Students at Friendswood Junior High, a public school near Houston, TX, were recently subjected to a forty-minute assembly led by members of a controversial Islamist pressure group. Ensuing outrage over the "Islam 101" event — which pupils attended without the prior consent of either parents or the administration — has cost the principal her post:
The news drew relief from some who were incensed by the May 22 presentation and concern from others who considered the assembly a good way for students in the predominantly Anglo Christian school to learn about other cultures.
About 875 seventh- and eighth-grade students attended the presentation given by two women with the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Houston, according to the school district.
Superintendent Trish Hanks sent parents a letter apologizing for the assembly, which she attributed to a bureaucratic snafu. Yet she noted, "My concern for our community and for our students is not as much with the content of the presentation as explained to me."
No doubt some might take issue with that judgment. CAIR's PowerPoint slide show, titled "Islam: Respecting Diversity," can be viewed here. After declaring that "Allah is God for all human beings" and describing both the Torah and Gospels as "books of Allah," it goes on to outline the five pillars of Islam as well as Muslim dietary requirements, traditional dress, and gender relations.
The Houston branch of CAIR — a group with a long track record of Islamist agendas and indicted officials — approached the school "about conducting an educational presentation after hearing from a father who said his son was physically attacked at the school because he is Muslim." Chapter president Tarek Hussein said, "It was physical harassment. I believe the boy has a medical report." However, he declined to provide any specifics.
CAIR has a history of falsely portraying incidents as hate crimes against Muslims. What occurred at Friendswood is anybody's guess, but one board member offered this interesting take on CAIR's remedy:
"There's a personal incident between two students and as a result of that we're going to yank everyone out of class?" he said. "I got beat up in junior high. Did my dad go down and force all the kids to sit through sensitivity training? … No, that's absurd. The coach gave us licks and sent us home."
When it comes to exploiting unfortunate happenings to gain a new audience, CAIR is clearly at the head of the class.