04/11/2008 (11:28 am)
Michelle Malkin today follows up Minneapolis Star-Tribune reporter Katherine Kersten’s story, concerning a publicly-funded charter school in St. Paul that appears to be a Madrassa, with her own broad summary of the increasing presence of Islam in American public schools today. I recommend you read the entire article.
American schools should teach something about Islam simply as a matter of community interest; clearly, Islam is becoming more common here in America, and it can’t be a bad thing for all of us to learn more about what Muslims believe and how they practice. Respectful exposure to cultures is a good thing — so long as it’s even-handed and unbiased, and includes cultures that the multiculturalists’ Diversity Police regard as aberrant, like Evangelical Christianity or the American south.
Beyond that, though, how much should public education permit in the way of sectarian instruction? I’ve always regarded the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the 1st Amendment’s ban on “establishment of religion” as badly in error. Schools are not “Congress,” nor are they “an establishment of religion” (that would be a church), and neither teaching the local version of morality nor permitting students to practice their own religion creates an official state religion.
Furthermore, the error actually lies in the state controlling education; state-controlled education is the natural enemy of individual liberty. Education was almost entirely private when the nation was founded, with the public funding education only for the very poorest who could not afford to educate their own children. The elimination of public control of education removes all the problems that our culture experiences over educational content.
However, hostility to the nation is never acceptable as school curriculum. Note, for example, this instance of hostile messages embedded in an assigned word puzzle. Note also this story from Hot Air regarding the publicly-funded charter Madrassa I mentioned on Wednesday, in which it was discovered that the school had never flown the American flag; they claimed incompetence. As soon as attention was paid, they learned how to operate the flag pole. This school is not acceptable. Thankfully, I note that the state is investigating, based on reporter Kersten’s research.
Nor is support from, or for, America’s enemies ever acceptable in schools. I noted Wednesday the association of the St. Paul charter school with the Muslim Brotherhood; this should not be permitted.
Again, I do not object to schools teaching about Islam, nor even to public funding of schools teaching Islam, so long Christians and other religions are treated using the same standard.