Monday, September 26, 2011

Ga. Middle School: Muslim Polygamy Is Normal, Burkhas Good For Women

By Warner Todd Huston

A middle school in Smyrna, Georgia included in an assignment material that essentially shows 7th grade children that Islamic polygamy is a perfectly legitimate concept and that there is nothing wrong with the strict dress codes used to oppress Muslim women the world over.

The material was presented to the 7th graders at Campbell Middle School as part of a discussion of the school's dress codes, apparently meant to use the ideas of Islamic culture for women's clothing as some sort of example to compare how the school regulates clothing for its students in Georgia.

The concepts were presented in the lesson as a letter from a fictional 20-year-old Muslim woman named "Ahlima." In this letter "Ahlima" tells readers that she wouldn't mind if her husband took a second wife and also extolled the virtues of the burkha. She claims that American women are "horribly immodest" in the way they dress.

As to polygamy, the fictional Ahlima says, "I understand that some Westerners condemn our practice of polygamy, but I also know they are wrong."

A father of one of the students was not very happy with the assignment. He complained that the lesson is "promoting or positively depicting their belief that polygamy" is acceptable. He also felt that there should have been some sort of disclaimer that we Americans don't accept these concepts and he worried that the Muslim ideas were presented as completely acceptable.

Another page of the assignment explained the "seven conditions for women's dress in Islam," presenting all of them without discussion and, in essence, endorsing them as acceptable or normal.

The school told the WSB TV, Channel 2 News that it did not create the lesson plan and that it came from the state. The school pledged to review the material to see if it was appropriate.

But, it is not appropriate. Not at all.

First of all, this lesson plan is built on lies. The burkha, for instance, is not a requirement of Islam. It is a cultural practice that only some Muslim cultures observe. The burkha has nothing at all to do with Islam directly. Not all Muslims practice polygamy, either, so even that isn't necessarily a strict Islamic idea, either.

But, worse, the idea that burkhas should at all be acceptable to an American is a slap against our own ideals and promotes the oppressive ideas of enemies to our culture as perfectly acceptable.

The culturally strict proscriptions against freedom forced on Islamic women are a crime against humanity, yet here we have our own schools presenting to our own children the idea that the oppression of women is a perfectly acceptable cultural choice.

It would be exactly the same if they had a letter from a female slave saying that she was OK with being a slave. That it was perfectly acceptable for her to be owned by someone.

We are teaching our children that our own principles are not the optimal principles. We are teaching our children that our own culture, our own ideals are not supreme. We are teaching our children that the oppressive ideas of Islam are just as good as American ideals.

This is a result of liberals trying to make sure Muslims know that we "like" them in a post 9/11 world. With this weak, kow towing we are also making of ourselves a bigger target because there is another cultural ideal in Islam. Muslims feel that such bending over backwards as this is a weakness to be despised. Such kow towing is looked upon as pitiful. Muslims feel that such groveling is not "nice" or "neighborly" but spurs them to imagine that they can easily attack and dominate such a weak-willed culture.

But, even that aside, it shows how the liberals that wrote these lesson plans despise America. It shows that they do not value our own culture. It shows that these liberals are always in search of ways to further tear down the United States and make of her just another nation with just another set of cultural ideas.

If we want to bring America back from the brink of the destruction liberals have led us to we need to take back our educational system and get back to a time where we are teaching our kids why the United States is the best nation on earth.

Unfortunately, today our schools are filled with lessons like this, lessons that teach our own children that the US is nothing special.


Insult Obama? Not on this campus!

Insulting the president and other government officials is practically a national pastime in the United States. This is a testament to the freedom of our society; in some parts of the world, insulting those who govern earns you swift punishment, or at least official censorship. That isn’t the case in America — unless you live on a college campus.

Students at Sam Houston State University (SHSU) in Texas found this out the hard way yesterday when they erected a “free speech wall” — a recently popular way for students to highlight the importance of free speech in which students put up a freestanding wall covered in paper, upon which anyone can write anything they want. Students jumped on the chance to participate. To cite a few examples: “Don’t hate against Gays …,” “If you make less than $200,000 Republicans don’t care about you,” “Life’s not a bitch, Life is a beautiful woman …,” “Han Solo Shot First,” “My boyfriend is a liar!,” “Legalize Weed!!!,” and “NAZI PUNKS FUCK OFF!!!”

But just hours in, the free speech wall was vandalized by a professor — yes, a professor! — who was offended that someone had written “FUCK OBAMA” on the free speech wall. Students being students, the “F-word” was written on the wall many times about many different topics, but apparently the only expletive that offended this professor enough to take action was the one referring to President Obama.

The professor, whom students identified as Joe Kirk, demanded that the student groups sponsoring the wall — including Republicans, Democrats, libertarians and socialists — cover up only the Obama statement. They refused. He then told them that he would come back with a box cutter and cut it out of the wall himself, which he then did. You can see the before and after pictures at

Shocked that a professor would do this, the student organizers got in touch with the campus police. When the police arrived, they interviewed the students and the vandalizing professor. Then came the surprise: The police told the students that since Prof. Kirk was offended by some profanity on the wall, the students were engaging in “disorderly conduct,” a misdemeanor, and had to cover up all the swear words on the wall or take it down. Realizing that this would make a mockery out of the purpose of a free speech wall, the students simply disassembled the wall. Thus ended SHSU’s several hour-long experiment with free speech.

