Liberalism’s Seven Deadly Sins: Sexism, Intolerance, Xenophobia, Racism, Islamophobia, Bigotry, and Homophobia. A liberal need only accuse you of one of the above in order to end all discussion and excuse himself from further elucidation of his position. — Dennis Prager.
On February 3, 2011 I posted a blog about a New Hampshire home schooling case. The case involves a woman, Brenda Voydatch, home schooling her 11 tear-old daughter, Amanda. Brenda divorced her husband, Martin Kurowski, 2008 and as a part of the divorce agreement they agreed to allow Amanda to be home schooled by Brenda.
Even though Amanda was doing well under her mother’s tutelage with a combination of home and public school schooling Martin felt that Benda was teaching Amanda too much religion. Martin believed that his daughter was being taught religious doctrine that he did not believe in and that he had he right of the second parent, while legally divorced, to have a say in the religious education of their child.
This week the New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled on the case The New Hampshire Supreme Court upheld a lower court order Wednesday that sided with the father of a homeschooled student and forced her into a government-run school against her Christian mother’s wishes.
The court made clear that it was not addressing larger religious liberty and homeschooling concerns and was basing its ruling only on the narrow and specific facts of the case. “While [the case] involves home schooling, it is not about the merits of home verses public schooling,” stated the justices in their opinion.
Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) attorney John Anthony Simmons, who represented the mother, who is divorced from the father, argued that the burden of proof was on the father to prove harm in order to change the schooling arrangement. Because no harm was demonstrated and the girl was acknowledged to be academically superior and socially interactive, even by the court, Simmons argued that the homeschooling arrangement should not have been changed.
However, in the original order issued in July 2009, Judge Lucinda V. Sadler reasoned that the girl’s “vigorous defense of her religious beliefs to [her] counselor suggests strongly that she has not had the opportunity to seriously consider any other point of view.”
“Parents have a fundamental right to make educational choices for their children,” responded Simmons. “Courts can settle disputes, but they cannot legitimately order a child into a government-run school on the basis that her religious views need to be mixed with other views. That’s precisely what the lower court admitted it was doing.”
“The lower court held the Christian faith of this mother and daughter against them,” Simmons said. “Unfortunately, the Supreme Court bypassed this issue and wrote this off as a ‘parent versus parent’ issue without recognizing the very real underlying threat to religious liberty.”
What troubles me with the lower court’s ruling is the statement: “vigorous defense of her religious beliefs to [her] counselor suggests strongly that she has not had the opportunity to seriously consider any other point of view.” Who in the hell do these justices think they are? What other point of view are they talking about? Is it the atheist point of view, the Buddhist point of view or the Islamic point of view? Or do they want the state to present their point of view? Perhaps it is the view imposed in Germany on the Hitler Youth or in the former Soviet Union on the Young Communist Pioneers. How can an 11 year-old girl consider other points of views when it comes to religion?
While this issue was not considered in the Supreme Court’s ruling and the court held to the facts of the case I still believe the case demonstrates the slippery slope we are on in our judiciary system.
Nevertheless, ADF Senior Counsel Joseph Infranco said that the law firm appreciates the Supreme Court’s choice to limit “its decision to the facts of this case,” which should ensure that the decision “cannot be used as a battering-ram against religious liberty or homeschooling.”
I am sure if this was the case of a Muslim family home schooling a child this case would have never made it to the New Hampshire courts. CAIR and other civil rights organizations would have jumped into the fray
The next case is a bit more troubling. The Christian Science Monitor reports that: The U.S. Department of Justice Monday slapped the Berkeley, Illinois School District, with a lawsuit, saying it discriminated against a Muslim teacher when it denied her unpaid leave to go on a religious pilgrimage. The feds said the district, about 15 miles west of Chicago, violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in its handling of MacArthur Middle School teacher Safoorah Khan’s December 2008 request, failing to reasonably accommodate her religious practices. According to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago, Khan, who joined the district as a teacher in 2007, wanted to perform Hajj, a requirement for every Muslim who is physically and financially able. The annual pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, is a demonstration of the solidarity of the Muslim people, and their submission to God. The district denied the leave, saying it was “not related to her professional duties” and Khan resigned as a result, according to the complaint. The lawsuit, filed on Khan’s behalf, seeks her reinstatement, back pay and unspecified damages, and an order requiring the district to adopt a policy designed to “reasonably accommodate the religious observances, practices and beliefs of employees and prospective employees,” the justice department said. Khan would not comment on the action. The district did not immediately respond to calls about the lawsuit Monday evening, as board members gathered for a regularly scheduled monthly meeting.”
