May 15, 2019
ANN ARBOR, MI – As a Christian and 11th-grader at La Plata High School in Maryland, Caleigh Wood was taught that “Most Muslims’ faith is stronger than the average Christian.” She was also required to profess in writing, the Islamic conversion creed, “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.” Ms. Wood believed that it is a sin to profess by word or in writing, that there is any other god except the Christian God. She stood firm in her Christian beliefs and was punished for it. The school refused her request to opt-out or give her an alternative assignment. She refused to complete her anti-Christian assignment and consequently received a failing grade.
As a result, in January 2016, the Thomas More Law Center (TMLC), a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Ms. Wood claiming the school had violated the First Amendment Establishment Clause and her right not to be forced to profess faith in another religion. Both the Federal District Court and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the High School’s Islamic curriculum.
In response, on Monday of this week, (May 13), TMLC filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari asking the Supreme Court to decide whether any legal basis exists to allow public schools to discriminate against Christianity while at the same time promote Islam.
Richard Thompson, TMLC’s President and Chief Counsel, observed: “Under the guise of teaching history or social studies, public schools across America are promoting the religion of Islam in ways that would never be tolerated for Christianity or any other religion. I’m not aware of any school which has forced a Muslim student to write the Lord’s Prayer or John 3:16: ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’”
On the other hand, schools have become willing instruments of Islamic indoctrination, and in Caleigh Wood’s case, the weapon of choice was the PowerPoint presentation. Caleigh and her 11th grade classmates were taught:
- “Most Muslim’s faith is stronger than the average Christian.”
- “Islam at heart is a peaceful religion.”
- Jihad is a “personal struggle in devotion to Islam, especially involving spiritual discipline.”
- “To Muslims, Allah is the same God that is worshiped in Christianity and Judaism.”
- “Men are the managers of the affairs of women” and “Righteous women are therefore obedient.”
Those statements came directly from the PowerPoint presentation to Caleigh’s class. The underlining was in the PowerPoint.
Thompson continued: “Many public schools have become a hot bed of Islamic propaganda. Teaching Islam in schools has gone far beyond a basic history lesson. Prompted by zealous Islamic activism and emboldened by confusing court decisions, schools are now bending over backwards to promote Islam while at the same time denigrate Christianity. We are asking the Supreme Court to provide the necessary legal guidance to resolve the insidious discrimination against Christians in our public schools.”
Read TMLC’s Petition for Certiorari here.