This case isn't about civil rights. It's about special privileges for Muslims. The school would have turned down any Christian, any Jew, any Hindu, any Buddhist who made such an absurd request, and you wouldn't have heard a peep from the government. But reject a Muslim's demands, and watch out! Obama's coming for you.
Amazingly, the government is appealing to the First Amendment to support their actions. But that amendment says that the government cannot favor one religion over another. That's exactly what the U.S. government is doing by pursuing this case.
Washington Post--Safoorah Khan had taught middle school math for only nine months in this tiny Chicago suburb when she made an unusual request. She wanted three weeks off for a pilgrimage to Mecca.
The school district, faced with losing its only math lab instructor during the end-of-semester marking period, said no. Khan, a devout Muslim, resigned and made the trip anyway.
Justice Department lawyers examined the same set of facts and reached a different conclusion - that the school district's decision amounted to outright discrimination against Khan. They filed an unusual lawsuit, accusing the district of violating her civil rights by forcing her to choose between her job and her faith.
As the case moves forward in federal court in Chicago, it has triggered debate over whether the Justice Department was following a purely legal path or whether suing on Khan's behalf was part of a broader Obama administration campaign to reach out to Muslims.
The decision to take on a small-town school board has drawn criticism from conservatives and Berkeley officials, who say the government should not stand behind a teacher who wanted to leave her students.
The lawsuit may test the boundaries of how far employers must go to accommodate workers' religious practices - a key issue as the nation grows more multicultural and the Muslim population increases. (Read more.)