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Practicing Islam in Public Schools

Investors Business Daily has an editorial today in which it writes the a San Diego public school has set aside 15 minutes each day to allow Muslim students to pray. Non-Muslim students are left to sit and do nothing while teaching time is suspended. The ACLU's reaction? Yawn:

Political Correctness: Seems the ACLU couldn't care less that a San Diego public school has set aside 15 minutes of classroom instruction time for Muslim students to pray, while non-Muslims twiddle their thumbs.

Right now it has no plans to legally challenge the budding madrassa as endorsement of a religion by government. Apparently the establishment clause only applies to the practice of Judeo-Christian rituals in public places.

The special accommodations for Carver Elementary's nearly 100 Somali Muslims don't stop with organized prayer. The school cafeteria has banned pork and other foods that conflict with the Islamic diet.

And the K-8 school has even added Arabic -- the language of the Quran -- to its curriculum, while segregating classes for girls, a la the Taliban.

In effect, Carver administrators have carved out a school within a school expressly for Muslims, elevating them above Christian and Jewish students. They've had 15 minutes of instruction time taken away from them, so Muslims can roll out their pray mats.

It amounts to a special privilege afforded a specific religion, which plainly does not have our best interests at heart. That same privilege is not extended to other faiths that are part of our traditional culture -- and do not wish us ill or pray for the demise of our system of government.

Tough, say Muslim-rights groups. The Council on American-Islamic Relations, which is defending the Carver program, insists public schools must cater to the growing number of Muslim students. "Our country is transforming demographically, religiously," said the spokesman for CAIR's San Diego chapter. "Our country has to now accommodate things that are not traditionally accounted for before."

But when does accommodation become promotion? In California's brave new schools, Johnny has been forced to recite the Quran along with Ahmed.

Seventh-graders at a San Francisco-area school were required, even after 9/11, to "become Muslims" for two full weeks as part of California's world history curriculum. This included reciting the Muslim profession of faith -- "Allah is the only true God and Muhammad is his messenger" -- and chanting "Praise be to Allah" in response to teacher prompts.

If these schools are putting all this effort to push Islam on captive public school students in order to "teach" about this "lesser known" religion, why hasn't it done the same to teach about other lesser known religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Shinto, Sikhism, or even Wicca for that matter? Why not Scientology? The US government recognizes it as a religion. I'd say the reason schools don't teach these other religions with the same enthusiasm as they do Islam is pretty clear: their members don't blow up other people.


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Comments (78)

Typically, this post is inc... (Below threshold)
JFO:

Typically, this post is incorrect, misleading and doesn't make an attempt to find the facts.

1) It is not during class time.
2) The ACLU and several other interested organization are monitoring it.
3) The school is required to do this as long as it is not led nor directed by school personnel. A sub teacher claimed it was but an investigation did not confirm those allegations. If Christians, Jews or anyone of any other religion makes the same request they will be given the same opportunity.

Just a few pertinent facts Kim (typically) omits.

Of course, the real truth is is all about Muslims, isn't it? Right wing xenophobia raises its ugly head once again.

JFO:Typi... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

JFO:

Typically, this post is incorrect, misleading and doesn't make an attempt to find the facts

I appreciate you prefacing your remarks with the disclaimer.

JFO-Since Kim accu... (Below threshold)
Brian The Adequate:

JFO-

Since Kim accurately potrays the content of the editorial and there is no further link in the editorial, can you provide a link or reference to support your assertions and your slur?

JFO,You are misinf... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

JFO,

You are misinformed on your very first point:

From the San Diego Union Tribune:

"But critics continue to assail Carver for providing a 15-minute break in the classroom each afternoon to accommodate Muslim students who wish to pray. (Those who don't pray can read or write during that non-instructional time.)"

Yes the article does say the ACLU is monitoring it, but do you really believe that if the Catholic parents were demanding the school accomodate their child needs and the school actually did it, that the ACLU would only monitor it? Give me a break. It's like being a Muslim makes you immune to any sort of non-religious law anywhere.

And your third point is ludicrous. That's the school's explanation and it is total bunk. They liken it to a child having to take an insulin shot at a prescribed time. What a farce. This should be stopped and never allowed in a public school.

This has nothing to do with xenophobia and everything to do with hypocrisy (do they even teach that word in schools anymore?).

Alas Mike mine was a "comme... (Below threshold)
JFO:

Alas Mike mine was a "comment" as opposed to a "post" But you're right I should have been more specific. Here it is: "The author of this post, Kim, is typically incorrect etc."

Now that that's out of the way any "comment" on Kim's "post?"

Brian; use the google thing and just read the news accounts rather than the xenophobe blogs from the right. Try it, you'll actually learn something. As for actively portraying it as an editorial, I'd say that's a cs approach. Also she did make her own statements.

