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Local Professors: Wake Schools Should Enforce Church-State Separation

Posted March 9, 2007

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— Nineteen local college professors on Friday sent a letter to the Wake County Board of Education criticizing a teacher's decision to invite a speaker who handed out anti-Islam literature to students.

Robert Escamilla, a teacher at Enloe High School in Raleigh, was suspended last week after reports that he invited evangelist Kamil Solomon to talk with students on Feb. 16.

Students said Solomon, who heads the Kamil International Ministries Organization, handed out a pamphlet entitled, “Why Women Should Not Marry Muslims.”

"We … wholeheartedly subscribe, and adhere, to the principle that we should not allow the faith of our students to be impacted by the preferences of their teachers," the professors, most of who were from North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill..

The letter applauded the school system's response and urged officials to enforce rules separating state and religion without violating either teachers' or students' civil rights.

The writers also requested a meeting with the school board. The school board had not yet responded to the request Friday afternoon.

The school system has said Escamilla will remain on paid suspension while the matter is being investigated.

18 Comments

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  • dakota_loves_me Mar 13, 2007

    what is wrong with the religion or should i say churches around the area and as a student they are already violating alot of peoples civils rights just by taking the religion out of the classrooms.

  • CReed Mar 12, 2007

    This was not an attack on Islam: it was informational. If you read the information, it was detailed and cited the exact places in the Koran that backed up the statements. It was also done in the context of a social studies current issues study, and can you think of any other current issue as hot as understanding Islam? And if you Google the phrase "Islam US schools" and you will see a number of articles detailing how liberals have determined that it's OK to inform US students about Islam and go so far as having the students dress like Muslims, eat Muslim food, read the Koran, and more. Meanwhile, Muslims sue districts to impose the inclusion of Muslim holidays in the school calendar, change school menus, and other changes, to suit THEM--a TINY MINORITY. Muslims are trying to shut down discussion so that we cannot study and learn from various sources exactly what Islam is. The history they are promoting is full of lies--it's basically recruitment propaganda.

  • mvnull Mar 10, 2007

    "It is time to teach students HOW TO THINK - NOT WHAT To Think!"

    Absolutely! Critical thinking is the most important thing children can learn in school. Unfortunately, fundamentalists of any religion (or any political extreme) can't abide by critical thinking. That's the real problem. Critical thinking skills can be taught in public school. However, it is a threat to too many people, and so children are only taught a shadow of critical thinking skills.

  • jnkmmcclure Mar 10, 2007

    I AGREE THAT WE NEED TO LOOK AT WHAT OUR NATION WAS FOUNDED ON. IT IS TIME WE TAKE A STAND AND SPEAK OUT. KAMIL HAS SEEN FIRSTHAND THE TRUTH ABOUT ISLAM. I THINK HE IS VERY BRAVE,VERY KNOWLEDGEABLE AND I THINK IF WE ALL WOULD TAKE EVEN HALF THE STAND HE TAKES THEN OUR COUNTRY WOULDN'T BE IN THE SHAPE IT IS IN. IT'S TIME WE CRY OUT TO GOD TO HEAL OUR LAND AND PUT HIS PROTECTION OVER US.

  • Watcher Of Things Mar 10, 2007

    A school is NOT a state ...
    If you want to restrict one belief or another on ANY CAMPUS - then BAN it ALL!

    Including Islam, Anti-smokers rights, gay rights and the rights of ANYONE who has nothing to do with the exact curriculum!

    Also; any time an over schooled moron aka professor insists on force feeding idiotic Liberalism - they too NEED to be banned!

    It is time to teach students HOW TO THINK - NOT WHAT To Think!

  • mapleleaf Mar 10, 2007

    mvnull-at least one person on this board understands the underlying problem here. If it was an attack on Christians rather than Muslims Escamilla might not even have gotten the benefit of a paid suspension.

    Presenting the beliefs and traditions of a religion is one thing, especially if the class is a comparative religions class. But spreading hate filled propaganda is unacceptable reguardless of which group is targeted.

  • Lizard Paw Mar 10, 2007

    mvnull - God isn't interested in "equal time". He just wants us "all the time."

  • mvnull Mar 10, 2007

    Do you mean to tell me there wouldn't have been an uproar if I had distributed a pamphlet entitled, "Women, don't marry a fundamentalist Christian?" It probably wouldn't take much of a rewrite from the anti-Muslim pamphlet.

    The whole thing is context. If the course is comparative religion, then allow for a range of speakers. Even then, though, groundrules should be established that prohibit personal attacks or denigrating student beliefs. Funny, though, fundamentalists don't like comparative religions classes.

    If Escamilla didn't know about the pamphlets ahead of time, he should have been the first to apologize to students and their parents, and used it as an opportunity to discuss intolerance. Instead, it appears he didn't care or thought it was of no consequence.

  • Steve Crisp Mar 10, 2007

    Absolutely striking. I am stunned by the ommission committed by WRAL in this story. I find it of note that the News and Observer references the 19 complainers as "The professors, most of whom are Muslim..." Yet WRAL seems not to have bothered to pass on that information. Mind you, these are most likely the same professors who actively participate in bringing information about Islam to our schools in the form of dress-up days, instructions on holidays, and feast participations -- all of which have occured in Wake County and all of which involve Islam.

    Islam is a religion of exclusion and violence towards those who do not convert. I also find it interesting to note that while conclusions drawn by Kamil Solomon such as why women should not marry muslims as his tract speaks to, the underlying social facts which draw that conclusion are undisputable. In Islam, women as indeed second-class citizens and property. Shall those 19 professors try to deny that? Actually yes, they would lie.

  • Wildman Mar 10, 2007

    The issue of separation of church and state is simple....read the constitution.....the very term is part of a belief that liberal have tried to engender....forget that....just read the document and let it speak for itself.....begin with "shall not establish"

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