High school 'Muslim prayer room' challenged

Liberty High School's prayer room. The school is in Frisco, Texas, and has provided the on-campus prayer room to meet the special needs of Muslim students since 2009.

The prayer room at Liberty High School in Frisco, Texas, has been provided to meet the special needs of Muslim students since 2009.

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.

Upwards of 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.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton

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, are nowhere to be heard in this case.

Islam has made stunning inroads into U.S. public schools in recent years, and that’s only one facet of the civilization jihad exposed in the hot new book “Stealth Invasion: Muslim Conquest through Immigration and Resettlement Jihad.”

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.

Here 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.

Many high schools and colleges in Minnesota, Michigan and other states have been installing ritualistic footbaths.

The report by the local CBS affiliate suggests the state attorney general is just looking to stir up controversy where none exists.

But the student newspaper clearly identifies the room for what it is, a special accommodation for “some students.” And those students are clearly identified as practicing Islam.

Here is an excerpt from the Wingspan:

At many public schools, religion isn’t talked about openly. But here on campus, there’s a room dedicated to the religious needs of some students.

Every day during lunches, room C112 is utilized as a prayer room.

While most religions do not dictate specific times to pray, Islam is different in this regard.

Watch video presentation of student newspaper’s report on Muslim prayer room at Liberty High School:

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A call to Principal Scott Warstler’s office was transferred to district spokesman Chris Moore, who did not return the call.

Robert Spencer, editor of the Jihad Watch blog and author of several bestselling books about Islam in the West, said Liberty High School’s establishment of an Islamic prayer room is just one example of why American Muslims aren’t assimilating.

They aren’t expected to.

“In the days when immigrants to the U.S. were expected to assimilate, this kind of accommodation would have been inconceivable,” Spencer told WND.

Theodore Roosevelt said in 1915: “There is no place here for the hyphenated American, and the sooner he returns to the country of his allegiance, the better.”

“This was the prevailing view in his day,” Spencer said. “If you came to America, you should become an American. No immigrant groups expected or received special privileges or accommodation above those granted to others. Any immigrant group that demanded such privileges or accommodation would have been swiftly invited to return home.”

Pamela Geller, president and founder of the American Freedom Defense Initiative and a blogger at the Geller Report, agrees that assimilation is now an old-fashioned concept, replaced by multiculturalism.

“Assimilation is a concept from a bygone era,” Geller told WND. “Now the emphasis is all on a multicultural protection of the immigrant’s culture, giving it special supremacist status.”

Previous waves of immigrants in the late 1800s and 1920s would not recognize the system set up for today’s immigrants, she said.

“Never. In those days there prevailed the concept of the ‘melting pot.’ People’s cultural differences melted away and they became Americans,” she said.

“American” wasn’t an ethnicity, race or creed, it was a shared value system based on individual rights, property rights and equality for all before the law, Geller added.

“That was the common thread uniting this great nation – freedom, not just for some but for everyone.

Spencer says the long-term consequences of the move to a multicultural system will be profoundly unforgiving.

“What has changed is a loss of our own civilizational self-confidence and the triumph of the multicultural idea, which in practice means all cultures are good except our own,” Spencer said.

“The long-term consequences will be catastrophe and loss of the nation. As Roosevelt said in the same speech: ‘I want to call the attention of the individuals who sing about the mother who didn’t bring up her boy to be a soldier, to the fact that if the song had been popular from 1776 to 1781 there wouldn’t be anyone to sing it today.’ Likewise, if we don’t value our own culture, we won’t have any soldiers to fight for it, and it will not survive.”

Islam has made stunning inroads into U.S. public schools in recent years, and that’s only one facet of the civilization jihad exposed in the hot new book “Stealth Invasion: Muslim Conquest through Immigration and Resettlement Jihad.”

High school 'Muslim prayer room' challenged
Source: WND