Prayers in schools and any kind of religious content, from the Ten Commandments to Christmas songs, remain widely opposed by litigious leftist organizations like the ACLU. And even the most modest efforts to keep kids from being exposed to graphic pornographic content have been assailed by the Biden administration which has sued school districts for trying to keep kids safe.
That’s why CAIR’s guide telling schools how to treat Muslim students is so extraordinary. The Islamist organization lays out rules for Islamic school prayers and tells schools to consult with mosques about sex ed. It warns schools against allowing Muslim girls to interact with boys in co-ed environments like swimming and dancing. And, in a time when leftist governors and school boards force girls to shower with transgender boys who claim to be members of their sex, it even insists that Muslim girls should shower in their burkinis even in single sex settings.
But what is truly extraordinary about the CAIR guide is that there will not be a word of protest against it from the same political establishment and media that smeared Florida laws empowering parents to protect students from sexual content as “Don’t Say Gay”.
There was a good deal of political discomfort when Muslims in Dearborn, MI, an Islamic dominated city, stormed a school board meeting to denounce LGBTQ content. Rather than addressing the fundamental conflict between its politics and Islamic law, the leftist media dishonestly blamed Republicans for having brainwashed Muslims to hate gay people.
Had an influential Christian or Jewish organization put out a similar guide to schools barring them from interacting in co-ed settings or being taught sexual materials, there would be outrage. The media would warn that we were on the verge of theocracy and schools would redouble their sexual programming. But that won’t be the reaction to the Muslim guide.
What will almost certainly happen instead is that the guide will be privately passed around by school administrations and treated as a mandate without it ever being publicly discussed.
But if implemented, these secret carve outs and exemptions will represent discrimination.
For example, under ‘Sex Education’, the CAIR guide states that “sex education material presented in schools are another sensitive matter to many Muslim families.” That is obviously true for all religious families, but apparently only Muslims will be entitled to that privilege.
CAIR claims that, “Islam puts great emphasis on modesty, chastity and morality.” As if Christians and Jews don’t. All parents and students should be able to opt out of sexual content in classes. Treating that as an exclusive entitlement for one single group is discriminatory.
Finally, in a truly extraordinary demand in an educational system that aggressively eliminates even the most basic vestiges of religion, CAIR tells schools that sex ed requires, “close contact with local Islamic centers is essential to encourage input from the Muslim community.”
Can anyone imagine a Christian group telling schools to run their curriculum past the local church in order to get approval from parents? Parental rights advocates were investigated as terrorists by the Biden administration for asking for much more modest limitations on porn and the ability to actually review what their children were being taught by woke teachers.
Beyond that, CAIR lays out an extensive set of proposed accommodations including not shaking hands with members of the opposite sex or looking “at persons of different sexes directly”. CAIR also proposes private showers since “Muslim boys and girls may not wish to take same-sex communal after-sport showers without wearing appropriate covering of their bodies.”
Furthermore, “Muslims may raise religious objections to coed physical education classes” and “should not be forced to participate in coed swimming classes.” They also should not be expected to bow in martial arts classes because that is reserved for their deity of choice. (Muslims in international competitive martial arts sports regularly bow to their opponents.)
Muslims understandably “may be hesitant to recite the pledge of allegiance”, but are expected to pray in schools including individual prayers in unused classrooms and group prayers on Fridays. They also need to wash their feet in the sink that everyone else washes their hands in.
CAIR warns that “lunch items containing ingredients derived from pork must be highlighted clearly” along with dijon mustard, jello and lard. Cafeteria personnel also won’t be allowed to use the same cutter “that has contacted pepperoni pizza” to avoid “cross-contamination.”
Even non-Muslim parents will be warned not to bring snacks that Muslims can’t eat.
The latter goes beyond any kind of reasonable accommodation into forcing Islamic religious practices on other students and their families. Telling other students that they can’t eat bacon sandwiches is not accommodation, it imposes an Islamic ban on pork on everyone else.
Not satisfied with mandating religious behavior for Muslim and non-Muslim students, CAIR tips its hand by demanding control over textbooks and ensuring that they incorporate Islamic views.
“One common error is the definition of ‘Allah’ as a particular Muslim god rather than the same God of Christianity and Judaism,” CAIR complains. It insists that, “Muslim educators should participate in the textbook selection process, particularly for history, social studies, and geography texts.” Are Christian and Jewish authorities allowed the same level of input?
While Muslims do believe that Allah is also the god of Christians and Jews (and that, as the Koran repeatedly claims, Jews and Christians falsified Allah’s teachings which are only to be found in the Koran, not the Bible), many Christians and Jews do not believe this. There is no need to impose an Islamic view on Christians and Jews about their own religions. Schools can teach that Muslims believe that they are the successor (or predecessor) religion to Judaism and Christianity, much as the Bahai believe that they are the successor religion to Islam, but that this is their perspective. Much as Mormons and Christians have different understandings of their relationship, Muslims, Christians and Jews have very different perspectives on the matter.
When Islamist groups like CAIR pressure school officials to impose their theological dogma on non-Muslims, this amounts to transforming schools into missionary enterprises for Islam.
CAIR has been putting out its guide to educators since 1997 and it has not changed a great deal in that time. The latest more polished edition leaves out the missionizing Koran quotes and has softened language that appeared to be mandating student behavior in schools such as “men and boys are always to be covered from the navel to the knee” or “Muslim boys and girls may not take same-sex communal after-sport showers without wearing appropriate covering of their bodies.“ While the language has been made less severe, the intent is the same. CAIR is seeking to exercise control over the behavior of Muslim students in school.
This is also where the CAIR guide fundamentally differs from parents advocating for children. CAIR doesn’t represent parents, it represents Islamic dogma. While Democrats and the media have assailed parental advocacy, they have had nothing to say about an Islamist group putting out a guide dictating the behavior of administrators, teachers, students and non-Muslim parents.
And the real question may be how much of an influence has CAIR’s guide had on schools providing special exemptions for Muslims that they would not allow for non-Muslim students?
Parents of all religions, and of no religion, should be able to opt their children out of coming into contact with sexual materials. And if Democrats and the media want to attack Christian and Jewish parents for making such requests, they should also be consistent and take on CAIR.
Anything else is evidence of religious discrimination.
CAIR wants schools to consult mosques before teaching sex ed. Any schools that have done this also have to consult churches, synagogues and all other religious groups. Schools that allowed Muslim parents to opt out more easily than non-Muslim parents have engaged in religious discrimination and should be sued. The same goes for allowing school prayers and any other exemptions that were reserved specifically for Muslim students, but not non-Muslim ones.
We cannot have a country where non-Muslim girls have to shower with ‘transgender’ boys while Muslim students are offered private showers. Nor a country where mosques get approval over sex ed courses and Islamic scholars determine the theological content of textbooks.
The supreme right to determine the education of children belongs not to schools or to CAIR, but to parents.