JFO, what would you (and th... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

JFO, what would you (and the ACLU) say if a Christian asked for 15 minutes during the school day to pray?

I suspect we all know the answer to that one, since the ACLU has opposed even "moments of silence" when students might, possibly, maybe pray.

The double-standard is typical of the left.

"a San Diego public school ... (Below threshold)
steak111111:

"a San Diego public school has set aside 15 minutes of classroom instruction time for Muslim students to pray,"

JFO, before embarrassing yourself like Barney does, learn ENGLISH first. How can you be so stupid? "Classroom instruction time" (taken directly from the article) means just that.

It won't last long however. As soon as the Christians start praying during this time, the ACLU WILL step in.

I wonder if JFO and Barney ... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

I wonder if JFO and Barney are twins separated at birth.

What kind of dirty double s... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

What kind of dirty double standards is this? how come muslim students can pray but christian students cant and as usial the inmaous ACLU take no stance unless it involves christians TIME TO REVOKE THE ACLUs tax exempt status

At the University of Michig... (Below threshold)
Robert the Original:

At the University of Michigan - Dearborn (close to the largest ME population in the US) administrators are spending big bucks to install footbaths for Muslim students.

And raising tuition and fees once again.

There is no position dear to the left that the UofM cannotleapfrog even further to the left.

"Our country is tr... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
"Our country is transforming demographically, religiously," said the spokesman for CAIR's San Diego chapter. "Our country has to now accommodate things that are not traditionally accounted for before."

Wrong! Muslims coming to America need to accommodate the laws of the land including separation of church and state. The problem is that separation of church and state run's counter to Islamic theology. Reason enough to stop all immigration from Muslim counties and regions. It's the height of stupidity to allow more Muslims to immigrate into this country, but that's exactly what I expect form liberals.

It's difficult to understan... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

It's difficult to understand why religion is being brought into public schools in any form by request or not. There is a place for Muslim prayer, it's at home or at the Mosque; just as there is a place for Christian prayer, at home or at church.

If your religion restricts a particular type of food, then at the most, other types should be made available rather than striking the offending food from the menu. While at the least, the onus should be on the students and their parents to prepare a religiously sensitive meal to bring in to school. I would think any non-kosher foods being removed from the menu so as to not somehow offend Jews would be equally as wrong.

For those who wish to have religious schooling, there are specific institutions set aside for that without imposing it on the majority.

I wholly disgree with the practice described in the article for those reasons.

Now if you'll excuse me, it's time for my 10:45 goat slaughter and follow up fortune telling in the school gymnasium.

JFO, you seem to have some ... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

JFO, you seem to have some serious misconceptions. For instance, you wrote;
"The school is required to do this as long as it is not led nor directed by school personnel.

This is incorrect. From the local paper:
"The federal Equal Access Act requires that extracurricular school clubs, religious and non-religious, be treated equally."
[emphasis mine]

http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20070702/news_1n2prayer.html,

"Extracurricular" does not include class periods between 1 and 2, when these breaks take place.

Send the Somalis back to So... (Below threshold)
BillyBob:

Send the Somalis back to Somalia and the problem is solved.

Mac Lorry:<blockquote... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Mac Lorry:

The problem is that separation of church and state run's counter to Islamic theology.

I hope governments are starting to recognize that a certain population of Muslims are beginning to expect the country of origin to transform to serve them rather than the other way around. Almost reminds me of the views of some illegal immigrants and their supporters.

There seems to be a general perversion of thought where any lack of accomodation is viewed as a great offense and sometimes results in violence.

It seems that mulitculturism has begun to noticibly mutate into the monster that some forsaw it to be.

Formal Islamic theolo... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Formal Islamic theology, unlike Christian theology, does not allow for the separation of state and religion: they are considered to be one and the same. -- former radical Islamist

Everyone would do well to read what this former radical islamist has to say.


Will probably be called a r... (Below threshold)

Will probably be called a racist or an idiot for pointing this out....

According to Pray-In-Time, after I googled the idea of "what time do you pray in islam?". This is for San Diego...


July 10, 2007

Fajr 1:53
Sunrise 5:43
Dhuhr 12:54
Asr 16:36
Maghrib 20:05
Isha 23:34

So technically, they could do this prayer during a late lunch.

Now, while I don't object to things being taken off the menu (since Fish was the only choice for meat during lent since as far back as I can remember), I do have to wonder if this type of time would be offered to other students of differing faiths. To be honest, I think in some cases it would be. We have a "bible trailer" which comes to my kids' public school every year and teaches during these times. If the kids opt-out of the "bible trailer", they sit and essentially do nothing. Since no one sits out, I always sign the permission slip for my kids to join in.

