Officials with a Houston pastors organization have decided to monitor attempts by the Council on American Islamic Relations to preach Islam to captive public school student audiences.
Pastor Dave Welch, a spokesman for the Houston Area Pastor Council, an inter-denominational organization, told WND today that open records requests will be submitted at every school in the area to determine “how many have been contacted by CAIR.”
The decision follows a dispute that erupted over a presentation by leaders for CAIR’s Houston base to students at Friendswood Junior High School.
Friendswood Junior High
The principal, Robin Lowe, has been moved to another administrative post dealing with curriculum, officials have confirmed. She arranged the mandatory presentation in which CAIR instructed students that Adam, Noah and Jesus are prophets; announced “there is one god, his name is Allah”; taught the five pillars of Islam; told students how to pray five times a day; and gave instruction on Islamic religious requirements for dress.
In the 40-minute session officials from CAIR, an organization critics link to terrorist groups, presented the religious beliefs and requirements of Islam.
The assembly had not been authorized by the district, officials confirmed.
Trish Hanks, the Friendswood superintendent, said she had been asked about having such a presentation because of allegations made by a Muslim who claimed to have been victimized in an altercation.
Hanks told parents in a memo she had authorized the presentation for staff members only, not students.
Welch noted hundreds of parents flooded this week’s school board meeting, at which the issue was debated. Some parents demanded the principal’s return; others questioned the school district’s leadership qualifications. CAIR officials also were on hand to defend their program of teaching students about Islam.
Welch said school officials announced the principal set up the assembly after CAIR asked for time to talk to all students about Islam. They said CAIR was upset by an altercation between two students CAIR perceived as attacking Islam, even though school officials found no evidence of that.
A report on the meeting in the Houston Chronicle noted schools in Seminole County, Fla., now have banned an Islamic group, the Academy for Learning Islam, from classrooms after officials crossed the line between telling students about Muslim culture and advocating for Islam.
Texas Education Agency officials confirm that state law allows parents to remove their children from activities or classes that violate their religious or moral beliefs.
A spokesman for CAIR’s Houston office, Tarek Hussein, told the Houston paper he contacted Lowe asking to do an “educational presentation.” And Asma Siddiqi, one of the Islamic presenters, said the Muslim culture and beliefs were taught to students.
CAIR, as WND has reported, is a spinoff of the defunct Islamic Association for Palestine, launched by Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook and former university professor Sami al-Arian, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to provide services to Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
A number of CAIR employees have been convicted on terrorism-related charges. Among them are former communications specialist Randall Todd “Ismail” Royer, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison on charges he trained in Virginia for holy war against the U.S. and sent several members to Pakistan to join a Kashmiri terrorist group with reported ties to al-Qaida; and Bassem Khafagi, who was arrested in January 2003 while serving as CAIR’s director of community relations and convicted on fraud and terrorism charges in connection with a probe of the Islamic Assembly of North America, an organization suspected of aiding Saudi sheiks tied to Osama bin Laden. Also, in October 2006, Ghassan Elashi, a member of the founding board of directors of the Texas branch of CAIR, was sentenced to nearly seven years in prison for financial ties to a high-ranking terrorist.
WND previously reported public school textbooks across the nation have begun promoting Islam, teaching even the religious doctrines.