Seattle school district reportedly under fire for urging teachers to bless Muslim students during Ramadan

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When it comes to the left’s insistence on the separation of church and state, there is some willingness to deviate from this rigid expectation, unfortunately for Christians, it doesn’t apply to them.

A school district in decidedly liberal Seattle sent out a letter asking teachers to bless its Muslim students during the month of Ramadan — in Arabic.

The religious liberty advocacy group Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund claims the Dieringer School District is violating the Constitution by encouraging teachers to bless Muslim students in Arabic during the holy month of Ramadan, Fox News reported.

The district also urged teachers to allow Muslim students to skip tests during this time.

More from Fox News:

The Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund (FCDF) claims the Dieringer School District is officially endorsing Islam and is following a script by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) that urges schools to make special accommodations for Muslim students and to wish them “Ramadan Mubarak,” which means “Happy Ramadan,” or “Ramadan Kareem,” which means “Have a generous Ramadan.”

The CAIR guidelines also instruct teachers to monitor Muslim students fasting and suggests teachers not schedule any tests on the Islamic holidays of Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha.

 

Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund executive director Daniel Piedra called out the double standard at play.

“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,” Piedra said, according to Fox News.  “A school district would never order teachers to ‘welcome’ Catholic students during Easter with ‘He is risen, alleluia!’ Singling out Muslim students for special treatment is blatantly unconstitutional.”

The advocacy group said Dieringer Superintendent Judy Martinson followed CAIR recommendations and “enacted the letter as official district policy.”

It is also threatening to file a lawsuit against the school district.

In a statement sent to members of the school district, Martinson said: “The Dieringer School District has not and would not violate the First Amendment by endorsing any religious observations.  Be assured that we respect the personal beliefs of you and your family.”

According to KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, The Northshore School District, based in Bothell, which is just north of Seattle, also sent a letter with Ramadan recommendations.

If somebody doesn’t stand up and fight back, nobody is, and we’re going to see our freedoms being taken away slowly, bit by bit,” Piedra said, according to KIRO Radio. “So it’s incredibly important that we stay vigilant.”

As Fox News noted, the Constitution doesn’t forbid accommodating religious exercise, but FCDF said that by issuing CAIR recommendations, the district “acted under color of state law to create an official policy that has a primary effect of advancing religion.”

The advocacy group also took issue with skipping tests on Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha, claiming CAIR is “falsely contending these holidays should receive similar treatment to Christmas.”

Tom Tillison

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