Middle East studies in the News
U.S. Schools 'Bowing' to Islam During Ramadan [incl. John Esposito]
High schools across America are being pressured to offer time off school, in-school prayer rooms, and special dietary demands by Muslim students observing the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
One campus in Brooklyn has agreed not to serve food at its prom until after sundown while another school in upstate New York is setting up prayer rooms to satisfy the demands of students who observe Ramadan.
Among the Muslim groups agitating for special privileges for Muslim students are the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Muslim Student Association and Sound Vision.
Sound Vision offers on its website a "6-Step Guide" for Muslims on how to pressure their local schools into granting "religious accommodations" for Islam. The guidelines instruct parents to know U.S. laws about religious freedom and then "get the support of a teacher." The guidelines start with the following statement:
"Does your child need a prayer room to perform Zuhr in during lunchtime? Does he need time off for Juma? Or do you want to convince a teacher or principal to give your daughter the day off for Eid-ul-Fitr?
"Whatever Islamic obligation you want accommodated at your child's school, it must be done in a methodical, clear and proper manner."
It also helps to get the local media on your side.
Brooklyn Tech seniors will gather at Pier Sixty in Manhattan for their prom on June 3, but not all their classmates will be able to attend, lamented the local ABC affiliate, WABC-TV.
That's because the party this year falls during Ramadan, a month-long time of fasting and prayer.
In an online petition started by the Muslim Student Association, an offshoot of the extremist Muslim Brotherhood, students are asking school officials to move the prom to another day.
In an effort to accommodate the MSA, school officials said they won't allow food to be served at the prom until after Muslim fasting ends at 9 p.m.
The principal also met with the MSA Tuesday "to make sure this never happens again," WABC reported.
Special accommodations for Islam in U.S. public schools is a trend that is gaining steam. And it's happening at the same time schools are eliminating Christian holidays or changing them to generic time off. Christmas is now 'winter break' and Easter is 'spring break.'
Just last week the largest school district in Saratoga County, in upstate New York, announced it will open special prayer rooms on campus where Muslim students can pray during school hours during Ramadan.
The Shenendehowa High School Principal told CBS-6 that two classrooms are being set aside exclusively for Muslim prayer during the Islamic holiday.
One parent sent CBS-6 a letter of complaint, stating:
"Since prayer for other religions was removed from school years ago, I feel as [Shenendehowa] has crossed the line on allowing this on campus."
The woman's complaint was in response to an email from the Shenendehowa High School Principal to students and parents addressing the month of Ramadan.
The letter states in part:
"Prayer occurs on a daily basis for practicing Muslims. This can be challenging in today's modern public high school. In an attempt to make reasonable accommodations for students and employees to meet their personal religious obligations, room 65 in High School West and room 109 in High School East have been set aside so students can incorporate this important aspect of their religion into their daily activities while at school."
A school spokesperson told CBS-6 the decision was made after the high school principal met with the leader of a local mosque in an attempt to improve the school's "cultural proficiency."
She said the school can't refuse a student's request to leave class for required prayer, and the on-campus prayer room allows Muslim students to return to class quickly after praying.
Required prayer? Required by who? If a Catholic student's priest required a student to say the Rosary during school hours would the school officials' comply by offering a special "safe space?"
These are all questions parents should be asking, say Christian counselors and activists.
Schools such as Liberty High School in Frisco, Texas, as well as high schools in Minnesota and Michigan have opened permanent Muslim prayer rooms, as previously reported by WND.
These cases demonstrate the breakneck pace at which America is "bowing before the demands of Islamic sharia law," says Michele Bachmann, former congresswoman from Minnesota.
"Islamic law insists on societal domination everywhere, including in western Christianized nations like the US and the UK," she said.
"Nowhere can anyone point to an example of an Islamic nation that allows the advancement of Christianity or Judaism, in fact our faiths are denigrated by them.
"In Islamic dominated countries Christians and Jews are persecuted and killed," Bachmann said. "In the biblical lands of Judea and Samaria in Israel, Arab communities post large signs saying 'no Jews allowed.'"
Islam is neither tolerant nor willing to coexist with other religions, she said, yet it demands that other religions not only tolerate it but observe its holidays in the public institutions of non-Muslim societies.
It's no coincidence that schools are a particular focus, she said.
