Prayer in Virginia public school: Muslim prayer, of course, prayed by non-Muslims

Prayer in Virginia public school: Muslim prayer, of course, prayed by non-Muslims

“Not only will he learn about the culture by wearing traditional Muslim clothing and praying five times a day, but ‘Also going without pork for 30 days, that’s going to be rough but we’ll make do,’ said Morris.” In a public school. Imagine the outcry if the teacher were having his students dress as monks and pray Christian prayers. But we all know, of course, that Christian prayer is not allowed in American public schools. Muslim prayer, obviously, is another story: I was an expert witness a few years ago on a case in California that challenged exercises such as these. We lost.

“Living as Muslim,” by Kelly Creswell for WHSV.com, with thanks to Cindy:

The Spotswood High School students are researching the Muslim culture and finding out how much no one really knows about this culture that is sometimes is negatively stereotyped by the public.”What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when I say Islam?” said Casey Morris.

“Iraq,” a fellow student replied.

That’s what Casey Morris hopes to eliminate through his research project, the stereotypes the public has about Muslims. Not only will he learn about the culture by wearing traditional Muslim clothing and praying five times a day, but “Also going without pork for 30 days, that’s going to be rough but we’ll make do,” said Morris.

Morris says he is prepared for the criticism that comes along with it.

“Yeah, we’re probably going to get some funny looks as we go down the hallway. I’m expecting comments maybe here and there. You know what, I’ll be honest, I’ll be disappointed if we don’t get some,” said Morris.

Members of the Muslim community here in the Valley say many people don’t understand the Muslim culture.

“Any effort that tries to educate people and increases to their information can turn very positive towards wider benefit of our society,” said Zulfiqar Ishaq, a member of the Muslim community.

Morris’ goal is to get a big dose of multiculturalism.

“Alan and I will obviously come out of the deal with a great understanding of the culture with great respect and appreciation for the Islamic culture and hopefully we’ll impart some of that upon other people too,” said Morris.

“What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when I say Muslim?” asked Morris.

“Umm, prayer books?” replied a student.

Morris says he and his classmate will start the actual project January 2 and go for the whole month. They will capture everything on video and put together a documentary not only showing what they learned, but the local attitudes toward Muslims as well.

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