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Texas schools association discriminates against Muslims as well as Jews

Texas schools association discriminates against Muslims as well as Jews

A Houston Islamic academy was denied membership to the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools after being grilled about the Koran and the mosque located at Ground Zero.

Iman Academy applied for membership to TAPPS in 2010, but the association denied the school’s request. After being rejected two years ago, Principal Cindy Steffens did not go public with the story, but The New York Times uncovered the Houston academy’s name last week and ran an article about the controversy.

TAPPS represents more than 220 private schools in the state. The association drew national attention last week after refusing to reschedule a basketball game for a Jewish Orthodox day school Robert M. Beren Academy in Houston, which could not play at the time because the players observed the Sabbath. After the parents threatened legal action, Beren was allowed to play its semi-final game.

The Iman Academy received a questionnaire as part of their application to apply for the TAPPS. Steffens said the questionnaire had provocative and loaded questions, including how the school addresses Christmas. Among the questions sent to Iman Academy and the other Islamic schools that applied were:

  • Historically, there is nothing in the Koran that fully embraces Christianity or Judaism in the way a Christian and/or a Jew understands his religion. Why, then, are you interested in joining an association whose basic beliefs your religion condemns?
  • It is our understanding that the Koran tells you not to mix with (and even eliminate) the infidels. Christians and Jews fall into that category. Why do you wish to join an organization whose membership is in disagreement with your beliefs?
  • How does your school address certain Christian concepts? (i.e. celebrating Christmas)
  • Does your school teach that the Bible is corrupt? When was the  Bible allegedly polluted? Does the Koran actually  state that the Bible is polluted?
  • What is your attitude about the spread of Islam in America? What are the goals of your school in this regard?

In 2004, two other Islamic schools applied for membership and received a response letter that they perceived as hostile to their faith. They chose not to answer the questions, but Iman Academy did.

School officials were invited to an interview before the TAPPS board in November 2010, and Steffens said one board member said he wanted to discuss the “elephant in the room.” She said the board asked questions that seemed irrelevant to joining an association to play sports, such as asking her opinion about the mosque located near Ground Zero in New York City.

Steffens said another board member told her, “I know all Muslims are not terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims.”

Houston Chronicle, 6 March 2012

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58 Comments »

  1. This really doesn’t surprise me… *sigh*

  2. Shame on Texas.

  3. Not a surprise that this is comin from texas. shame on them and their prejudice

  4. I think its time Muslims and Jews unite in these types of Issues…

  5. Shameful. But as someone living in Texas, I’m not surprised.

  6. Texas should be excised from the body politic, like a tumor.

  7. Somehow i don’t think they grilled any yeshivahs about price tagging or spitting on little girls. In fact they probably like the idea of making some people sit in the back of the bus: Nostalgia.

  8. Brilliant, bigotry is alive and well in Texas.

  9. Texas you SUCK!! you should never discriminate against anyone or anything for what the believe in.

  10. their loss, the do-dos. I know: let’s remind them that they’re called “arabic numerals”. then their prejudice can keep them busy counting on their fingers on toes. should keep them busy to spew their bile.

  11. It’s Texas for Darwin’s sake. Did you expect something intellegent?

  12. the heading left off, “and females”.

  13. As one of my fellow poets says: Kissed by Ignorance. Really makes no sense. But that’s how it is in this world. Ignorance creates all this mess. And usually people who despise Quiran they have no idea about what Bible says. Otherwise they would see the commonality between basic teachings of all the scriptures.

  14. Welcome to Texas. Please turn your clocks back 100 years!

  15. Aren’t you glad Rick Perry is no longer in the race for president? I am.

  16. …all Muslims are not terrorists…all terrorists were Muslims’ . This is not true, how about the Oklahoma event?

  17. What the hell is wrong with you people? You’re railing against the entire state of Texas for the actions of one small committee and decrying prejudice in the same breath?! I was born in NJ but raised most my life in TX and, let me tell you, I’ll take the South over you rude and profanity mouthed North-easterners any day of the week and twice on Sunday. We don’t have state sponsored surveillance of Muslims in our state so take your hate to New York. We Muslims have had it good here in Texas. Now visit us first before establishing these prejudices and in the mean time put a sock in it.