When they get rid of the Bible Trailer, I'll jump on board for the banning of this prayer time.

Now, while I don't... (Below threshold)
Heralder:
Now, while I don't object to things being taken off the menu (since Fish was the only choice for meat during lent since as far back as I can remember), I do have to wonder if this type of time would be offered to other students of differing faiths.

It goes beyond even a faith issue. If a small population of students have a gluten (found in wheat) allergy, it would be unfair to then remove all breads from the school menu.

The correct way to handle this would be, if there is a large enough population of students with the gluten allergy, to add a few gluten-free dishes to the menu...or having the student's parents prepare their lunch.

This menu revising is like three kids not showing up for a test and the whole class getting a zero.

Brian Wohlgemuth,W... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Brian Wohlgemuth,

Way too much information on your blog. The ACLU may be able to find where you live and put a stop to the "bible trailer" event.

From the ACLU's 2002 legal ... (Below threshold)
kevino:

From the ACLU's 2002 legal bulletin on the Establishment Clause and public schools:

It is one of the fundamental principles of the Supreme Court's Establishment Clause jurisprudence that the Constitution forbids not only state practices that "aid one religion . . . or prefer one religion over another," but also those practices that "aid all religions" and thus endorse or prefer religion over nonreligion.

. . .

More recently, the Supreme Court has held that a school district may not require that students observe a moment of silence at the beginning of the school day where the purpose of such a requirement is that students use that time for prayer.

The reference is to Wallace v. Jaffree, a SCOTUS ruling that struck down an Alabama law that provided for a moment of silence. The SCOTUS ruled that it failed the Lemon test (Lemon v. Kurzman): the statute was unconstitutional because it was motivated by an advancement of religion.

It appears to me that the actions of the school are clearly unconstitutional.

Brian,My question ... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Brian,

My question is why there is a need for the Bible Trailer? What happened to Sunday School?

Heck, I am more worried abo... (Below threshold)

Heck, I am more worried about my neighbors (if I caused the Bible trailer to stop) than the ACLU actually stopping the Bible Trailer.

But think about your statement there Mac. If you object to this prayer time, you should also object to the Bible trailer....

The correct way to handle this would be, if there is a large enough population of students with the gluten allergy, to add a few gluten-free dishes to the menu...or having the student's parents prepare their lunch.

Agreed, maybe this is a time where Muslim parents could come in and cook Halal meals for the students which need them. The only problem would be the parents would be held to school's codes for cleanliness and preparation (not implying the parents would be unsanitary, just would need to work around those guidelines).

Shop 201: Beyond the Basics... (Below threshold)
yo:

Shop 201: Beyond the Basics
Beheading the Infidel with a Table Saw.

... in this class, students will be instructed as how to best lay out the neck and upper spine of a despicable kuffar, or any ol' Jew, on to the table saw for quick and only slightly gruesome decapitation.

Pre-requisits:

Videography 2
Penis

Please bring own mop. Maintenance staff not responsible for bloody spills.

Left over heads make great propaganda tools, or ashtrays.

Leather apron suggested, but not required.

!! ACLU Approved !!

Sign up, now. Seats fill quickly.

You always have to fact che... (Below threshold)
mantis:

You always have to fact check IBD to see how much crap they've either invented or gotten from dubious sources. After looking at a few articles a number of things become clearer.

First, dietary accommodations:

Carver has had to adjust to accommodate the cultural, religious and linguistic needs of the charter students. The cafeteria menu, for example, was tweaked to ensure students have daily access to foods that don't contain pork or other ingredients that Muslims don't eat.

Pork has not been "banned," but rather alternatives are available. Of course, few would balk at that, so IBD had to...embellish.

Next, segregated classes.

It seems this is happening, on a voluntary basis, and guess who ushered it in? That's right, the current administration:

The Bush administration is giving public school districts broad new latitude to expand the number of single-sex classes, and even schools, in what is widely considered the most significant policy change toward coeducation since a landmark federal law barring sex discrimination in education more than 30 years ago.

Two years in the making, the rules announced yesterday by the Education Department will allow school districts to create single-sex schools and classes as long as enrollment is voluntary. School districts that go that route must also make coeducational schools and classes of "substantially equal" quality available for members of the excluded sex.

...

Geno Flores, deputy superintendent of the San Diego Unified School District, said he welcomed the new flexibility. Recently, the district created some single-sex classes at Carver Elementary School to accommodate the wishes of a group of Somali Muslim students.

Not exactly "a la the Taliban," but why let facts get in the way?

Next, Arabic instruction. So what? It's not like it's mandatory. Do people have problems with foreign languages being taught in schools?

And finally, the only issue that remains is the prayer time. I agree with Heralder; if you want your children to have a religious education, send them to religious schools. Public schools are secular.

