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Monday, March 14, 2011

This Is No Fairy Tale

Oh no, the big bad wolf is coming to blow our house down. Run Little Red Riding Hood...RUN!!!!

Just like in these childhood fairy tales meant to scare children it seems that a recent post on Talking Tachlis Bad Doin's at the International Academy is having the very same effect on some of the parents at the International Academy (IA) an International Baccalaureate PUBLIC high school consortium of several Oakland County school districts that is overseen by the Bloomfield Hills School District.

Talking Tachlis has been sent an email and asked by "a parent of a Jewish student" at the IA who did not identify themselves to take down our post in an effort to "respect our children's safety."

Also, the same parent was "especially concerned about having the names of minors that are in the letter" exposed. That would refer to the names of the two Muslim Student Association members who signed the letter along with the IA history teacher Marc de Zwann.

As those of us who regularly use the Internet and email know, once you send something via electronic communication, it is as good as public. But beyond that, the letter that was posted in the Talking Tachlis blog had already been sent out to parents via the Bloomfield Public Schools ListServe. The minute that "send" button was hit, that letter became part of the public domain and could have been (and was) forwarded to others. Additionally, the communication could be FOIA'd (how you request public information from public entities like government and school districts) by anyone at any time, and the district by law, would have been required to release it. Perhaps the concern about the names of minors should have been considered by the teacher long before Talking Tachlis received a copy of the letter.

Then there is the matter of the IA Blog, hosted by the very service, Blogspot, that Talking Tachlis uses. The IA Blog, named The Arab-Israeli Conflict, which promotes the sale of the book and requests donations to the Bloomfield Hills School District and through them the MSA, was posted by one of the students at the IA, Faisal Chaudhry, the same name that was listed on the letter. Not only did Chaudhry post to the IA blog but...it is a singular post...there are no others. Additionally, there is much concern about the graphics that surround the post - drawings of prostrated men, without shoes. Does this depict Muslim men praying, or does it depict men who have been killed? Why would this student group use this graphic at the same time they are asking the community for donations for books? This is troublesome at best. Also, it appears that "they" are onto "us" having scrubbed the IA Blog of the following statement that was there just a few days ago:

"Any money you donate will go to the Muslim Youth of Greater Detroit, a non-profit (501(c)(3)) affiliated with IA's Muslim Student Association. 100% of the donated money will go directly from this group to IA's History Department for the purchase of "Footnotes in Gaza".

It has been replaced with the following statement:
100% of the donated money will go to IA's History Department for the purchase of "Footnotes in Gaza". If you would like do donate directly to the IA, please write a check to "Bloomfield Hills Schools" and give it to Mr deZwaan as soon as possible.

Talking Tachlis has learned an important lesson now that the IA student who originally posted to the IA Blog site has since 'scrubbed' that verbiage. Always make a screen shot of pertinent information that you have quoted, since sites can be changed.

But this is not surprising when you peruse the site of the Muslim Youth of Greater Detroit. A strictly religious organization, of which the poster - Chaudhry - is an active member. Donations that were going to made to the MYGD through the sale of the books would be another clear violation of Federal law and the endorsement of a specific religion by the public school. That is damning evidence and clearly needed to be deleted to protect the guilty.

It is clear that the MSA is a "religious organization" as stated in the Public School Review under "extracurricular activities at the IA" along with the Christian Student Initiative. According to the ADL website: School personnel, including teachers, may not initiate, sponsor, promote, lead or participate in religious club meetings. However, school personnel may be required to monitor club meetings. 20 USCA §4071. Mr. Marc DeZwaan is listed as the groups "advisor" on the IA website and the IA Blog and appears to be much more than just a staff member to "monitor club meetings", which appears again to be a violation of this federal code.

Additionally, there is no information available on who vetted the publication in question. Was it de Zwaan? And if it was de Zwaan, and he is also the MSA advisor then where is the wall of separation?

Based on many the above facts, Talking Tachlis finds the email from the IA parent to be disingenuous. If they are concerned with the identities of the students, they should take it up with the administration as they are the ones who have "leaked" these names obviously without any regard for these students’ safety.

