The principal at Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins, Colorado, is facing a hailstorm of criticism from some very angry parents and residents.
The school recites the Pledge of Allegiance weekly, on Mondays. Last Monday, a member of their “Cultural Arms Club” led the student body in an Arabic version of the pledge, replacing the words “under God” with “under Allah.”
Principal Tom Lopez denies any attempt to push an Islamic agenda, saying, “These students love this country. They were not being un-American in trying to do this. They believed they were accentuating the meaning of the words as spoken regularly in English.”
Principal Lopez doesn’t make any sense. Speaking unintelligible words in Arabic in some way accentuates their meaning? That is an extremely weak argument in defense of an ill-advised decision.
He said the cultural clubs seeks to “destroy the barriers, embrace the cultures” that exist within the high school.
That would translate into “destroy the barriers to Islam and embrace it,” correct, Mr. Lopez?
The Poudre School District communications director, Danielle Clark, said they understand why parents are upset. She told Fox News, “We understand not everybody would agree with the students’ choice. We’ve heard there are some who are upset.”
Let’s put his into perspective for the feeble-minded Clark and Lopez. It is not the student’s choice. They do not control the public address system. It was a school choice.
Her simplistic defense included a reference to “one” supportive email and a reference to a similar mistake last year which drew controversy when the pledge was recited in Spanish. Somehow not learning from and expanding upon your previous mistakes is perceived as a viable defense for these educators.
An abdication of responsibility is also part of their defense. Clark attempted to pass the buck of responsibility to the students, saying, “This is a student-initiated and student-led club. There is no school sponsor or advisor. It doesn’t come under the umbrella of the district.”
Actually, the activity of reciting the pledge does come under the district. Choosing to put it into the hands of a group not regulated by their administrators does not provide absolution.
“We deferred to the students because it’s their deal,” she said.
One cultural club member, professing to not understand the controversy is Skyler Bowden. Bowden simplistically told The Coloradoan, “No matter what language it’s said in, pledging your allegiance to the United States is the same in every language.”
Given their youth, the high school students might understandably not recognize the problems with proclaiming America as “one nation under Allah.” The grownups should and they ought to be controlling the activity.
The Muslim Brotherhood front group CAIR chimed in saying, “Obviously in Arabic, you would use the word Allah, but Christian Arabs would use the word Allah.” Their spokesperson, Ibrahim Hooper, claimed use of the word Allah is “not necessarily specific to Islam and Muslims.” From an American point of view, it is, whether he is technically correct or not, to Americans, in America, it’s a specific Muslim and Islamic reference.
As if to reinforce the idiocy of reciting the pledge in another language, Clark said she did not hear the pledge and does not speak Arabic so she could not confirm exactly what words were used.
Lopez said he has been getting a variety of accusations leveled at him, including being called a traitor. He said, “They claim they are outraged, that this is blaspheming a real major tenet of our patriotism – which in their mind the Pledge of Allegiance is only in English.”
He said he’s also been accused of “pushing a Muslim Brotherhood agenda – to push Islam into the school.” He denies that was behind the decision.
CAIR representative Hooper told Fox News he was dumbfounded by complaints about the Arabic version of the pledge.
“How on earth is it un-American to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in another language,” Hooper asked. “It doesn’t make sense unless the people complaining are anti-Muslim or anti-middle eastern bigots.”
It just might be that Americans recognize the Islamic agenda, Mr. Hooper, and are tired of having it forced upon them. Maybe we know what you are up to and people are pushing back.
Principal Lopez said all of the criticism and complaints had him “worn down.”
Playing the tolerance card, Lopez labeled himself as the victim, stating, “I’ve been shocked with prejudicial statements that have been made. I’ve been shocked with the lack of seeking understanding. There’s definitely suspicion and fear expressed in these people’s minds. There’s some hate.”
One resident, Chris Wells put it in terms even educator Lopez could understand. Writing in The Daily Coloradoan, he said, “As a veteran and a friend of a man killed defending these children in their little games they like to play with our pledge, I’m offended. There are things that we don’t mess with – among them are the pledge and our anthem.”