Profanity has always had a unique power to bring consternation to those who hear it; legendary comedian George Carlin’s “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television” routine made him famous precisely because he was willing to use such words. But the landmark Supreme Court case of Cohen v. California (1971) made clear that the First Amendment protects shocking or offensive expression, including the use of expletives in the communication of core political speech. In Cohen, the Supreme Court overturned the conviction of a man for wearing a jacket emblazoned with the words “Fuck the Draft” in a county courthouse, writing that “one man’s vulgarity is another’s lyric.”

Prof. Kirk does not appear to have been offended by the F-word itself, however — only at its use in an insult against the president. That’s the only one he cut out, after all. But the right of Americans to insult their leaders is just as protected as the right to use four-letter words. In New York Times Co. v. Sullivan (1964), the Supreme Court made clear that the First Amendment requires that “[d]ebate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open, and … may well include vehement, caustic, and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials.” And in Rankin v. McPherson (1987), the Court found that the First Amendment protected a deputy county constable’s expressed hope that if another attempt were to be made on President Reagan’s life, that it be successful. If that extreme statement constitutes protected speech, there is no question the words “FUCK OBAMA” are as well.

Worse still, the police, by threatening to charge the students with disorderly conduct rather than Prof. Kirk with vandalism, have established a “heckler’s veto” on SHSU’s campus. Institutions grant a “heckler’s veto” over expression when they allow the reactions of those who hear or see the expression to govern what might be said, creating an incentive for people to act disruptively or violently when confronted with speech they don’t like in the expectation that the police will shut it down. That’s precisely what happened in this case: Prof. Kirk’s destructive vandalism and claims of offense led the police to silence the expression of every student who wrote on the Free Speech Wall.

But in our free society, the police can’t censor speech simply because some people don’t like what’s being said. Instead, their job is to protect those with unpopular views from those who wish to silence them. And there are few places where this job is more important than a university campus, where it’s vital that all viewpoints be able to get a hearing if the search for knowledge is to take place.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE, where I work) has written to SHSU President Dana Gibson asking her to restore free speech rights to her campus and allow students to express themselves and protest as the Constitution demands. Insults against President Obama might sound unpleasant to some, but the alternative — a society in which citizens must always meekly respect their leaders — is too unpleasant to contemplate.


British primary schools are being 'punished' if they stop sex lessons as secondaries are told to hand out contraceptives

Primary schools are being pressured into providing sex education under a scheme to promote ‘healthy’ lifestyles, a report claims today. And secondary schools are being encouraged to hand out contraception and hold condom demonstrations in class to prove they are sending out ‘healthy’ messages, it says.

Campaigners claim the Healthy Schools Programme is being used to impose ‘permissive’ sex education without a national debate.

Launched in 1999, it had its central funding cut this year, but is still being promoted by local authorities.

In a survey of all 152 English councils, the Family Education Trust found one in five told primary schools that decided not to teach sex and relationship education they would not be eligible for ‘Healthy Schools status’.

This is despite the fact that primary schools may decide if they want to teach sex education beyond the requirements of the curriculum.

This month, Schools Minister Nick Gibb ruled out implementing Labour’s commitment to compulsory sex education for those as young as five.

Norman Wells, director of the Family Education Trust, said it was ‘very concerning’ that primary schools were still being leant on to provide it. ‘Primary schools that make a principled decision not to teach sex education should not be stigmatised and denied a sought-after award for that reason,’ he said. ‘There is nothing inherently “unhealthy” about a primary school that decides not to teach sex education.’

To achieve ‘Healthy Schools status’ schools must meet 41 criteria covering personal, social and health education, healthy eating, physical activity and emotional health and well-being.

While there is no direct financial incentive, schools that achieve it can use a special logo on their websites promoting their status. More than 70 per cent of schools have the status and most councils are encouraging the remainder to follow suit.

Head teachers assess themselves against the criteria – which are on the Department for Education website – but local authorities provide a ‘quality assurance function’, checking they are on the right track.

The Family Education Trust found ‘considerable levels of inconsistency’ over how the Healthy Schools guidance is interpreted and applied.

Northamptonshire county council supported giving pupils as young as 12 the opportunity to practise putting a condom on a demonstrator device in the classroom. But it believed ‘it would not be appropriate to supply free condoms’ to pupils for the lessons.

However, this approach was not followed by all councils. South Tyneside, for example, believed it would be ‘good practice’ to give free condoms to pupils older than 14 for such lessons.

Overall, 8 per cent of councils believed pupils as young as 12 and 13 how to use freely supplied condoms would be in line with the guidance. Six per cent of councils said it would not be possible for secondary schools to get Healthy Schools status if they did not wish to refer pupils to contraceptive and sexual health clinics.

Mr Wells said: ‘In some parts, the programme is being used to impose a liberal and permissive type of sex education on schools by the back door


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