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Another Public School with a Pro-Islam Ramadan Policy: 'May Allah Continue to Shower You - Love and Wisdom'

05-31-2019
Photo courtesy of Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund

Another public school has come under fire for celebrating the Muslim holiday of Ramadan in a way that appears to endorse the religion of Islam.

The Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund (FCDF) reports it happened at the West New York School District in New Jersey.

FCDF sent the letter to Superintendent Ms. Clara Brito Herrera and Memorial High Principal Scott Wolhrab after an anonymous teacher contacted FCDF on behalf of other teachers, all of whom are deeply concerned about the school district's promotion of Islam. 

One Ramadan poster offers "Warm greetings from Memorial High school" and wishes students to "Have a blessed Ramadan." The poster then declares: "MAY ALLAH CONTINUE TO SHOWER YOU - LOVE AND WISDOM."

                                                             
(Photo courtesy of Freedom Conscience Defense Fund)

"The First Amendment prohibits public school districts from endorsing a particular religion. These Ramadan posters and Islamic student presentations are sending a clear message to non-Muslim students that they are outsiders in the school community while sending a message to Muslims that they are insiders, the exalted student group. West New York School District is blatantly violating the Constitution," FCDF Executive Director Daniel Piedra said. 

Piedra tells CBN News, "According to a source, the posters have now been removed from Memorial High School."

As CBN News previously reported, this has been happening at other schools too. Out in Washington state, teachers were advised on how to deliver Islamic blessings to students during Ramadan.

The Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund (FCDF) says a teacher complained about the policy. The FCDF sent the superintendents and school boards of the Dieringer School District and the Northshore School District, both located in the Seattle-area, "cease and desist" letters demanding the districts immediately stop their special Ramadan policies.

In an update on that case, the Northshore School District has withdrawn a policy accommodating students during Ramadan in response to a "cease and desist" letter, the FCDF reports

In an updated memo, Northshore suggests a neutralized "comfortable space for fasting students," but informs teachers "it's up to the student whether they choose to go there or not." The policy also suggests that physical education teachers may accommodate fasting students to avoid strenuous activities. Both suggestions are likely reasonable under the First Amendment to the extent they would not impose an undue hardship on school operations.

It's not clear yet if the Dieringer School District has taken any similar steps as the Northshore School District.

The Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund warns that it will continue to follow the activity of these schools and their compliance with the US Constitution. 

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