Sunday, May 22, 2005

Three More Pillars...Islam in Public Schools

As I began discussing in my last post, I was reading Cao's piece on Stop the ACLU the other day, "Jailed Terrorist Helps Draft Anti-Christian Rules," and I thought it was pretty interesting. But I thought it might be even more interesting if I could actually read the court papers, so I obtained a copy of Judge Hamilton's decision in Eklund v. Byron Union School District, so I could figure out if what the judge actually said is as bad as what has been reported.

As I mentioned below, the first two pillars of Islam, the "Shahada" (profession of faith in Allah) and and "Salaat" (prayer) were taught by requiring the students to learn lines from muslim prayers. The students were also required to learn the other three "pillars" of Islam--"Ramadan" (ritual fasting), "Zakaat" (charity), and "Haaj" (pilgrimage to Mecca). The court made the following factual findings (italicized quotes are from the court opinion):

"For the third and fourth pillars, Carlin (the teacher, not George) also required students to give up things for a day, such as watching television or eating candy, to demonstrate the Islam principle of Ramadan, or fasting. (Citations omitted). Carlin also required students to perform volunteer community conformance with the Muslim requirement of Zakaat, or charitable donation...

"Finally, to demonstrate the fifth pillar of Haaj...Carlin had the students participate in a board game, called 'Race to Makkah.'"...(Apparently, in "Race to Makkah," students are asked to identify religious statements about Islam as "trivia," "truth," or "fact.")..."Certain 'truth' or 'fact' cards included statements of religious faith such as 'The Qu' God's third revelation that was revealed to Prophet Muhammad,' or 'The Holy Qu'ran is God's word as revealed to the Prophet Muhammad through the Archangel Gabriel,' without any qualifying language such as 'Muslims believe...' prefacing the statement.

"As part of the final [exam], Carlin required students to write an essay critiquing elements of Islamic culture. The essay assignment stated, 'BE CAREFUL HERE -- if you do not have something positive to say, don't say anything!!!' (Capitals and triple exclamation points in original).

Putting aside my own feelings about Islam and my own feelings about how incorrect the Supreme Court is in its current interpretation of the First Amendment of the Constitution, it is almost impossible to imagine that a court could find that this treatment of Islam in a public school passes Constitutional muster.

Let's try this with Christianity as our model...We start by "encouraging" all the students take "Christian" names (oh, didn't I mention that? Although it wasn't "required" the students were "encouraged" to choose muslim names to "facilitate role-playing.") So, um, Muhammad, you're "Peter"--yeah, the Apostle--uh, Kim Lee, you're Joseph...chill out, this is just to facilitate role-playing...what are we role-playing? We're going to start with role-playing that you believe in Jesus as your personal savior...say, "For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Yes, it's on the final.

Ok, Muham..., uh Peter, now you baptize Kim, er, Paul...Say, "I baptize you, my brother, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." YES, it will be on the final!

Now I will read a short passage from 1 Corinthians 11 on partaking of the Lord's table, and then for snack time we will be having some crackers and grape juice as we role-play the Lord's we partake of snack time, keep in mind that the elements represent the broken body and shed blood of out Lord and Savior...uh, that Christians believe in, but there's no pressure here, gang, just role-playing...YES, IT WILL BE ON THE FINAL

Final Exam--Critique Christian culture--if you say anything bad, you will fail...

Yeah, that would fly...

Next: The court's legal reasoning in finding this activity passed constitutional muster.

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