  18. If they are the example of the result of their desired educational system I don’t think y’ missing much. Texicans seem t’ do a very good job at living up t’ their stereotype.

  19. Only in texas

  20. Pete, can you not spell? Now we’re called “Texicans” as if our historical affiliations with Mexico is a bad thing? Talk about the kettle calling the pot black!

  21. Texas….smdh

  22. Think I live there too…born and bred :/

  23. Shame on TAPPS. I think it’s time for fair-minded Texans to start a separate association. I know the bigotry runs as deep here as anywhere, but there should be enough others to start something else.

  24. can anyone please explain why the rest of America resists Texas secession?

  25. Houston has a large Muslim population I hope they push back on this

  26. sicko….let ‘em secede if they want to.

  27. Russell, TAPPS stands for Texas Association for Private and PAROCHIAL schools. It is —by its definition— a private Christian association. The problem is that they are using state funding. Not for long. Senator Rodney Ellis of Houston, TEXAS is calling for legislation to prevent any association that benefits from any government funding to discriminate based on religion or race.

  28. Most of you commenting here are hypocrites and you actually HARM our causes here in Texas. Mind your own business and deal with you police surveillance in New York and your Right-wing storming of Mosques in the OC.

  29. That’s interesting! You’d think that these north eastern states would be beacons of tolerance and liberty, but at least in this instance Texas reigns supreme.

  30. I love Texas, but there are some Texans, I don’t really like!! What does a PRIVATE school association neglect a private school! I just do not understand my fellow Christians behaving in such an unChrist-like manner!

  31. “Steffens said another board member told her, “I know all Muslims are not terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims.”
    Really? Well I had no idea that the Unabomber and Timothy Mcvey were Muslim.

    What a bunch of idiots. Yet another reason to hate Texas.

  32. Reprehensible behavior on the part of TAPPS, we are all in agreement on that issue. It’s important to remember, however, that that one rather bigoted body does not represent the entirety of Texas. There are quite a few groups in the Dallas area, for example, that actively embrace interfaith dialogue, recognize and celebrate the similarities in represented religions, and see the value in diversity. I understand that there are similar programs underway in Austin as well. Please – condemn the actions of the individual, but don’t step into the trap of painting the entire community with the same brush. That’s exactly what TAPPS was doing to our Muslim brothers and sisters at the outset. Namaste! <3

  33. Bigotry comes in all forms, stemming from lack of intelligence (a.k.a ignorance). And it sucks

  34. Well if you don’t like i move. People should not have to bow down to you. We are Americans true American Indians they do not uphold any of our beliefs or rights. So why should any one honor your presence. We can’t wear our head dress we can’t talk I’n our native tongue we cannot vote for our leaders we cannot practice our own medicine. So why should a bunch of people who worships a man of flesh have special needs?? Roast a pig an have a buffet.

  35. Sounds like a lot of closed minds there in TX.

  36. Sounds like a lot of closed minds there in TX.

  37. Shibli, sorry about that, it wasn’t intended as a slight and the addition of the -ican was actually intended in this case t’ be lifted from “Amer/ican” t’ point out the inflated self importance existing within the stereotype. I obviously don’t know enough about this subject, had no intention of upsetting anyone and was just putting in my pennyworth whilst trying t’ find out more. I’m European, British and although Britain doesn’t have a huge effect on the USA the reverse is true, especially with a Texan President like the last one. Sorry I’ll go, leave y’ with it and wait for the fallout. Good luck one and all (and can y’ do something about that death penalty thing please?).

  38. Shibli, sorry about that, it wasn’t intended as a slight and the addition of the -ican was actually intended in this case t’ be lifted from “Amer/ican” t’ point out the inflated self importance existing within the stereotype. I obviously don’t know enough about this subject, had no intention of upsetting anyone and was just putting in my pennyworth whilst trying t’ find out more. I’m European, British and although Britain doesn’t have a huge effect on the USA the reverse is true, especially with a Texan President like the last one. Sorry I’ll go, leave y’ with it and wait for the fallout. Good luck one and all (and can y’ do something about that death penalty thing please?).

  39. At least it is equal opportunity discrimination. Just joking,

  40. At least it is equal opportunity discrimination. Just joking,

  41. Way to go, losers!

  42. Way to go, losers!

  43. I bet the Muslims & Jews feel like the Catholics did back in the day because they burned crosses in their yards then!

