing agendas have united in opinion against this front. Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute, argued that the school’s favoring of one faith instead of all religions was intolerable. Richard Katskee, associated with the Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, stated that the prayer time in Carver in Elementary, in general, violated the establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution. Both agreed that the school’s actions were completely unnecessary.
However, the “jihad” is gaining ground across America, not just in California. A high school in Richardson, Texas gave way to a Muslim student’s lawsuit and now allows prayer during lunch breaks and in designated areas. In Cliffside Park, New Jersey, the district allotted prayer time for a female Muslim student. Both schools, according to CNSNews.com, argued that they were “providing non-instructional time permitted by the law.”
If such is the case, the “law” according to the 9th Circuit Court could use some serious clarification, not to mention the interpretation of the establishment clause and the deliberate denial of delicious pork meat to hungry children.
Matt Hadro is an intern at the American Journalism Center, a training program run by Accuracy in Media and Accuracy in Academia.