Seattle-area district school board instructs teachers to give Islamic blessings

LifeSiteNews | 5/10/2019 | Staff
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SEATTLE, Washington, May 10, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― As Ramadan began, a public school board urged teachers to assist Muslim pupils in adhering to the annual Muslim fast.

According to the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund (FCDF), Dieringer School District in Washington state has asked teachers to follow guidelines set by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) about Muslim pupils’ religious practices during school hours.

March - CAIR - Letter - Islamic - Holidays

“In March, CAIR submitted an ‘Informative Letter on Upcoming Islamic Holidays and Religious Accommodations’ to Superintendent Judy Martinson,” the FCDF reported.

“Martinson enacted the letter as official district policy when she distributed the letter to school principals, who in turn circulated the letter to all teachers and staff.”

CAIR - Lawyer - Amanda - Misasi - Teachers

CAIR lawyer Amanda Misasi had asked that teachers not schedule “tests or important assignments” on two Muslim holy days, Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha, that these holidays be added to school calendars, that fasting students be allowed to spend the lunch period in the library, and that teachers welcome Muslim students to the classroom during Ramadan by wishing them “Ramadan Mubarak” (i.e. “Have a blessed celebration”) or “Ramadan Kareem” (i.e. “May Ramadan be generous to you”).

Misasi also requested facilities for in-school prayer.

Addition - Students - Ramadan - Muslim - Students

“In addition to supporting Muslim students during Ramadan, you can also support Muslim students in your school by accommodating their need for prayer year-round,” she wrote. “One or two of which will typically occur during school hours, depending on the time of year.”

Daniel Piedra, FCDF’s executive director, believes that the instruction to bless Muslim students is a violation of the First Amendment.

Teachers - Muslim - Students - Arabic - District

“By urging teachers to bless Muslim students in Arabic, the District is running roughshod over the First Amendment’s mandate of government neutrality toward religion,” he wrote.

“A school district would never order teachers to ‘welcome’ Catholic students during Easter with ‘He is risen, alleluia’! Singling out Muslim students for...
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