The U.S. Department of Justice Monday slapped the Berkeley School District with a lawsuit, saying it discriminated against a Muslim teacher when it denied her unpaid leave to go on a religious pilgrimage. The feds said the district, about 15 miles west of Chicago, violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in its handling of MacArthur Middle School teacher Safoorah Khan’s December 2008 request, failing to reasonably accommodate her religious practices. According to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago, Khan, who joined the district as a teacher in 2007, wanted to perform Hajj, a requirement for every Muslim who is physically and financially able. The annual pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, is a demonstration of the solidarity of the Muslim people, and their submission to God. The district denied the leave, saying it was “not related to her professional duties” and Khan resigned as a result, according to the complaint. The lawsuit, filed on Khan’s behalf, seeks her reinstatement, back pay and unspecified damages, and an order requiring the district to adopt a policy designed to “reasonably accommodate the religious observances, practices and beliefs of employees and prospective employees,” the justice department said. Khan would not comment on the action. The district did not immediately respond to calls about the lawsuit Monday evening, as board members gathered for a regularly scheduled monthly meeting.”
The following article published in the London Daily Mail:
A school district is being sued for not allowing a Muslim teacher to take unpaid leave to make a pilgrimage to Mecca. The Federal Government has brought the case on behalf of Safoorah Khan, claiming that it is a violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
It is the duty of every Muslim to join the millions of pilgrims at the Hajj in Mecca at least once in their lifetime – and the middle school teacher had hoped to go in 2008.
Khan had started at Berkeley School, in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, in 2007 and asked for unpaid leave of three weeks to visit Saudi Arabia. After the education district twice denied her request, Khan wrote to the board that ‘based on her religious beliefs, she could not justify delaying performing Hajj’.
She resigned shortly thereafter, according to the lawsuit filed in federal court. Federal prosecutors say the leave was unrelated to her professional duties and was not set forth in the contract between the school district and the teachers’ union, thus violating her civil rights.
Berkeley School District compelled Khan to choose between her job and her religious beliefs, the lawsuit said. The government asked the court to order the school district to adopt policies that reasonably accommodate its employees’ religious practices and beliefs, and to reinstate Khan with back pay and also pay her compensatory damages.
In November 2008, Khan filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which found reasonable cause that discrimination had occurred and forwarded the matter to the U.S. Justice Department.
Comments from the UK: — The stupidity of the school administrators in the Berkeley school district. Why in hell do you hire Islamists, anyway?
The stupidity of the American people is more serious and over bearing. Why in hell did you elect Barak Hussein Obama who is Erik Holder’s immediate boss
Perhaps you think we should give Druids the summer and winter solstices as holidays too, or perhaps the Moonies have holidays they think they should take. Where would it stop?
I think the comments from the article in the Daily Mail sum up my views very well. I have to wonder, however, if the teacher were a Catholic and wanted to make pilgrimage to Lourdes? I think she would be dismissed on two counts. The first being her prolonged absence from the job and the second being her disregard for ObamaCare.
“It sounds like a very dubious judgment and a real legal reach,” said Michael Mukasey, who was attorney general during the George W Bush administration. “The upper reaches of the Justice Department should be calling people to account for this.”
His successors in the Obama administration counter that they are upholding a sacred principle: the right of every American to be free of religious bias in the workplace. “This was a profoundly personal request by a person of faith,” said Tom Perez, assistant attorney general for civil rights, who compared the case to protecting “the religious liberty that our forefathers came to this country for.”
The Obama administration has gone to great lengths to maintain good relations with Muslims — while endorsing tough anti-terrorism tactics. Attorney General Eric Holder has called protecting the civil rights of Muslims a “top priority,” and his department has filed other legal actions on behalf of Muslims, including a corrections officer in New Jersey not allowed to wear a head scarf at work.
I would like to remind Mr. Holder, probably the worst attorney general since Alexander Palmer, of the numerous cases where schools across the nation have confiscated Christian crosses and Jewish Stars of David on grounds of violation of the bogus separation of church and state policy we have so mindlessly adopted. The only bright spot in this case is that Holder himself may prosecute this case.
The third case involves a civil suit in Florida. TAMPA, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - A Florida judge says, "I will follow Islamic Law," in a controversial case.
