A lawsuit by a Christian student in Maryland who was forced to write the Shahada — the Muslim profession of faith — as part of an assignment is appealing to the Supreme Court after her case was rejected by a federal appeals court.
According to Education Week, the lawsuit alleges that officials at La Plata High School “concealed that their high school World History class promoted Islam” and that both student Caleigh Wood and her parents “were harshly punished for voicing concerns about the desecration of their Christian beliefs and heritage and the promotion of the Islamic faith” through the course.
The First Amendment lawsuit was dismissed by a federal appeals court in February. Now, with the help of the Thomas More Law Center, which is representing the family, the Woods appealing to the Supreme Court to hear their case.
Their argument is that the class violated the establishment clause.
“The facts in this case are not in dispute. Petitioner Caleigh Wood is a Christian,” the petition, filed earlier this week, reads. “During the 2014-2015 school year, Ms. Wood was a junior at La Plata High School, a public high school in Charles County, Maryland. To fulfill a requirement for graduation, Petitioner enrolled in World History.
“As part of the history class, Respondents required Ms. Wood to complete a section on the Muslim World in which she encountered the religion of Islam. To teach the unit, Respondents used a PowerPoint slide to describe the Muslim faith. … One of the slides taught the students that ‘Most Muslim’s [sic] faith is stronger than the average Christian.’
“In addition, Ms. Wood was required to profess in writing that ‘There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.’ This statement is known as the shahada. The shahada is the Islamic conversion creed, the declaration a person recites to convert to Islam and then prays and repeats during the Muslim call to prayer.”
Richard Thompson, Thomas More Law Center president and chief counsel Richard Thompson said in a statement, “Under the guise of teaching history or social studies, public schools across America are promoting the religion of Islam in ways that would never be tolerated for Christianity or any other religion.
I’m not aware of any school which has forced a Muslim student to write the Lord’s Prayer or John 3:16: ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’
Thompson said the school’s unit on Islam, which was part of a mandatory class, went far beyond education and broke the establishment clause.
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[Editor’s Note: This article was written by C. Douglas Golden and originally published at the Conservative Tribune. Title changed by P&P.]