Skip to comments.U.S. to defend Muslim girl wearing scarf in school
Posted on 03/30/2004 7:21:30 PM PST by coffeebreak
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You still missed it. The tax is paid the feds to protect rights. The tax is paid to the school to educate. The school chose to use tax money to violate rights and now the feds have to do their job thay are paid for.
You think there should be no government?
Tax paid by who? A selective "group?" This should not even be an issue. I do not want MY tax dollars usurped to government lawyers to "protect" a special interest. This is not the realm of education, or government. You can finance any fight you want, but can't suck local tax dollars, ship it to D.C., then re-distribute it to advance a cause. Do it on your own dime.
In Saudi Arabia no one is allowed to wear a cross or have a bible in their possession. A friend at church just returned from three months there.
Do you have reason to believe they aren't U.S. citizens?
The purpose of govm't is to protect rights, not some etherial generalization titled, "special interests." In particular to protect the rights of the individual from any and all others who act to infringe upon them.
The Constitution protects free religious exercise except where Establishment is being violated. Where precisely in the Constitution is "religion" defined in a manner which excludes Islam?Don't forget "free exercise thereof".
As I'd argue it, the key point at issue is what the Constitution means by "religion" in the phrase "establishment of religion".
The context of this phrase includes the wider context of the Declaration of Independence, which opens with references to "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" and to men being "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights".Leaving aside the question of whether or not the Constitution's context can be said to include a document it does not reference in any way, these are phrases that could be uttered by a Muslim without real fear of heresy.
This, as may be verified in the writings of the framers of the Constitution, is referring to the 18th-century concept of natural law and the underlying tradition of natural rights extending back through John Locke to Thomas Aquinas, Augustine, the Sermon on the Mount, and ultimately, the Ten Commandments. In this tradition the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule are considered to embody certain principles which are the foundation of a just social order. These principles are common to Judaism and Christianity and are alluded to in the Declaration of Independence's phrase "unalienable Rights", which are the "Rights" the "Bill of Rights" is enumerating. This is not excluding non-Christian religions (cf. my Post #24); it is, however, excluding religious practices based on principles which radically depart from the principles common to Judaism and Christianity that derive from natural rights (thus, for instance, to take an extreme example, the Constitution would not protect a religious practice involving ritual murder).Again, it does not say so. It merely says "religion". Madison's point was that any suppression of religion at all opens the door to any which can be conceived. Actions may be proscribed, and certainly government preference prohibited. But the rules must be the same for all faiths, or lack thereof.
Certainly your theory would suggest that atheism and areligion are not protected, while the Courts have ruled most emphatically that they are. But more to the point is your reference towards Islam. Islam proclaims that it worships the same God as Christianity. Both the leader and the official doctrine of the largest Christian sect in the US and the world proclaim agreement. Jesus of Nazareth himself has higher status in the Islamic faith than the Jewish. Your claim that Islam is not protected because it is not close enough to Christianity fails all applicable tests: the legal, the historic, and the theological.
Also, the Bill of Rights is addressing states' rights issues and protecting the right of individual states not to have their established religions infringed upon by the federal government (keep in mind that the states originally had established religions), whereas the legal argument in the case in question is attempting to have the federal government impose Islam on a non-federal level of the educational system.The states may no longer have established religions as the Fourteenth Amendment applied the limitations of the Bill of Rights to all levels of government. I know some deny the validity of this, but it is as accepted a part of modern law as judicial review. I would also submit that its a good thing, and that were it not already considered part of law an Amendment to do it more explicitly would pass easily.
Note that I am not arguing the Constitution only protects Christianity; I am arguing that Judaism and Christianity are the paradigm of what the Bill of Rights protects, and when Islam attempts to claim rights which step outside that paradigm, it steps outside the protection of the Constitution. Christians do not have a Constitutional right to violate school dress codes--why should Islam?My point is that they do: dress codes should only exist to maintain order and the forbidding of passive displays such as crosses, yamulkes (sic) and Islamic veils represents protected free exercise. Rather than pandering to the anti-Islamic bigotry of the ignorant that is clear from some of the other posts in this thread (not yours), I would think that Christian organizations would support this girl.
The school is not a Christian and can't exercise any religious beliefs. If the commandments appear at all, it can only be as a historical, cultural, or community display, not connected to the school and dependent on it's funding source for existance.
Nay. It's better these people are never allowed to set foot in our country.You're going to kick people that were born in this country out because of their religion?
The Muskogee schools will need to prove why it is necessary to prohibit all students, irregardless of religion, from wearing hats, caps, bandannas or jacket hoods inside their buildings.The excuse is "gang activity", the catch-all public schools use these days. I wonder if they'd ban ties if one of the gangs started dressing like P-Diddy.
I believe that the teacher who wore the cross was represented by the Rutherford Institute, but if she had asked the ACLU to represent her, they probably would have.Guess what I found:
MUSKOGEE, Okla.Attorneys for The Rutherford Institute have filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma on behalf of an 11-year-old Muslim girl who was twice suspended by school officials for wearing a religious head covering. Institute attorneys argue that the schools actions violated Nashala Hearns rights to free speech, free exercise of religion and due process as guaranteed by the First and Fourteenth Amendments. Institute attorneys are asking the court to declare the schools dress code policy to be unconstitutionally vague. The lawsuit also seeks to require school officials to revise the dress code to accommodate the religious dress of their students and expunge Nashalas educational record of the two suspensions.Gotta love how they first made an issue of it three weeks into the school year, on September 11th.
Nashala Hearn, along with her family, are followers of the Islamic faith, which requires females to wear a headscarf called a hijab in public places, a requirement Nashala has consistently followed in expressing her commitment to her sincerely-held Islamic religious beliefs. This fall, Nashala began attending the sixth grade at Benjamin Franklin Science Academy, a public middle school in Muskogee, Okla. On September 11, 2003, Nashala was informed by her principal that she would no longer be permitted to wear her hijab to school, because it was prohibited by the school dress code. Institute attorneys have pointed out that while the dress code prohibits hats, caps, bandannas, plastic caps, and hoods on jackets inside the [school] building, it makes no mention of hijabs or any other kind of religious head covering. Despite the principals warning, Nashala continued to wear the hijab to school in keeping with her religious beliefs. On October 1, 2003, Nashala was suspended from school for three days. Upon returning to school on October 7 after serving the suspension, Nashala was once again suspended, this time for five days. Although Nashala has been allowed to return to school until the matter is resolved and continues to wear the hijab, she is subject to sanction under the school dress code at the whim of her principal and other school authorities.
School districts that pay lip service to pluralism and diversity but send a message of exclusion to religious adherents whose faith imposes certain dress requirements repudiate those same values in practice, stated John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute. The First Amendment exists to protect the devoutly religious, such as Muslims, Orthodox Jews and Christians, from such unconstitutional discrimination.
The Rutherford Institute is an international, nonprofit civil liberties organization committed to defending constitutional and human rights.
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