.- 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 âplaced into Islamic city groups, took Islamic names, [and] wore identification tags that displayed their new Islamic nameâ along side of the Star and Crescent Moon--the symbol of Muslims.
In addition, they were given materials which instructed them to âRemember Allah always so that you may prosper.â
The students also completed âthe Islamic Five Pillars of Faith, including fasting, and memorized and recited the âBismillahâ or âIn the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate,â which students also wrote on banners that were hung on the classroom walls.â
San Franciscoâs 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, âThere 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.â
He said that, âIf the public schoolâs 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.â
Added Edward L. White III, trial counsel with the Law Center: âRather than teach students about Islam, which is constitutional, the public school crossed the constitutional line and began indoctrinating students.â
âThe public schoolâ, he said, âplaced students into the position of being trainees in Islam, which is impermissible in a public school.â