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Islamic school in Ballwin cancels classes after word of ‘protest’

11 March 2012 General 9 Comments Email This Post Email This Post

BY DOUG MOORE • dmoore@post-dispatch.com > 314-340-8125 

An Islamic school has canceled classes for Friday after parents and faculty expressed concern about a Christian group gathering outside the school to distribute religious materials.

“We sent a notice to parents that attendance was optional in case they didn’t feel comfortable,” said Donna Bari, a spokesman for Al-Salam Day School, which serves about 300 students in grades kindergarten through eighth. “Many, many called.”

As a result, Bari said, the principal and the school board agreed to close the school for the day.

“Hopefully, it will be peaceful. Whatever they are protesting,” Bari said.

Mark Kiser, president of Reclaiming Missouri for Christ, the group gathering outside the school, took issue with calling the event a protest.

“This is definitely not a protest of any kind,” said Kiser, of Springfield, Mo. “There will be no signs, no megaphones. No yelling and screaming. Just gentle, loving outreach.”

Kiser said he and other members of the group will pass out packets including DVDs featuring people who have converted to Christianity from Islam. The packets also contain Bible scripture “highlighting Jesus Christ.”

“We know there is a fine line and we might be looked at as hate mongers, but we’re doing this because we truly love them,” Kiser said. “If they take the packets, fine. If not, we’ll say ‘God bless’ and move on.”

The school sits next door to Daar-ul-Islam mosque, also known as the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis. The mosque will host Friday prayers at noon and 1 p.m.

Imam Asif Umar said he does not expect problems. The group has a Constitutional right to assemble and speak their mind, he said.

“In Islam, we are taught to respect all religions and beliefs,” Umar said. “No matter their ideologies.”

Kiser’s organization notified police by letter that members planned to be outside the school and mosque on Friday. Kiser said he did not want it to come as a surprise or be misrepresented why his group was gathering. As Christians, he said, there is a responsibility to share the teachings in the Bible “and talk about eternity.”

His group also has distributed packets outside abortion clinics, at gay pride festivals and in popoular gathering places such as The Loop, he said. Kiser referred to the group’s website, which further explains its goals.

“Reclaiming Missouri for Christ is not an organization. It is a vision. It is a mission,” the website says. “Messages of repentance, personal responsibility, liberty, and holding our public officials responsible before God have been forsaken and replaced with messages of social justice, personal affluence, and political correctness. These messages have nearly destroyed this nation.”

Original post: Islamic school in Ballwin cancels classes after word of ‘protest’

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9 Comments »

  1. Wonder what Geller would be saying if those were Muslims passing out Islamic books in front of a Church?

  2. I don’t see anything wrong with how this group went about things. Maybe a bit of an annoyance, but I don’t see a problem.

  3. What it seemed to me they were doing was Proselytizing which is what Christians are commanded to do as part of their religion.

  4. This is free speech protected under the first amendment of the Constitution. People are free not to accept the Christian literature.

  5. I don’t care what their religion says to do, anyone in ANY religion proselytizing to children without direct parental permission is WRONG. Right or wrong, children are much more likely to be going to a school without adult supervision than they are to a mosque. Let them preach outside the mosque, where Mom and Dad and other adults can run interference for the kids. But cornering a child on the way to school when a parent might not be there to say no is just plain wrong, and is exactly what they have planned–why else pick an elementary school?

    Think of it this way, what would these good Christians do if a group of Muslims decided to park themselves outside a Christian oriented school and hand out literature, even if the intent and actions were peaceful? You know as well as I that they’d throw a holy fit!

  6. Why not going to the Christian school and do the same with Islam booklet. Like Hera said” This is free speech protected under the first amendment of the Constitution. Ohhh I just remember if they tried they will call terrorist!!That what i called bull in missouri!

  7. This is one of those things that you can do, but should you?

  8. I would not hand out phamphlets outside a school but the ones involved may be concerned about the children’s souls and feel that the qualms others may have are not worth worrying about.

  9. GOD bless all west nation

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