The issue involves whether an arbitration award in the case by an Islamic scholar, called an a'lim, was proper. The a'lim ruled Dec. 28 that the mosque's ex-trustees were ousted improperly, a decision that, if it sticks, might wrest control of $2.2 million from the center's current leaders.
The mosque got the money from the state after it used some of the mosque's land for a road project.
From the outset of learning of the purported arbitration award, the court's concern has been whether there were ecclesiastical principles for dispute resolution involved that would compel the court to adopt the arbitration decision without considering state law," Tuesday's opinion said.
"The court has concluded that as to the question of enforceability of the arbitrator's award the case should proceed under ecclesiastical Islamic law," the judge wrote.
That has some wondering where the Florida Constitution comes into play. Critics are offended that a judge would even consider Islamic Law in a Florida courtroom, but some analysts say this is not as strange as it sounds. The case in question is out of Tampa, where some former trustees of a mosque are suing the mosque. Judge Richard Nielsen ruled that the two parties can seek guidance from the Koran to resolve their dispute.
"What the judge has said is that he will apply the Islamic Law, because that is what the two parties agreed to in their arbitration clause," said Shahzad Ahmed, with the NeJame Law Firm in Orlando.
Ahmed says the two parties agreed ahead of time to use an Imam and Islamic Law to resolve any potential differences through arbitration. Ahmed says there are several cases when agreements between two parties can super-cede general laws in Florida, like when a couple makes a prenuptial agreement.
"This concept of agreeing to a different set of rules outside of state law is not unusual."
Specifically, Judge Nielson says that based on testimony, "under ecclesiastical law," and pursuant to the Koran, "Islamic brothers should attempt to resolve a dispute among themselves. If Islamic brothers are unable to do so, they can agree to present the dispute to the greater community of Islamic brothers within the mosque or the Muslim community for resolution."
Ahmed says the judge is really just following the law. "They agreed that if there is any dispute, then the issue will be resolved in a certain way."
The judge even cites a U.S. Supreme Court decision where the high court found that the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution allow religious groups to establish their own rules and regulations to resolve internal differences. That High Court ruling says civil courts should accept the rulings of those tribunals as binding.
However, many are concerned that Sharia Law could be coming into our courts, and they point to cases like these. Ahmed says that Islamic Law and Sharia Law are not the same thing, adding that Sharia Law is a very conservative interpretation of the Koran and Islamic Law is more moderate.
Still, there are new legislative efforts in over a dozen states where Islamic law is under scrutiny and lawmakers have proposed legislation that would protect against what some call the infiltration and incursion of foreign laws and foreign legal doctrines into the American legal system. Similar legislation has been proposed in Florida to make sure laws from other nations do not supersede Florida or Federal law. The sponsors claim Sharia Law is neither the target, nor the motivating factor behind the measure.
The judge's March 3 ruling saying he would use Islamic law, known as sharia, to decide the arbitration issue was quickly appealed by the mosque's attorney to the 2nd DCA. The mosque argues that state law should decide the issue and to inject religion into the case violates the U.S. Constitution.
The mosque's attorney, Paul Thanasides, also wants to take deposition testimony from the a'lim, who lives in Texas. In an irony probably not lost on some of the litigants, the a'lim's attorney has filed a motion with a Texas judge to prevent Thanasides from deposing the a'lim.
What does the attorney think bars testimony by an arbitrator? — Texas law.
This case may not be as egregious as the previous two it still represents a corrosion of our legal system based on the influence of special interest groups. We have courts and judges that are encouraging the use of foreign and religious law into our legal system. In some case they are usurping the legislative process, something our Founding Fathers did not want nor foresee.
Will decisions such as these become commonplace and undermine 200 years of consistency in the law? Will this affect laws of inheritance, contracts and property? As a professional land surveyor it was my responsibility to know how laws and court decisions (stare decisis) affected the location and boundaries of real property. Some of these decisions dated back to English common law. Now with the introduction of Islamic law into our legal system the evidence and procedures for boundary location could be thrown into a cocked hat.
I have recently authored an article on what separates the rich from the poor. In the article I put forth the thesis that it is the consistency of our land titling laws that that have made the United States the richest nation in the world. Any deviation or degradation of this body of laws and court decisions will not only weaken this nation but drive us into a third world poverty where we are dependent on our feudal lords or Imams for our existence.
We must take stock and get rid of these judges and government officials who are so anxious to throw out hundreds of years constitutional and common law for some misguided sense of progressive social justice.