A federal judge has ordered school officials in San Diego to provide information about whether they are continuing to collude with the Islamic advocacy group Council on American-Islamic Relations in a lawsuit by parents who say the district claimed to have dropped the collaboration.
The case was brought by several families and two parents’ groups against the San Diego Unified School District over its partnership with CAIR, a group founded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, according to FBI evidence presented in a Hamas-funding case in which CAIR was named an unindicted co-conspirator.
The district worked with the organization to battle bullying and “Islamophobia.”
As WND reported, the families filed suit in May 2017 against the campaign, which was launched the previous month featuring curriculum and materials published by CAIR.
Lawyers with the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund later revised their complaint to focus on CAIR’s radical Islamic origin. The complaint asserted the school district’s partnership with CAIR violated the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment and California law. WND later reported a federal judge objected to a reference to CAIR’s terrorist ties in the complaint, saying it was “impertinent, immaterial and scandalous,” designed only to “inflame the public.”
The program, the families argued, singled out Muslim students for special accommodations and called for changes to school curricula to make it more favorable to Islam. It also allowed CAIR officials into classrooms to teach students about Islam and “how to be allies” to Muslim students.
The district purchased thousands of dollars of CAIR’s recommended teaching materials, which were then distributed to the schools.
When they were caught working with the advocacy organization, San Diego school officials said they ended their partnership.
But the families and the San Diego Asian Americans for Equality and Citizens for Quality Education San Diego say that decision was a “sham” and the cooperation continues.
FCDF said Judge Cynthia Bashant narrowed some of the plaintiffs’ requests for information, but otherwise said the district must hand over evidence to the five families that may document the allegation that the district has continued working with CAIR.
The families had submitted a motion for a preliminary injunction with more than 200 pages of supporting evidence. To prepare for arguments, they had asked for copies of communications that took place after the school board supposedly dropped the cooperation.
Federal court rules allow such expedited discovery if there is a good reason.
The court ruling said: “Whether or not defendants’ rescission was a ‘sham,’ facts pertaining to the district’s conduct after the public rescission of the policy may be relevant to the question of whether plaintiffs face ongoing irreparable harm from a policy that allegedly violates the First Amendment of the federal Constitution. Plaintiffs’ assertion of irreparable harm in their preliminary injunction motion stems from the existence and implementation of an allegedly unconstitutional policy.”
A hearing is scheduled in April.
Charles LiMandri, FCDF’s president and chief counsel, said the San Diego United School District needs to follow principles including “government neutrality in religion and the right of every American, including schoolchildren, to equality under the law. Unfortunately, this politically correct ‘anti-Islamophobia initiative’ runs roughshod over those principles.”
LiMandri said the district “has a constitutional obligation to keep divisive forces like CAIR outside of its schools.” But he cited testimony from CAIR officials who have confirmed they have a religious obligation to try to convert school children to Islam.
FBI cut off relationship with CAIR
The FBI has provided an abundance of evidence that CAIR is a front for the Muslim Brotherhood and its Palestinian branch, Hamas. And even a Persian Gulf state, the United Arab Emirates, has designated the Washington, D.C.-based organization a terrorist group, putting it in the same category as al-Qaida and ISIS.
The complaint points out that the FBI cut off non-investigative contact with CAIR in 2008. The bureau, at the time, explained that “until we can resolve whether there continues to be a connection between CAIR or its executives and Hamas, the FBI does not view CAIR as an appropriate liaison partner.”
The FBI’s evidence of CAIR’s ties to Hamas was presented in a Hamas-funding case in which CAIR was named an unindicted co-conspirator. CAIR has sued the authors of a WND Books exposé, “Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That’s Conspiring to Islamize America,” which documented the group’s radical ties.
The bureau’s non-contact policy remains in effect, FCDF points out, which is relevant because CAIR has made “prioritized public schools as ground zero to advance its religious mission.”
The school district, in effect, gave “a divisive religious group … unprecedented decision-making authority” in a public school program.
While Bashant threw out references to CAIR’s terror links, she preserved provisions in FCDF’s amended complaint concerning CAIR’s hostility to Israel and allegations it “promotes discriminatory bias against non-Muslim students on the basis of their religion.”
The judge said that while these assertions may be “distasteful” and “unsavory,” those provisions could call into question the “objectivity and accuracy” of CAIR-provided instructional materials.
As WND reported, when the San Diego school board partnered with CAIR, it touted it as an organization that “has been involved in constructive civic engagement, promotes cultural tolerance and understanding, as well as justice and equality.”
CAIR’s San Diego director told the school board his organization wanted the district’s program to become a national model.
“The plan itself is a great first step,” he said. “I truly believe that if we do this right, San Diego Unified School District would be the leading school district in the nation to come up with a robust and beautiful anti-bullying and anti-Islamophobia program.”
‘The true faith, Islam’
The influence of Islam in public schools has become a nationwide issue.
In May, in Groesbeck, Texas, a couple moved their sixth-grade daughter to a new school after they discovered her history homework assignment on Islam.
In late March, as WND reported, a middle school in Chatham, New Jersey, was using a cartoon video to teach the Five Pillars of Islam to seventh-grade students, prompting two parents to obtain legal services to fight the school district, which has ignored their concerns.
WND also reported in March a high school in Frisco, Texas, has set up an Islamic prayer room specifically for Muslim students to pray on campus during school hours. The same type of prayer rooms have been set up in high schools in St. Cloud, Minnesota, and other school districts.
In 2015, parents in Tennessee asked the governor, legislature and state education department to investigate pro-Islam bias in textbooks and other materials.
WND reported in 2012 ACT for America conducted an analysis of 38 textbooks used in the sixth through 12th grades in public schools and found that since the 1990s, discussions of Islam are taking up more and more pages, while the space devoted to Judaism and Christianity has simultaneously decreased.
In 2009, Gilbert T. Sewall, director of the American Textbook Council, a group that reviews history books, told Fox News the texts were “whitewashing” Islamic extremism and key subjects such as jihad, Islamic law and the status of women.
Also in 2009, WND reported the middle school textbook “History Alive! The Medieval World and Beyond,” published by Teachers’ Curriculum Institute, said an Islamic “jihad” is an effort by Muslims to convince “others to take up worthy causes, such as funding medical research.”
In 2006, WND reported a school in Oregon taught Islam by having students study and learn Muslim prayers and dress as Muslims.
WND reported in 2003 a prominent Muslim leader who eventually was convicted on terror-related charges helped write the “Religious Expression in Public Schools” guidelines issued by President Bill Clinton.
In 2001, shortly after the 9/11 attacks, seventh graders in Byron, California, were taught a three-week course on Islam that required them to learn 25 Islamic terms, 20 proverbs, Islam’s Five Pillars of Faith, 10 key Islamic prophets and disciples, recite from the Quran, wear a robe during class, adopt a Muslim name and stage their own “holy war” in a dice game.
Parents went to court to uphold their right to reject the class for their children, but a federal judge ruled against them, and in 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to consider their appeal.