But, why this parent's focus on safety of our students at what is considered one of the country's premiere high schools? Are they running from a perceived threat like the "big bad wolf" - or in this case the Muslim Student Association? Have threats been made? Certainly, the verbiage used would lead one to think that is a possibility. If students are in danger, and one can only assume from the email received that the danger is to the Jewish students, not from the Jewish students, then there are more serious problems at the IA than just this one class and the terribly one-sided book the MSA is trying to push into the IA curriculum.

Now, Talking Tachlis is not heartless, after all, we understand the concerns of parents. However, to request that we remove a post that is of such great import to the Metro Detroit Jewish community, and to the community at large...questioning and now exposing the true purpose of the MSA at the IA …well, we are not going to do that. Rather, we are going to expand on what we have learned since the last post.

According to the ADL...federal law and the courts have protected student religious clubs under "The Equal Access Act" which reads:

General Rule: The Equal Access Act (" EAA") (20 U. S. C. §§ 4071-74) requires public schools which meet certain criteria to treat all student-initiated groups equally, regardless of the religious, political, philosophical or other orientation of the groups. This means that to the extent that a school board opens up its school facilities to any student-led and run non-curriculum related group, (emphasis added) it must uniformly open its facilities to all student-led and run groups, including religious ones. The EAA was adopted by Congress in 1984, and its constitutionality was upheld by the U. S. Supreme Court in Board of Education of Westside Community Schools v. Mergens, 496 U. S. 226 (1990).

The ADL site also states: "What are some concerns that arise when a club meets pursuant to the EAA? The meeting of religious clubs in school facilities pursuant to their rights under the EAA may create an appearance of school endorsement of religion in violation of the Establishment Clause. School officials must protect against such impressions and may do so by issuing disclaimers clearly stating that the school is not sponsoring, endorsing or promoting any non-curriculum related student groups. Talking Tachlis has serious concerns that a "religious student group" is exercising control over the curriculum of a class at a PUBLIC high school supported by tax dollars from all of us with the endorsement of the school district.

At the very heart of the situation is the wording: "non-curriculum related student group." This separates those groups who have a clear connection to the school’s curriculum, like the Spanish or French Clubs with a different standard than groups that have no connection. And those words are there for a very important reason when they relate to religious groups like the MSA as it falls under the doctrine of "separation of church and state." The MSA, a religious group is trying to direct curriculum through the raising of "donations" and the forced inclusion of the book "Footnotes in Gaza" into the curriculum of a history class at the IA.

If there is any question as to whether the MSA is a religious organization here is a brief history of the MSA that clearly spells out why they exist. The MSA was an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. To learn more about the Muslim Brotherhood in America and their goal to establish a global caliphate and the institution of sharia law read this earlier Talking Tachlis post. It is important to always remember that it was the Muslim Brotherhood that funded the creation of the MSA and the MSA supports the goals of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Today, MSA's are found on most college campuses and are not without their controversy. Most recently the Muslim Student Union which is affiliated with the National MSA, was suspended from the University of California Irvine for their organization's plan (and action) to disrupt the comments of Michael Oren, the Israeli Ambassador at a school sponsored event. This is only one of many questionable actions of these groups.

Now, the MSA's have descended on our high schools, and we must not let them determine the course the curriculums our schools take. It is incumbent upon our Jewish community, and the community as a whole to make certain that a religious student organization does not direct curriculum at ANY public school, period.

It appears that the administration in BHS was asleep at the wheel on this one. But that is what the MSA, and most Islamic organizations count on...that we aren't watching or paying attention – and so far they have a pretty clear road. Our community gives them every opportunity to direct the conversation in their direction. Exactly why they scrubbed the IA Blog mentioned earlier...they got caught with their real purpose.

Do not be fooled, the MSA, and their affiliated organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood and ISNA have one motive, and that motive IS the global caliphate and the institution of sharia law here in America...and a few other not so great goals like the destruction of Israel, but that is for another post.

While the BHS may not be watching, groups like Talking Tachlis are.

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