Expect the ACLU to rush to protest this program — no, wait…
“Somali kids’ program put on hold,” by Beth Lamontagne Hall for the New Hampshire Union Leader, January 29 (thanks to Benedict):
MANCHESTER – A federally funded weekend education program for Somali refugee children has been put on hold after allegations it was teaching Muslim doctrine.
Police Chief David Mara, Mayor Ted Gatsas and Superintendant [sic] of Schools Tom Brennan recently received a letter saying the Somali Bantu Community Association is teaching from the Quran during its weekend youth program.
Mukhtar Idhow, director of the group, said the program is not a religious school, but is a tutoring program for Somali children. The program is run through Southern New Hampshire Services and is housed at the city’s Multicultural Center on Maple Street.
The goal, Idhow said, is to raise graduation rates in the Somali community. The program will not meet this weekend and will be on hold until after the group speaks with city officials and decides whether to continue, he said.
However, some say the problem is not the teaching of religion, but a Muslim-against-Muslim feud:
Idhow and other local officials say the letter is part of an ongoing feud between the leaders of the Somali Bantu organization and the Somali Development Center, another nonprofit group that provides aid to local Somali refugees.
“There’s been a lot of rumors about bad blood between the different factions, said Dan Calegari of Southern New Hampshire Services. “I work with these people daily. There’s never even been any hint of religious activity. … It really comes down to animosity between different segments of the Somali population.” …
Welcome to the new New Hampshire!