Since last July, the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) has hunkered down with the terror-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (“CAIR”) to launch an “integrated and holistic” Anti-Islamophobia initiative, which they claim will protect Muslim students and their families from bullying.
This program is a Trojan horse for Islamist indoctrination and the suppression of the constitutional rights of non-Muslim students. Here are eight reasons why this “anti-Islamophobia Initiative” is unlawful and bad news for America’s schoolchildren.
1. The program singles out Muslim students for special benefits and protections. Under the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, a school district can’t officially favor one religion or religious group over another. When SDUSD put Muslim students on a pedestal, it told Christian and Jewish students, as well as students of other faiths, that they are outsiders and not worthy of protection from bullying.
2. SDUSD is partnering with a controversial Islamic advocacy organization. The Establishment Clause prohibits government entanglement with religious organizations. SDUSD’s collaboration with CAIR is dangerous and blatantly unconstitutional. Its mission is to advance Islam, and it spends millions of dollars each year in lawsuits, lobbying, and indoctrination to promote Muslim causes. There’s a double standard here. Would the school district ever partner with a Christian advocacy group to help develop special protections for Christian students? Absolutely not!
3. Christians and other religious students won’t have access to special bullying prevention resources. Under the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment, the school district can’t do anything that substantially burdens students’ sincerely held religious beliefs. By denying Christians and other non-Muslim students equal access to the program’s accommodations, advantages, and privileges, it’s making those students open targets for bullying because SDUSD is focusing on protecting just Muslim students. That’s unfair and discriminatory.
4. SDUSD launched a program based on students’ religion. Under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, the school district can’t make any rule or policy based on a student’s or student group’s religion. SDUSD also can’t deny membership to any benefits as a result of someone’s religious beliefs. Here, the school district creates an anti-bullying program just for Muslim students; in other words, if you’re not Muslim, then you’re excluded. Plain and simple. Under the Equal Protection Clause, that’s downright unconstitutional.
5. The school district is giving a big hand to CAIR and its mission. Under the “No Aid Clause” of the California Constitution, the school district can’t aid or grant a benefit to any religion or outside religious group. Here, the Anti-Islamophobia Initiative benefits and protects Muslim students in a big way. In addition, SDUSD’s official involvement with CAIR is giving them a huge boost with their mission. In fact, CAIR fundraises off its work with the school district! None of this is constitutional.
6. The intentional discrimination against non-Muslim students violated California’s Civil Rights Act. Under California law, the school district has to give full and equal accommodations, advantages, and privileges to all students regardless of their religion. SDUSD discriminated against non-Muslim students with full knowledge that their program would benefit Muslim students and deny non-Muslim students to those benefits.
7. SDUSD allowed CAIR to pass out propaganda to students during class time. Under California’s education laws, school districts can’t adopt textbooks or other instructional materials if they contain anything that negatively impacts somebody because of their religion. SDUSD allowed CAIR to pass out pamphlets and other materials such as Know Your Rights as a Muslim during class time, even to non-Muslim students. CAIR also has a history of disparaging Judaism, de-legitimizing Israel’s right to exist, and adversely demonizing Jewish people. The fact that SDUSD adopted, distributed, and passed out instructional materials provided by CAIR is a serious violation of California’s education laws.
8. San Diego students were forced to listen to CAIR officials preach to and indoctrinate them. Under California law, a school district can’t allow denominational doctrine or propaganda to be taught. SDUSD allowed CAIR to indoctrinate and pass out propaganda to students in a coercive environment. In other words, if a Christian student spoke up and say she’s uncomfortable with sitting there listening to the indoctrination, that student could get in trouble. In fact, under this new policy, she’d get accused of being Islamophobic!
As the Supreme Court held in Edwards v. Aguillard: “In no activity of the State is it more vital to keep out divisive forces than in its schools.” CAIR is no doubt a divisive force, and that’s why we’re fighting to get them out of our schools.
Before we filed our suit, we told SDUSD’s Board of Education what they’re doing is likely unconstitutional, and they should scrap the program at their next board meeting. But they didn’t; instead, they accused people who opposed the program of being Islamophobic.
Well, they asked for it. And so we filed a federal lawsuit in May, asking the court to stop this Anti-Islamophobia initiative and get CAIR out of our schools permanently. If you’d like to help fund this case, you can donate here. Your help would make a big difference!