"At the epicenter of American growth and community life are American public schools," Bachmann said. "It is no coincidence our kids are the primary targets for Islamic civilization jihad. Advocates of turning the U.S. into an Islamic enclave are advancing and winning."
The advancement of Islam in public schools is not going to slow down unless non-Muslim parents take an active stance against it, says anti-Shariah activist Pamela Geller.
"We need to hit this on all fronts. This should be a multi-pronged effort," Geller told WND. "I hope the Trump administration will get involved, but we will never overcome this without energetic grassroots activism."
University and college campuses have long been compromised and bought off with jihad millions. Now grade schools, junior and senior high schools are in the sights of the enemy. Common Core proselytizes for Islam, and the real history of jihadi wars, land appropriations, annihilations and enslavements is scrubbed from school textbooks. High schools offer senior electives called "Islam and the Modern World," requiring students to purchase the notorious Islamic apologist John Esposito's The Straight Path.
Geller gives parents a comprehensive plan of action against this in her book "Stop the Islamization of America."
"They need to be proactive and complaining to school boards, school district officials, and local representatives, and persisting until these injustices are eradicated."
Robert Spencer, author of the Jihad Watch blog for the David Horowitz Freedom Center, agrees that short of greater parental engagement with school officials, the Islamization of American schools will march forward. The ACLU, which has been at the forefront of many legal challenges to any vestige of Christianity in public schools, is nowhere to be found when it comes to fighting the presence of Islam.
"It's ironic that after fighting for decades against Christian prayers in public schools, the ACLU is AWOL regarding the increasing Islamic presence in public schools," Spencer said. "We need constantly to call attention to this hypocrisy and double standard, and call upon the relevant elected officials to take action or face the consequences at the ballot box. Of course, before that can be done, a great effort must be made to raise awareness of this issue."
Where is Betsy DeVos?
Spencer said lawsuits like the one filed recently against San Diego public schools may be effective and should be pursued but Trump's education secretary, Betsy DeVos, should also get involved.
"After all, the Trump administration is supposed to be dedicated to draining the swamp, and here is a particularly fetid one," he said.
Bachmann said the forces advancing the traditional ideals of Western civilization are on the ropes in Europe and are under assault in the U.S.
"Watch out Western civilization, your apathy will kill you."
Bachmann said the U.S. Constitution promises every citizen a republican form of government.
"Islam is at war with freedoms we take for granted — freedom of thought, religious expression and expression of speech.
"If the government fails us at the public school level, then the U.S. will embrace and enforce Islamic laws on the rest of us faster than any of us could imagine, and be prepared to live as foreigners under assault in our own nation."
Candidate Trump wouldn't have tolerated stories about Islamic prayer rooms in public schools, Bachmann said.
"Our Education Secretary could issue guidelines and could threaten lawsuits against these schools," she said. "Obama Attorney General Eric Holder threatened Anoka High School in Anoka, Minnesota, with retribution if they failed to knuckle under and advance wholesale the gay agenda. Holder won and the school district caved."
Clifton Park resident Kevin Lynch said he doesn't have an issue with the school's decision to open Islamic prayer rooms in his child's school.
"If that's what they're asking for and they're allowed to have it I don't see a problem with that," Lynch told CBS-6.
The message below is from Donald Flynt, Principal of Shenendehowa High School:
Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
Dear Parents/Guardians and Students,
The school district recognizes the diverse religious backgrounds and values represented in the school community and the importance of being sensitive to the needs of all students and personnel.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. From Saturday, May 27 through Saturday, June 24, 2017, Muslims around the world spend the daylight hours in a complete fast. In addition to fasting, prayer occurs on a daily basis for practicing Muslims. This can be challenging in today's modern public high school.
In an attempt to make reasonable accommodations for students and employees to meet their personal religious obligations, room 65 in High School West and room 109 in High School East have been set aside so students can incorporate this important aspect of their religion into their daily activities while at school.
Please note that this is voluntary and student-initiated. Involvement of school employees is a non-participatory capacity. The allowance of this does not materially and substantially interfere with the orderly conduct of educational activities within the school.
Students may arrange with Mr. Gutchell or Mrs. Lennon-McMahan at HSW to use room 65. Students in HSE may see Mr. Flynt or Mr. Smith to access room 109. Parents are encouraged to contact me at 881-0310, ext. 61415 or at email@example.com with questions, comments or concerns.
As always, I appreciate your support of our high school students and programs.
Campus Watch contact e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org