The San Diego Unified School District was ordered by a federal judge to disclose any evidence that includes information about their work with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). This order stems from the district having previous relations with CAIR, so much as having leaders walk into classrooms to distribute or review propaganda like materials. This was also in direct connection to the district implementing an anti-Islamophobia program that focused on not bullying kids who are preaching the Islamic religion. The movement sparked concerns and became controversial in nature once it was seen what was really happening.
The real controversy became heightened when people saw what CAIR wanted to do, which basically equated to their form of public indoctrination and trying to recruit kids to convert to Islam. CAIR wanted school calendars updated with Muslim holidays, Muslim training for staff, Muslim after-school clubs, safe spaces for Muslim students, and more Muslim materials in the school library. This was all something they wanted for the minority of Muslim students while wanting nothing equal for students of any other religion.
It was proposed as an anti-bullying effort but had come to be viewed as a recruitment and brainwashing effort by CAIR, who has been labeled as a terrorist organization by many American citizens.
Conservative Tribune posted more about the issue:
“The multi-year anti-bullying plan, developed with assistance from CAIR, called for adding Muslim holidays to staff calendars, introducing new library materials on Muslim culture, encouraging Muslim-centered high school clubs, creating “safe spaces” for Muslim students and providing staff training about Muslim culture.
Hanif Mohebi, the executive director of CAIR-San Diego, praised the initiative and said it should serve as a model for school districts across the country.
“If we do this right, San Diego Unified School District would be the leading school district in the nation to come up with a robust and beautiful anti-bully and anti-Islamophobic program,” Mohebi told The San Diego Union-Tribune.
Mohebi was invited to give talks at more than a dozen San Diego schools starting in late 2016 to teach students and teachers how to reduce bullying of Muslim students.
Hanif gave pamphlets to students that advised Muslim youth to contact CAIR if they faced bullying, which according to CAIR includes “insulting comments about Islam.”
Handing out such pamphlets is considered to be “both a religious and educational exercise,” according to the CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad who testified before the National Labor Relations Board in 2016.
Many parents were outraged. They thought the initiative looked more like a religious advocacy program than an anti-bullying initiative.
A lawsuit filed in May by the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund accused the school district of entangling itself with CAIR to set up a “subtle, discriminatory scheme that establishes Muslim students as the privileged religious group.”
“Consequently, students of other faiths are left on the outside looking in, vulnerable to religiously motivated bullying, while Muslim students enjoy an exclusive right to the School District’s benevolent protection,” the lawsuit stated.
Charles LiMandri, president and chief counsel of the FCDF, urged the San Diego school system to rescind the policy, saying it likely violated the First Amendment because it was drafted with assistance from CAIR, an overtly religious organization.”
Violation of the Constitution, segregation of Muslim students from the others, and putting an unnecessary priority on one group or religion over the rest is something that no school should participate in. A successful anti-bullying policy will include all students, regardless of race, religion, or gender, and it will work to ensure all students remain safe while bullies are called out.
The program that involved CAIR should have raised eyebrows from parents as it was more of an indoctrination in hopes to get kids to unwillingly convert to a religion that oppresses women and has multiple connections to previous acts of terror. Many people criticize the Islamic religion for the actions of terror committed by some people which have placed a negative shadow over the faith in general. The crimes committed in other countries are also part of the reason that many people have grown to have a negative attitude towards Islam. Those crimes include stoning people, honor killing, murdering gays, marrying children, beating women, and sleeping with animals.
It’s safe to say that any bullying policy should always include all, not just some. All kids matter.