.- The Ann Arbor, Michigan based, Thomas More Law Center is challenging a California public school district which they say indoctrinated impressionable middle-schoolers in the Muslim faith. The group said that during a three-week project, the 12-year old students were “placed into Islamic city groups, took Islamic names, [and] wore identification tags that displayed their new Islamic name” along side of the Star and Crescent Moon--the symbol of Muslims.
In addition, they were given materials which instructed them to “Remember Allah always so that you may prosper.”
The students also completed “the Islamic Five Pillars of Faith, including fasting, and memorized and recited the ‘Bismillah’ or ‘In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate,’ which students also wrote on banners that were hung on the classroom walls.”
San Francisco’s Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will begin hearing Eklund vs. Byron Union School District tomorrow.
A San Francisco federal judge had previously ruled that the school district did not violate the constitution, but according to Richard Thompson, Chief Counsel of the Law Center, “There is a double-standard at play in this case. If the students had done similar activities in a class on Christianity, a constitutional violation would surely have been found.”
He said that, “If the public school’s practice is upheld on appeal, all public schools should begin teaching classes on Christianity in the same manner as the Islam class was taught in this case.”
Added Edward L. White III, trial counsel with the Law Center: “Rather than teach students about Islam, which is constitutional, the public school crossed the constitutional line and began indoctrinating students.”
“The public school”, he said, “placed students into the position of being trainees in Islam, which is impermissible in a public school.”