Friday, March 25, 2011

Justice Department Sues School over "Discrimination" against Safoorah Khan

Math instructor Safoorah Khan asked to leave her students for three weeks for a religious pilgrimage that she's allowed to make any year of her life. The school denied her request. It isn't surprising that Muslims see this as "bigotry," "racism," and "Islamophobia," for Muslims see these things whenever a culture does not immediately bow down to Islam. What's shocking is that the United States government is suing the school on Khan's behalf.

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.)


Sophie said...

I once asked to get a day off work to go to an annual Christian event. My request was rejected. Most of the other employees took time off that day to watch the soccer world cup. I suppose my boss must have been a Christianophobe!... Shoulda got a government department to sue on my behalf!

This case is ridiculous. Shame on this woman! I bet a lot of American Muslims are getting tired of the people among their ranks who try to pull stunts like this and bring negative publicity to Islam.

Stormbringer said...

I really believe that some people simply want to cause problems. After all, the pilgrimage is something to be done during one's lifetime.

allison said...

Going on Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam. If the woman had no children and she had enough money, it is her responsibility to go on Hajj to Mecca. I would have said that she should do it on her vacation, but Hajj comes at a certain time of year. It can't be done during summer vacation to suit Christians.

The school system always finds a way to replace women who are having a baby, attending conferences, inshool meetings, etc. It would even have given someone a job and experience. It's not as if there is a teacher shortage out there.

The school board could have done it, but they chose not to.