Colorado Student Quits High School Choir over Islamic Song Praising ‘Allah’

Fox News, February 15, 2012

A Colorado high school student says he quit the school choir after an Islamic song containing the lyric “there is no truth except Allah” made it into the repertoire.

James Harper, a senior at Grand Junction High School in Grand Junction, put his objection to singing “Zikr,” a song written by Indian composer A.R. Rahman, in an email to Mesa County School District 51 officials. When the school stood by choir director Marcia Wieland’s selection, Harper said, he quit.

“I don’t want to come across as a bigot or a racist, but I really don’t feel it is appropriate for students in a public high school to be singing an Islamic worship song,” Harper told KREX-TV. “This is worshipping another God, and even worshipping another prophet . . . I think there would be a lot of outrage if we made a Muslim choir say Jesus Christ is the only truth.”

But district spokesman Jeff Kirtland defended the decision to include the song.

“Choral music is often devoted to religious themes. . . .   This is not a case where the school is endorsing or promoting any particular religion or other non-educational agenda. The song was chosen because its rhythms and other qualities would provide an opportunity to exhibit the musical talent and skills of the group in competition, not because of its religious message or lyrics,” Kirtland told in an email while noting that the choir “is a voluntary, after-school activity.”


At an upcoming concert, the choir is scheduled to sing an Irish folk song and an Christian song titled “Prayer of the Children,” in addition to the song by Rahman.

“The teacher consulted with students and asked each of them to review an online performance of the selection with their parents before making the decision to perform the piece,” Kirtland said, and members who object to the religious content of musical selections aren’t required to sing them.


The song is written in Urdu, but one verse translates to “There is no truth except Allah” and “Allah is the only eternal and immortal.” {snip}

James Harper

Topics: ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • Islam:  The official religion of American public education, as well as the newest Hollywood fashion accessory.

    • Anonymous

      I thought homosexualism was the fastest growing “religion” among public education systems. 

  • Anonymous

    The school would never allow the choir to sing a song praising and submitting to Jesus.

    They know the ADL, SPLC, and ACLU would cut them to shreds.

  • Anonymous

    Even if the young man is an atheist, or an agnostic, he still has every right to refuse to sing the religious songs of foreign oppressors and invaders as a matter of conscience. More so, in fact.

    Yes, singing traditional Christian songs in a school choir setting must be accepted as part of our heritage. And we should feel a kind of pride in our heritage. But people do need to be a little ashamed sometimes of STILL having an invisible magic friend in the sky, AFTER white scientists have already discovered and explained the true origin of the world, humankind, and our thoughts and feelings. White people have explored the heavens, walked on the moon, dug deep into the earth and identified what’s down there all the way to the core. And there’s no trace of heaven or hell or anything magical or divine.

  • Anonymous

    I do understand where the school is coming from though. When you don’t understand the words, it’s just a nice sounding song and it’s easy to forget it has a meaning. I don’t think they would go so far (yet) as to make them sing about Allah in English.

    I don’t speak Urdu, so I can’t say for sure… but it’s entirely possible the song doesn’t actually even say “Allah” at all. In the Arabic language, Christians and Muslims use exactly the same word for God, and Hindus presumably use the same word in plural. Urdu (aka Hindi) is most likely the same.

    Good for the boy taking a principled stand though. PC won’t be satisfied with just this, they are going to go on and on until we are all praying in the name of Islam. We have to take a stand somewhere.

  • Anonymous

    We make sure muslim prisoners receive meals that are in accordance with their faith. Public pools comply with muslim demands that gender-specific hours of access to the pool be arranged. Hospitals order reviews of every material and medicine medicine they use to ensure that there are no pork derivitives among the ingredients. School systems cave into pressure to add muslim holidays to the calendar. Employers of muslims who insist on taking several breaks a day to pray must comply or else. Christians who wear a cross on a necklace can be sued for creating a “hostile” working environment and if you are a Christian student who objects to singing the praises of Allah, well, you can either sing it or get the hell out of the choir.

    Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, etc. would do the same for us right?

  • MrGJG

    The fact that we’re even discussing this shows how far off the rails this country has run. America, like it or not, was founded on Christian principles.
    Islam has no place in western culture. It is as corrosive as drug abuse and kiddie porn and should likewise be illegal in civilized society.

  • What happened to the ‘comments’ section on the original Article?