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Comeuppances of Christian proselytization

Reader comment on item: Spreading Islam in American Public Schools

Submitted by Irfan Khawaja (United States), Nov 28, 2004 at 14:45

Reading the responses here, you'd get the impression that Hamas had started to run the public schools. Come on, people: Get a grip. This a valuable and informative article, but the information is all about Muslim intentions, not results. It tells us about what Muslims want to happen, not what they've succeeded at accomplishing. No evidence presented here tells us that Muslims have succeeded at using the public schools for actual proselytization.

The first part of the article refers to Muslims who want to monitor curriculum content. Yeah, well, join the club: in doing that, they're only joining the scores of busy-bodies, mostly Christian, who want to monitor curriculum content, including the hundreds of Christians who annually write in to the Educational Testing Service (where I used to work) to insist that its standardized tests make no references to evil things like "castles" or "magic". Why? Because such references legitimize "Satan-worship". (That's a real example pertaining to fourth-grade reading items, drawn from a sample of hundreds.) The pressure for curriculum-monitoring from Christians FAR outstrips the pressure from Muslims or anyone else.

The second part of the article refers to clearly unconstitutional uses of the public schools for purposes of proselytization. Where did the Muslims get this crazy idea? From Christians, who have been agitating for "school prayer" and "creationism" now for decades. It is Christians who insist that we should all get up and pray to Jesus at public-school football games, Christians who think that the Lord should be invoked before the schoolday begins, and ultimately Christians who are to blame for almost every breach of the Church-State distinction in contemporary America. Remember the Ten Commandments in Judge Moore's courtroom? (Second prize for blame should go to the minority of Jews, mostly on the Right, who like to make common cause with Christians on issues like this, appealing to the "Judeo-Christian tradition" all the while. Talk about a backfiring strategy!)

So don't blame the ACLU or the secularists for the mess we're in (and heading towards). First blame the fundamentalist Christians, then blame the Jews who support them. We secularists have fought the good fight against the misuse of the schools for longer than any of you have ever grasped that there was a fight to be fought. For decades you derided our "secular humanism." Well, now you're groaning about the Muslims' use of your Judeo-Christian playbook. Too little & too late, friends!
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