A case brought by parents and children challenging a California school district for its practice of teaching 12-year-old students to “become Muslims” will be heard in U.S. appeals court today.
As WND reported, the lawsuit was filed by the Thomas More Law Center against the Byron Union School District and various school officials to stop the “Islam simulation” materials and methods used in the Excelsior Elementary School in Byron, Calif.
The United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in San Francisco, widely considered the nation’s most liberal, will hear oral arguments in the case.
The Thomas More Law Center says that for three weeks, “impressionable 12-year-old students” were, among other things, placed into Islamic city groups; took Islamic names; wore identification tags that displayed their new Islamic name and the star and crescent moon; handed materials that instructed them to ‘Remember Allah always so that you may prosper’; completed the Islamic Five Pillars of Faith, including fasting; and memorized and recited the ‘Bismillah’ or ‘In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate,’ which students also wrote on banners hung on the classroom walls.
Students also played “jihad games” during the course, which was part of the school’s world history and geography program.
Thomas More’s chief counsel, Richard Thompson, believes there’s a double standard at work in this case.
“If the students had done similar activities in a class on Christianity, a constitutional violation would surely have been found,” he said. “If the public school’s practice is upheld on appeal, all public schools should begin teaching classes on Christianity in the same manner as the Islam class was taught in this case.”