Sunday, May 21, 2006

Separation of church and state, but not the separation of mosque and state

My daughter's annual dance recital brought Mrs. Marathon Pundit and I to Niles West High School in Skokie, Illinois this afternoon.

Assuming we live in the same place, Little Marathon Pundit will be a student at Niles West in six years.

LMP danced wonderfully, by the way, as if you expected me to believe differently!

But after the show, I saw something which caused me to suddenly halt and take notice.

Yep, that sign, which I found amongst other placards for the French Club, the Chess Club, and the like, is for the Niles West Qur'an Study group. The little graphic on the righthand corner is the high school's logo, the nickname for its teams is the Wolves. They were the Indians until 2000, but that's another story for another time.

There is a Qur'an Study group, but I saw no evidence of Bible or Torah Study Group. Niles West has an Israeli Club, but not a Jewish Club.

Here's the copy from the Qur'an Study sign:

Every Friday at 2:45pm, Niles West Qur'an Study gives students the opportunity to perform Friday prayer and to increase their knowledge about Islam. All students, regardless of religious orientation, are encouraged to attend.

Meetings, Friday 2:45 Rm 2225

Is the ACLU aware this is going on at a public high school? Do they care?

Would the ACLU care more if this was a Bible Study group performing prayers on school property?

UPDATE May 22, 11:45PM CST: Michelle Malkin has a similar post, GOD - NO; ALLAH - YES

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1 comment:

Alex said...

Former Niles West student here- there are definitely Christian groups at the school as well, but their names tend to be more euphemistic- H2O is the main one, and I think there was a regularly scheduled morning prayer session called something like "Meet you at the Flagpole." I imagine Hebrew Club also has a religious component.

Curriculum-wise, there's a class called "Religion and Mythology" in which about half the readings are from the Old Testament (the rest is Greek Myth, so it's all foundational Western Civilization stuff). Obviously the class dealt with its literary and historical--rather than theological--significance, but the teacher at the time was a practicing Christian.

Every year there's a big interfaith dialogue that gets heavily promoted around school, and I think is generally well-attended, though I never went. It's hosted by the Quran Study, but they always bring in some of the more popular and religiously minded teachers along with a priest, rabbi, cleric, etc. to have a panel discussion and Q&A. At least as I remember it, Niles West is pluralistic in a pretty high functioning way.