By Alex Swoyer - The Washington Times - Monday, May 6, 2019
A religious liberty advocacy group warned a Seattle-area school district Monday that it faces a lawsuit unless it revokes a letter sent to schools urging them to offer children an Arabic greeting for Ramadan, the Muslim holy month that has just begun.
Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund says the Dieringer School District is following a script laid out by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) that urged schools to make special accommodations, including altering testing times and wishing students “Ramadan Mubarak” or “Ramadan Kareem.”
The defense fund says Dieringer Superintendent Judy Martinson “enacted the letter as official district policy” by distributing it to principals, who in turn issued it to teachers. A parent and a teacher complained to the defense fund, which fired off its letter of a lawsuit unless the school district corrects matters.
Daniel J. Piedra, executive director of FCDF, said there are a number of problems with what CAIR suggested, including suggestions that schools proactively inform students they can take excused absences for religious observations and that teachers welcome Muslim students to class with the Arabic greetings.
“Exchanging Islamic greetings with Muslim students impermissibly advances and promotes a religious message,” Mr. Piedra said in his warning letter.