  44. I bet the Muslims & Jews feel like the Catholics did back in the day because they burned crosses in their yards then!

  45. Why am I not surprised?

  46. texas is not america.

  47. texas should have warning signs at its borders…” Muslims, enter at your own risk”

  48. I think hate is just a little bit less when you spread it around

  49. I think hate is just a little bit less when you spread it around

  50. Texas will move into the 21st century in a few more years. I hope.

  51. Not all of us native Texans are backwards. Most of us are rather highly educated and open-minded. Unfortunately, those of us who do remember we all bleed red and remember there really is more than one way to the grocery store are rather under-represented.

  52. Cindy Guyton Martinez-Thomas every Thomas, Richard, Harold and Kumar claims to be a “Native American” so spare us your “I’m the only real American here” nonsense. The two religious groups having problems with TAPPS –Muslims and Jews– both belong to religions that are strictly against the worship of of anything other than God, be it an idol or a man. I think kids learn that in the 5th grade if you made it that far. So no one is calling for special privileges for anyone who “worships a man of flesh” (as if there was any other kind of man made of Play-Doh or something).

  53. YAY!!!! About time someone in education stood up to the Muslim schools! They are running rampant in the liberal east and north all the while educating children in a religion that is anything but about peace. Why would the Muslim schools consider those questions hostile to their faith??? I consider them legitimate questions for an organization that allows independent private schools to join their programs, thus allowing their teachers and students to mingle with teachers and students of Christian schools. They have the right to be sure that this is a legitimate school and not just a place teaching religion (like many Muslim “schools” do). Always remember – we are the infidels that their book says they can enslave and kill (along with their own wives)!!!

  54. Liberals always pour scorn on approved targets. You should hear them on the subject of Alabama.

    Anybody think Islam is here to make nice with everybody? If so there is a bridge for sale they might be interested in…

    Muslims in other locales have made it perfectly plain they have no problem murdering/harrassing the non muslim porton of their societies. Why should we import supremacist ethnic cleansers?

  55. That’s unfair, and very un American.

  56. Anon
    So every muslim in America is here to kill you? Well Ill be darned.
    Shut up already, my God Dude your just so delusional

    And these questions are so dumb. Its our understanding you think Jews and Christians are infidels (da fudge?! Ever heard of people if the book?!)

  57. If muslims paid attention to what is actually going on instead of:

    1. Waving scripture at us – people of the book, my aunt franny.

    2. Fleeing to the glorious past – we did great stuff while we stomped on the Iberians/Persians!

    3. Blaming everyone else for everything – she made me kill her!

    They might start arriving at solutions.

    I see some of them are beginning to work on the problems of women, good.

    At saudijeans.org they have vid of Saudi riot girls and the news that the repentance of Kashgari is accepted.

  58. I went to the TAPPS site and read their constitution and membership requirements. It is not necessarily a religious organization as it allows private schools who depend on student tuition to survive or schools that are supported by a Church Parish. I assume a Muslim Mosque would be equal to a church parish. Their main purpose seems to be a sports network so that the schools can compete against each other academically and physically.

    I am going to make a leap here and state what I see could be the major problem with allowing an Islamic member. How will the schools deal with swim meets in which Muslims may demand separate facilities for the sexes? Will they have to alter uniform requirements for the various sports? Will the addition of Muslim Holy Days force more playing concessions such as the problem with the Jewish Sabbath? How will Ramadan affect the sports or academic competition schedules? There are a lot of WHATS involved when allowing a school or schools that do not have traditional holidays or calendars into an association whose purpose is to schedule events and set up the rules everyone must abide by. One failure but not recognizing the Jewish Sabbath caused a big problem. What problems are going to be incurred when they cannot meet Islamic needs?
    I could be wrong, but since all schools use seperate facilities no one is worried about conversion or ultimate agendas for the United States. It is as simple as “Can we schedule a football Game on August 15 since it is Ramadan and and the students from School _________ cannot eat or drink on that day?” (I realize that Ramadan is not always on the same days this is just an example) Or “If we tell them they have to wear traditional basketball uniforms were going to be accused of discrimination AGAIN.”

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