While France rejects Islamic headscarves and other forms of religious expression in public schools, American schools are actively inviting Muslims (in some cases from outside the school) to express their faith and even requiring classes to participate.
A federal judge recently decided there was no establishment of religion when a teacher asked students to pretend to be Muslims for three weeks. The role-playing activities included choosing a Muslim name, wearing Arabic clothes, recite Muslim prayers, and play a board game in which they raced to Mecca.
A Christian family objected. "I think it's pretty cut and dry," Jonas Eklund, a parent of one of the students said. "Three weeks of Islam and they won't teach any other religion. That was our problem with it." The judge (who also sided with Planned Parenthood against the partial-birth abortion ban) ruled in favor of the school district. The district argued that role-playing is a teaching technique that was used in a historical context. According to Islam Online, the principle said "that not only Islam, but Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism and other major religions are also taught as they apply to the understanding of history and the development of major Western and non-Western civilizations."
The Thomas More Law Center argued that the school used a double standard. According to the Contra Costa Times, "It is hypocritical that schools are not allowed to post the Ten Commandments, while Byron [school] students were allowed to recite 'In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful,' " said Richard Thompson, chief counsel and president of the law center.
It's not really hypocritical, though because Jesus wasn't really born in a stable, according New York City lawyers. They argued on ...1
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