Civics 101: Basics of the ... (Below threshold)
yo:

Civics 101: Basics of the Constitution
Focus: Seperation of Church and State

CANCELED due to lack of interest.

My question is why... (Below threshold)
My question is why there is a need for the Bible Trailer? What happened to Sunday School?

(preparing to duck)

We don't attend church. Have not done it for a while. Why? Because I find most churches (won't name names) are nothing more than social clubs. That's just my personal view. My kids grow up in a house that there are more paths to (heaven, paradise, the other side, etc....) than just Christianity, Islam, Judaism, etc.

Am I a "Christian" then? That's between me and God to figure out...

Wow! When can I enlist Yo... (Below threshold)
steak111111:

Wow! When can I enlist Yo?

Wait. Just one question: Is the table also approved for tying ACLU lawyers down?

If I had kids in this schoo... (Below threshold)
Scott in CA:

If I had kids in this school, they'd take a ham sandwhich for lunch every day.

Along with pork rinds.

Steak ... it's funny to thi... (Below threshold)
yo:

Steak ... it's funny to think that anyone can actually catch an ACLU lawyer.

Slimy bastards keep dripping themselves out of the nets.

Is it time to worry about t... (Below threshold)
scrapiron Author Profile Page:

Is it time to worry about the "products" of the failed education system that are now the administrators and teachers in our school systems? I think it's time to question the qualifications of, and the loyalty to the country of 90% of the graduates of any major (sic) college in the country. Remember now, these (administrators/teachers) are the people that couldn't possibly make it in the real world of industry/business. Fire a school administrator/teacher and the next time you see him/her will be in the serving line at McDonalds and even then they can't make change for a 10 dollar bill without a computer.

Brian,I personally... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Brian,

I personally agree with you in many aspects. Different congregations will have different social dynamics that vary on sect and size...but an underlying point is a common interest which at times can make it seem like a social club.

mantis,Thanks alot... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

mantis,

Thanks alot, now what the hell am I supposed to complain about?

Little Suri Cruise can look... (Below threshold)

Little Suri Cruise can look forward to 15 minutes for couch jumping and e-meter readings when she gets to elementary school.

Watching Mantis and JFO def... (Below threshold)
ODA315:

Watching Mantis and JFO defend this is hilarious. These same asshats would be ALL OVER a christian groups intrusion in a public school. A great example of the left's ability to ignore the world around them in an effort to feel good. Naive fools.

Yo, I liked the wood shop class idea. Maybe in metal shop they could build IEDs.

"Since Kim accurately po... (Below threshold)
Lee Ward:

"Since Kim accurately potrays the content of the editorial and there is no further link in the editorial, can you provide a link or reference to support your assertions and your slur?"

Kim makes the false claim that the ACLU is doing nothing.

The ACLU's reaction? Yawn:

Repeating a lie is still lying, and now that she knows that the claim that the ACLU isd doing nothing is false, not correcting her post is extension of the lie.

mantis is not defending thi... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

mantis is not defending this, in fact he clearly states at the end of his post that there is no place for prayer at a public school.

As much as he disagrees with the many who post here, you really ought to read what he actually writes.

Kim makes the false clai... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

Kim makes the false claim that the ACLU is doing nothing.

Lee, who's the liar here again?

Kim made no such claim. What you don't equate the ACLU stating they are monitoring what is a clear violation of the Constitution to a yawn? Considering how they went nuts when people tried to implement a one-minute moment of silence that could be used for prayer in public school?

Give it a rest Lee.

Scrapiron: I agree wholehae... (Below threshold)
Troy:

Scrapiron: I agree wholehaeartedly.

I would strongly suggest that instead of letting Muslims tell the system what to include in the curriculum that they be required to take classes in "Assimilation" and "The US Constitution".

The arrogant and naive trolls on this site seem to think that they are superior, smarter and quicker than anybody else. So do traitors.

But think about yo... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
But think about your statement there Mac. If you object to this prayer time, you should also object to the Bible trailer....

It's the ACLU that has been the active party in these disputes bringing case after case to stop Christian practices in public schools. Given that fact, I object to Muslims' having prayer time during class. If the ACLU won't sue to stop that, then they should not sue when other religions get prayer or study time during class.

"extension of the lie."... (Below threshold)
RobLACal.r:

"extension of the lie."

Stupid democrats like Lee are natural born losers. That "L" on his forehead doesn't stand for Lee, more like lame lying loser.
-

Why don't we just allow fre... (Below threshold)
steak111111:

Why don't we just allow free speech? It'd be a whole lot easier.

Clarification: But as with the 2nd amendment, there is also the responsibility of shooting off your mouth with lies.

