By Adrian Morgan, FrontPageMag
(Oiginally published in FamilySecurityMatters.org | April 17, 2007)
The First Amendment to the US federal constitution was written in 1789, and was ratified by the States in 1791. It states:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
The interpretation of the First Amendment and in particular its first clause, referred to as the “Establishment of Religion” or “Establishment” clause, has a direct bearing on how federally- funded public schools can teach religion. Alan Brownstein, a constitutional law expert from the University of California at Davis’ School of Law states:
“From a constitutional perspective, schools can’t teach the truth or falsity of religious belief, and atheism would fall in that parameter.”
Public schools can teach about religions, but can neither denigrate one religion nor promote another. When 9/11 happened, children were confronted with the spectacle of Muslim terrorism on their TV screens. Sadly, for children growing up in America, their understanding of why Islamic terrorism takes place is not likely to be explained at school.
There are “problematic” verses in the Koran, advocating violence against “unbelievers”. These include
Sura 8:12: “I am with you: give firmness to the Believers: I will instill terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them.”
Sura 3:151 states: “Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority: their abode will be the Fire: And evil is the home of the wrong-doers!”
Sura 9:25 declares: “But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.”
Sura 9:29 states: “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” (Jizya was a tax which non-Muslims had to pay to their Muslim overlords).
The First Amendment was originally designed to prevent the conflicts which (Christian) religion had caused in Europe. Now, it is being employed by the politically correct to present an anodyne and inaccurate portrayal of Islam in US public schools. Sura 4:34 specifically states that a husband has the right to beat his wife if she is not submissive. Problematic Suras such as this are not likely to even be mentioned in public schools, for fear of being seen to break the terms of the First Amendment by “denigrating” Islam.