Will questions that Muslims find uncomfortable soon be illegal in America? Never mind that the question quoted below “” does your school teach a particular verse of the Qur’an “” is entirely reasonable. And forget that jihadists around the world have told us that they are fighting to establish the caliphate and Sharia wherever they can. You simply can’t ask American Muslims what they think of such things. To do so would be “anti-Muslim.” From the Houston Chronicle, with thanks to Hutchrun:
A national Islamic organization has demanded an apology from a Texas-based private school association after claiming its director took an “alarmingly intolerant and hostile attitude toward Islam and Muslims.”
The protest by the Washington, D.C.-based Council on American-Islamic Relations was prompted by a letter sent by the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools to the representatives of an Islamic school in Houston.
Dar-Ul-Arqam, which enrolls more than 300 students at three area locations under the supervision of the Islamic Education Institute of Texas, has been seeking membership for its Adel Road campus in the private school association, known as TAPPS. The association includes 238 schools across the state, including Awty International School, Incarnate Word Academy, Northland Christian School and St. Thomas High School in the Houston area.
Membership typically expands opportunities for private-school students to compete against other schools in academic and athletic events.
The letter, apparently signed by TAPPS Director Edd Burleson, has the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas calling for an investigation, according to Alamdar Hamdani, a Houston member of the ACLU board. The Anti-Defamation League also has expressed concern.
In his correspondence, Burleson quoted a verse from the Quran as calling on Muslims to be violent toward Christians and Jews. He noted that most TAPPS member schools are Christian. “Why do you wish to join an organization whose membership is basically in total disagreement with your religious beliefs?” he asked in the two-page letter, which included 10 questions.
He asks about the school’s attitude toward “the spread of Islam in America” and the goals of the school “in this regard.”
Finally, he suggests that some TAPPS members may not be tolerant of Muslims: “Why do you think that the current member schools of TAPPS will not be biased against your school, based on the fundamental difference in your religion and Christianity, since about 90% of TAPPS schools embrace Christianity?”…
Iesa Galloway, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Houston office, said Burleson sent a similar letter to an Islamic school in the Dallas area. He said he was awaiting details of that case.
Besides demanding an apology, Galloway’s group has asked for reprimands against those responsible for the letter.
“The TAPPS letter, a symbol of religious intolerance, has no place in a nation that was originally built by those seeking asylum from such intolerance,” Galloway said in correspondence he sent this week to the TAPPS board.
Dar-Ul-Arqam’s Adel Road campus enrolls some 175 students and already participates in the Grapevine-based Private School Interscholastic Association, according to Khaled Katbi, a school representative.
But that association’s programs are only available through middle school. So representatives of Dar-Ul-Arqam began looking for an association that would offer scholastic competition for its 19 high school students.
On Nov. 4, Katbi went before the TAPPS board to seek membership for his school. Board members asked him if the school taught from the Quran, and Katbi said it did.
“Their questions were reasonable,” Katbi said. “I did not sense hostility.”
A week later, Katbi got a letter from Burleson that included questions Burleson said the school needed to answer before it could be admitted to TAPPS.
“Do you teach your students to ‘Make war on them (Christians and Jews) until idolatry is no more and Allah’s religion reigns supreme’ (Koran 8:37)?” Burleson asked.
Katbi said he was “astonished” by the letter. He did not reply to the questions.
The bylaws of TAPPS do not indicate that the organization is open only to Christian schools.
Hamdani, the ACLU representative, said the organization would come under special restrictions if it accepts federal funding. But the TAPPS Web site indicates that the nonprofit organization relies on dues from member schools and sporting-event fees.
“It’s the venom in that letter that’s so disturbing,” Hamdani said. While the letter is structured as a series of questions, he said, “they’re really more assumptions than questions.”
Martin B. Cominsky, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, said the letter “assumes some offensive stereotypes about what Islam is all about.”
Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Washington, D.C., said he was not aware of any other cases in which Islamic schools had difficulty joining private-school organizations.
He said the letter reflects “the rise in anti-Muslim sentiment” that has emerged since the terrorist attacks of 2001.