The ACLU is trampling the Constitution with their hatred.

correction:"of NOT... (Below threshold)
steak111111:

correction:

"of NOT shooting off your mouth with lies."

That goes for you Lee.

"while segregating classes ... (Below threshold)
steak111111:

"while segregating classes for girls,"

gender discrimination. Lying Libs support that too.

I'll admit, I discriminate ... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

I'll admit, I discriminate by gender. I would make my city all female if I had the power to do so.

It's the ACLU that... (Below threshold)
It's the ACLU that has been the active party in these disputes bringing case after case to stop Christian practices in public schools. Given that fact, I object to Muslims' having prayer time during class. If the ACLU won't sue to stop that, then they should not sue when other religions get prayer or study time during class.

I would say this is the case because there have been more overt Christian attempts to de-secularize schools (and yes, the ACLU has been overzealous in several cases).

I'll admit, I discriminate by gender. I would make my city all female if I had the power to do so.
Our school district has been playing with single-gender rooms due to the differences in which boys and girls learn most efficiently. So far, it has been successful, but it definitely needs more study.
The ACLU never hesitates to... (Below threshold)
hermie:

The ACLU never hesitates to wade in and stop Christmas displays and similar exhibitions; slapping lawsuits quicker than a jackrabbit on speed; but they suddenly have become cautious and slow to stop this and other obvious violations of the 'separation of church and state' doctrine, when Muslims are involved.

Could it be they don't want to risk losing any funds from Muslim contributors? Maybe they are actually afraid of violent reprisals from Muslims who would issue fatwas against the ACLU members.

Brian,It would be ... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Brian,

It would be interesting to see how that plays out as long as its study is reserved for the reason of learning rates rather than puritanical views on gender separation.

Thanks for the reply. I was actually just making a joke (being a single male wanting a city full of females) but you responded with something interesting.

Could it be they d... (Below threshold)
Could it be they don't want to risk losing any funds from Muslim contributors? Maybe they are actually afraid of violent reprisals from Muslims who would issue fatwas against the ACLU members.
My guess is because these immigrants tie their faith so closely with their culture, this is probably the reason why they are gun-shy of jumping in with both feet.

Stopping a bunch of immigrants from praying doesn't make headlines.

About ACLU involvement: fir... (Below threshold)
mantis:

About ACLU involvement: first of all, the ACLU needs locals to request their help in filing a lawsuit; they can't just file one themselves. Whether or not they have been contacted by parents who wish to bring suit and refused, I don't know. In any case I've looked around and they seem to have taken no action thus far, for or against.

For those, and there are many, who will quickly condemn the ACLU as anti-Christian or anti-religion, I can point you to many, many cases where the organization has argued on behalf of students' right to religious expression.

This does not mean that the ACLU is entirely consistent, however, and there is a growing movement of members and former members pushing for reform: Save the ACLU. One such dissenter, and former ACLU national board member, is Wendy Kaminer. She wrote an editorial in the WSJ this year detailing the concerns of the Save the ACLU folks, which you can read here.

The ACLU is the only political organization I have ever belonged to (including political parties), and I am behind the efforts at reform. The organization has faltered in recent years in many of the local branches and on the national level, and needs to be shaken up, by removing the current Executive Director and President for starters. They need to be consistent in their advocacy, protecting the right of free expression for students, and fighting against public school endorsement of religion. I for one would welcome their involvement in a suit fighting these prayer breaks.

Btw, Kaminer is also on the board at The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), the only other political organization I've given money to. They do great work fighting university speech codes and other infringements on individual rights.

The ACLU is the on... (Below threshold)
Heralder:
The ACLU is the only political organization I have ever belonged to..

And now I know how a thousand guns being cocked at once sounds.

Seriously though, informative post.

What I do not understand is... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

What I do not understand is why anyone is defending these acts by Moslems. Particularly those on the left. If you think you object to Christian principles, just wait until you are forced to live under shria law. Can't happen here? If enough of the back stabbing democrats think they will get the Muslim vote, they will sell the whole nation down the river. Anyone who doubts that needs to pay attention to Harry Reid and the U.S. Senate and what constitutes treason.

Zeldorf, I have no disillus... (Below threshold)

Zeldorf, I have no disillusions of what life is like under Sharia. I have repeatedly shown my daughters what life would be like, living in other parts of the world, and how they should be thankful and respectful for where they have landed.

Zelsdorf:... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Zelsdorf:

What I do not understand is why anyone is defending these acts by Moslems.

At least in this thread, no one was. (with the possible exception of JFO) Just questioning the facuality of the finer points in the editorial above.

If you think you object to Christian principles, just wait until you are forced to live under shria law.

