Leo Hohmann follows up on the special accommodations for Muslims that we posted about last week in Islamic call to prayer in public high school (video).
For at least 30 minutes every weekday for the past seven years, a classroom at Liberty High School in Frisco, Texas, gets transformed into an on-campus mosque.
At least a dozen students use the “Muslim prayer room” between 2:05 and 2:35 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Controversy over the prayer room was sparked by an article in the student newspaper, the Wingspan, which clearly laid out how the room is used and by whom.
That prompted State Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, to instruct one of his deputies to send a letter to the school district warning that special accommodations for one religion over another are unconstitutional.
“Liberty High School’s policy should be neutral toward religion,” read the letter sent to Frisco’s superintendent by Deputy Attorney General Andrew Leonie. “However, it appears that students are being treated different based on their religious beliefs. Such a practice, of course, is irreconcilable with our nation’s enduring commitment to religious liberty.”
Principal Scott Warstler said students of other faiths are allowed to meet on campus as well, but he told the student newspaper, Wingspan, that these other meetings are held “before or after school.”
School-district officials told the local CBS affiliate the room is not exclusively for Muslims and any student can go there to pray or meditate.
The Conservative Tribune noted the conspicuous absence of watchdog groups, such as the ACLU, which typically raise concerns whenever Christian students are allowed to pray on school property. They are nowhere to be heard in this case.
But one First Amendment advocate, attorney David Coale, did tell CBS that the school district appears to be on shaky ground constitutionally. Setting aside a special room for Muslims to pray during school hours is fraught with questions.
The following are just a few:
- Could a male Catholic student, for instance, walk into the room during the prescribed Islamic prayer time, sit on the female side of the room and pray the rosary?
- Would a non-Muslim be allowed to walk into the prayer room at the designated time and not take off his/her shoes and sit next to a member of the opposite gender?
- Could an evangelical student bring his Bible and offer to close the prayer time with a reading from the New Testament?
- Could an Orthodox Christian set up an icon of Christ and venerate it with the sign of the cross?
Other questions remain unanswered as well:
- Are these students trusted to fulfill the Muslim duties of Friday prayer without an imam present?
- Are they performing the ritualistic Muslim requirements for foot washing before the Friday prayers, and, if so, where are they doing this?
It’s just the latest example of special accommodations being made for Muslims in the education establishment.
Will it truly be challenged or merely rhetorically questioned?
Read it all and check out Hohmann’s new book “Stealth Invasion: Muslim Conquest through Immigration and Resettlement Jihad.”