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Oh, that pesky US Constitution

Reader comment on item: Stop the NYC Madrassa
in response to reader comment: Abou this whole madrassa talk

Submitted by Jeff (United States), Jun 20, 2008 at 18:55

Yes, obviously, we appreciate that Catholics have seminaries and other establishments. You neglect to mention that every one is 100% privately funded, and receives no government money. Parents of students in Catholic schools pay tuition, (in addition to taxes to fund public schools) and typically participate in a never-ending stream of fund raising events.

Yes, Muslims also have a right to have schools. There's no argument there. They just don't have a right to taxpayer funded schools, like the KGIA and the Tarik ibn Zayad Academy in Minnesota. Like all Catholic schools, Muslim schools should also be privately funded, and receive no taxpayer funds.

If a Catholic school demanded to become a taxpayer-funded public school (totally inappropriately) and somehow succeeded (totally inappropriately) what do you suppose the ACLU would say? Or Americans United for Separation of Church and State? How about the U.S. Department of Education? How about you? And why should there be a different set of rules for a Muslim school?

This all has to do with an item in the US Constitution, called the First Amendment. It's generally referred to as separation of church and state, though it applies to the mosque as well. Freedom of religion (like freedom of speech and freedom of the press) may be a difficult concept for many Muslim immigrants, but, having chosen to live here, they need to follow US laws. The alternatives are, 1. propose an amendment to the Constitution, or, 2. if obeying the law and proposing to change it within Constitutional parameters are both unbearable, then simply return to the culture they for some reason left behind when they voted with their feet for life in the West.

If you wish, and you're an American citizen, you're free to propose an amendment to the Constitution that would overturn the separation of church and state clause in the First Amendment. Good luck.

By the way, they're also called madrassas in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, where the major languages are Punjabi, Sindhi, Urdu and English. It's OK for Pakistanis to use that Arabic M word, but not OK for Americans?

As for Said Muhammad Ali, who claims to write from Iran but in fact chooses to live in the world's largest democracy, he gleefully approved of the arrest and subsequent brutal murder of Canadian visitor Zahra Kazemi in an Iranian prison. Also, the Iranian government's murders, in their home, of Dariush and Parvaneh Forouhar, who had voiced mild criticism of their government.

A quote from Said: "ZEHRA KAZMI AND OTHERS PAID THE PRICE OF BEING TRAITOR TO THE NATION." Note the capital letters for emphasis. So, any degree of unpopularity Said has on this forum is a hopeful sign for humanity.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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