In my opinion, it's usually not a case of objecting to actual Christian principles, but rather the infusion of them into parts of society that should be secular. Until recently, Christianity has been the most prevalent in secular life, and so has had to endure being cropped back...in some cases rightfully so, in others, not.

Take heart that Muslims demanding the right to impose themselves and their beliefs on everyone else under the threat of violence or protests will not last long. Americans of all stripes are better and smarter than that. If you can't believe that it's out of decency, believe that it's out of survival.

If enough of the back stabbing democrats think they will get the Muslim vote, they will sell the whole nation down the river.

There are more illegal aliens than there are Muslims in the U.S., don't be too alarmed.

As long as government and r... (Below threshold)
Nell:

As long as government and religion are the same thing in Islam, why do we treat it as a religion at all? Why can't we treat it as a foreign, hostile government, with a religious wing?

Two points1) Were ... (Below threshold)
JFO:

Two points

1) Were it not for the ACLU it might very well be that some of the loonier whizzers would have no place to voice their ranting. You should get down on your knees every night and thank them.

2) Why do so many of you hate Muslims? Hate the terrorists for sure but why do you hate all Muslims?

JFO,I'll admit (se... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

JFO,

I'll admit (seriously this time) that I am a little prejudiced against Muslims in general. Why? Well, I do recognize that not all Muslims are terrorists, but I also recognize with great disgust the general absence of condemnation and consequential calls for reform. That's not tacit approval, but it's not disagreeing either.

There's a difference between me not condemning a terrorist act out of laziness or lack of caring, but I'm not a Muslim. It's not my religion that's being perverted, and it's not my reputation that is taking a hit with every barbaric act. This "silent majority" becomes more and more ephemeral every time they fail to speak out.

I also take into account that Muslims take great umbrage when a cartoon is published of Mohammed, but eh...not so much when a reporter's head is sawed off in his name.

Further, there are certain practices that I don't approve of.

Let me ask you, if your neigbors had a dog that consitently walked into your yard shat all over the place, yet your neighbors never chastised the dog for doing so, and never tried to stop him from doing so in the future...would you begin to blame them even though their not actually the ones squatting on your front lawn?

Heralder:Thanks fo... (Below threshold)
JFO:

Heralder:

Thanks for your comment.

I don't think you can compare a neighbor's failure to control a dog to Muslims allegedly not condemning terrorism. Of course I would be angry and upset with my neighbor but the neighbor should have control of the dog. Muslims all over the world don't have control of terrorists. For heavens sake there are Muslims terrorizing other Muslims.

As to the point about failure to condemn. I have a recollection of a considerable condemnation of terrorism by Muslims after 9/11. Too check my recollection I just did and google search and found any many references. If the expectation is that Muslims should condemn every act after it occurs I guess that's a different story.

"lee ward"? Havn't we heard... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

"lee ward"? Havn't we heard from someone before that goes by this name? Isn't he the "lair czar"? Hmmmm He sounds like he has the "blues".

Public restrooms and public... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Public restrooms and public schools... they both generally stink.

If we (the government) weren't in the business of running the school system but rather left it to the private sector, the question of whether 'prayer time' is acceptable during school hours would be a question for the market to answer instead of bureaucrats, politicians, and lawyers.

(And before someone recycles the 'why do you hate poor people' crap, whether the government should run the schools and how the schools are funded are not the same question)

What I always wonder is wha... (Below threshold)
mantis:

What I always wonder is what form this condemnation is supposed to take. I have known a great many Muslims over the years, especially since 9/11 (I worked with about a dozen at the time of the attacks), and I can tell you that all of those I know were appalled and very quick to say that such acts do not represent their religion, and condemn terrorism in no uncertain terms. But that was in personal conversations. None of them to my knowledge have ever gone on TV or shouted from the rooftops their condemnation.

What's more, many of them do not talk about such things for two reasons: fear and embarrassment. They are embarrassed with how terrorism reflects upon them and their religion, and they are afraid of anti-Muslim sentiment (after 9/11 I knew several Muslim men who went against doctrine and shaved their beards so they would not be identified as Muslim - ask James Hetfield about this), and are not particularly anxious to call attention to themselves as outspoken Muslims. Now I understand that many Americans would be loud and proud in denouncing these types of acts if it was their religion or group, but most Muslims I know come from cultures that are not nearly as individualistic, and are very deferential to authority. Speaking out is, well, foreign to them.

This all, of course, is just my personal experience. YMMV

JFO:I don... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

JFO:

I don't think you can compare a neighbor's failure to control a dog to Muslims allegedly not condemning terrorism. ~ Muslims all over the world don't have control of terrorists. For heavens sake there are Muslims terrorizing other Muslims.

Fair enough, bad analogy.

The fact remains however, that there is an unkindly tie: Islamic terrorists and Muslims practice the same religion. One would think that alignment would offend Muslims a great deal...maybe enough to do something about it.

As to the point about failure to condemn. I have a recollection of a considerable condemnation of terrorism by Muslims after 9/11.

One event in 6 years I suppose is better than nothing, especially when Muslims are worried about being bombed by America in response.

If the expectation is that Muslims should condemn every act after it occurs I guess that's a different story.

That would be unrealistic and also pointless.

If this silent majority is out there, they need to not be silent. When they can make their voices as loud as those who use Islam as a weapon, then they are helping to stop and control those terrorists.

This reaction is absent.

And then wanting special treatment? That's a slap in the face.

Thanks for the insight, man... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Thanks for the insight, mantis.

That being said, I agree wi... (Below threshold)
mantis:

That being said, I agree with you here:

If this silent majority is out there, they need to not be silent.

Organized opposition to terrorism by Muslims would go a long way in assuaging public fears and resentment, I think. However, I don't think such groups that already exist get as much attention as they should.

"After subbing at ... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

"After subbing at Carver, the teacher claimed that religious indoctrination was taking place and said that a school aide had led Muslim students in prayer.

An investigation by the San Diego Unified School District failed to substantiate the allegations."

Ya know..do white Christians truly believe we are being persecuted for our beliefs in America? My family has not, does not feel that way. We do not feel threatened. Nothing anyone, anywhere does jeopardizes our faith. As for the trite slams against the ACLU...I don't always agree with them but give me one other organization that throughout the 20th century and into this has been more successful in reminding government on all levels that we have a United States Constitution.

It's heartening to see thos... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

It's heartening to see those links. What do you think it will or would take for these types of groups to become more prominent?

A little spotlighting from the mainstream media would go a long way.

Please visit <a href="http:... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

Please visit http://www.aclu.org/ ...check out the spectrum of issues...then direct me to another place that is pursuing the same...

A little spotlighting fr... (Below threshold)
mantis:

A little spotlighting from the mainstream media would go a long way.

Agreed. Kamal Nawash of the Free Muslim Coalition Against Terrorism is kind of a go-to guy for TV. His Wikipedia entry says he "is a regular commentator on CNN, Fox, BBC, NBC, ABC, CBS, Al Jazeerah, Al Arabiya, Voice of America and hundreds of radio station all over the United States." We could use more like him.

I would say Im caught a lit... (Below threshold)
Lao Author Profile Page:

I would say Im caught a little off guard by many of the comments here alleging bigotry or xenophobia. Those two words seem almost designed to shut off any possible debate on the subject.

I think the main thing that many here are not able to see though is that Islam is really no suited for Western style liberal democracy and the sooner that Americans and the Europeans for that matter come to terms and understand that they are dealing not only with a religion, but a political ideology as well then things will only get worse.

I'm not speaking merely as a pundit or someone who picked up the "Islam for Dummies" book after 9/11 - Im an American who has lived and worked overseas for the last 20 years with much of my time spent in a Muslim country.

Lao
An American Expat in Southeast Asia

So glad to see the resident... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

So glad to see the resident lefties are here in this thread. It's 102 outside and their spinning acts like a fan, keeping me cool.

I always knew lefties were good for something.

I admit I didn't read every comment in detail, but I sure didn't see any responses to my question from this morning:

What would all you lefties and the ACLU say if a Christian asked for 15 minutes during the school day to pray?

When discussing the ACLU position, be sure to add links to any cases they've been involved in where they argued in support of the rights of Christians to pray in school.

On that point, I expect an echoing silence.

This post makes me wonder: ... (Below threshold)

This post makes me wonder: Are some of the sheep,running down the shute to their doom, actually being pushed and pulled by all of the,possessed of "conventional wisdom",sheep?

Those sheep are "educating" most of our kids. People,there is cause to be alarmed.Not hopeless, but a solid, "moved to action", kind of feeling would serve us good right about now.

As long as governm... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
As long as government and religion are the same thing in Islam, why do we treat it as a religion at all? Why can't we treat it as a foreign, hostile government, with a religious wing?

Great idea! It's their own theology that combines religion and state (link in one of my prior posts on this thread). The tax exempt status of non-minority Christian churches is forfeit if they engage in politics, so at a minimum no mosque should be tax exempt.

Please visit <a hr... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Please visit http://www.aclu.org/ ...check out the spectrum of issues...then direct me to another place that is pursuing the same...

Try this link nogo. More issues and likely as important to as many people.

Try this link nogo... (Below threshold)
Try this link nogo. More issues and likely as important to as many people.

Hehe...that about sums it up.

"Political Correctness: ... (Below threshold)
LAB:

"Political Correctness: Seems the ACLU couldn't care less that a San Diego public school has set aside 15 minutes of classroom instruction time for Muslim students to pray, while non-Muslims twiddle their thumbs."

This really makes no "political correctness" sense at all. What statement could they possibly be making in a public school? There are plenty of Islamic organizations in the U.S. Prayer is a religious ritual of faith that should be allowed of everyone in a public environment, or not allowed in public schools at all. There are plenty of private schools for this purpose.

Yes, we could use a whole l... (Below threshold)

Yes, we could use a whole lot more like Kamal Nawash and people like him quoted in the media. I think the problem lies with the fact that for every Nawash there are a dozen oft quoted extremist types praising martyrdom operations and CAIR types excusing all manner of behavior with no clear condemnations. And when it becomes easier to count the number of people like Nawash than it is to count the extremists, we'll be seeing our way clearer.

I refrained from commenting here on this because like Mantis I am always skeptical of an "opinion piece" right off the bat. I can agree with an opinon or not, but I'd rather it was based on facts. Also like Mantis (even though he implied I was "stupid" not too long ago) and a couple others here, I strongly object to the alotted "prayer time" for one religion, especially in light of the constant court battles against allowing it for another religion.

But I think, in light of the fact that the ACLU doesn't just bring cases before the court on their own behalf - that a private citizen has to request their help - and there has been no action taken (as yet) against the government for permitting this in the school and there have been too many ACLU cases to count in actions taken against Christian practices, that the public has been more tolerant of the concessions made for Muslims than it has been for Christians.

I find that curious.

When discussing the ACLU... (Below threshold)
mantis:

When discussing the ACLU position, be sure to add links to any cases they've been involved in where they argued in support of the rights of Christians to pray in school.

On that point, I expect an echoing silence.

The ACLU does not support public school organized or sponsored prayer times. The ACLU's position on the current law regarding religious freedom in public schools is this:

Students have the right to pray individually or in groups or to discuss their religious views with their peers so long as they are not disruptive. Because the Establishment Clause does not apply to purely private speech, students enjoy the right to read their Bibles or other scriptures, say grace before meals, pray before tests, and discuss religion with other willing student listeners. In the classroom students have the right to pray quietly except when required to be actively engaged in school activities (e.g., students may not decide to pray just as a teacher calls on them). In informal settings, such as the cafeteria or in the halls, students may pray either audibly or silently, subject to the same rules of order as apply to other speech in these locations. However, the right to engage in voluntary prayer does not include, for example, the right to have a captive audience listen or to compel other students to participate.

Now I can give you many examples of the ACLU supporting students' right to religious expression, but you won't find a whole lot supporting school prayer, as they oppose school sponsored prayer, and students are very rarely restricted from exercising their individual right to pray at school during non-instructional time (if you know of any such cases, please link them). Keep in mind that the ACLU has not come out in support of the San Diego prayer breaks.

ACLU Supports Right of Iowa Students to Distribute Christian Literature at School

ACLU of New Jersey Applauds Ruling in Favor of Student's Right to Sing "Awesome God"

After ACLU Intervention on Behalf of Christian Valedictorian, Michigan High School Agrees to Stop Censoring Religious Yearbook Entries

The ACLU of Nevada (2004) represented Mormon high school student suspended for wearing T-shirts with religious messages.

I think I'm hitting the link limit, but you can google these to read more:

"Iowa Civil Liberties Union Defends Right of Students to Wear Anti-Abortion T-Shirts"

"ACLU of MA Defends Students Punished for Distributing Candy Canes with Religious Messages"

And these are just cases involving Christian students over the past few years. I can give you tons of other cases where the ACLU has supported the religious rights of Christians outside of school as well. Not that I think it will have any impact on your opinion of the ACLU, but it might enlighten some others with equally distorted views of the ACLU (not that they're perfect mind you; they have their problems as well).

Oyster,I thought y... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Oyster,

I thought you made a dumb comment in the health care discussion and snarked with "are you stupid?" I was a bit overworked on that issue at the time for personal reasons and was being a bit more of an ass than I meant to as a result (as opposed to other times, when I mean to be an ass ;). In any case, it was uncalled for, and I apologize. I don't think you're stupid.

No, the ACLU is not always ... (Below threshold)

No, the ACLU is not always wrong, but they have created a climate of fear in public schools to the extent that they go overboard in restricting some student's rights for fear of being sued again. And nothing is done about it when their rights are unjustly restricted unless "guess who" gets called in to sue the government again. Now I'm not saying it's the ACLU's fault that the schools go overboard in the other direction, but they do seem to have created a cycle here which ensures they always have a case going on.

Mantis, I'm over it now. In all fairness, my statement was poorly worded and didn't truly express what I meant. I just expected the benefit of the doubt. Now if it were Lee, I would have just laughed :)




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