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Tennessee May Deliberately Exclude Muslim Schools From New Voucher Program

Tennessee State Senator Bill Ketron (R)

Tennessee State Senator Bill Ketron (R)

Republicans were all for this bill that would take money out of public schools and put them in private or parochial schools until they realized that– since the law applies equally to all citizens–Muslims may also apply for the same funding!

How will they solve this conundrum? Well Bill Ketron of recent ‘Sharia Mops’ fame wants to exclude them from the “new voucher  program,” keeping the voucher program “Judeo-Christian.”

Tennessee May Deliberately Exclude Muslim Schools From New Voucher Program

By Adam Peck on Apr 3, 2013 at 11:45 am

Several conservative lawmakers in Tennessee are throwing the brakes on a fast-moving bill that would divert money away from public schools and towards vouchers for students to attend private or parochial schools. Republicans are taking a second look at the bill after the possibility arose that some Islamic schools could apply for the same funding made available to other religious schools.

The bill is a top priority for Republican Governor Bill Haslam, but several anti-religion lawmakers in the state senate, led by Sen. Bill Ketron who sponsored several anti-Islam bills in the last few years, are hoping to strip away the ability for any school that caters to Muslim children and their families to receive public dollars:

“This is an issue we must address,” state Sen. Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville) said. “I don’t know whether we can simply amend the bill in such a way that will fix the issue at this point.”

State Sen. Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro) and Tracy each expressed their concerns Friday over Senate Bill 0196, commonly called the “School Voucher Bill” and sponsored by fellow Sen. Mark Norris (R-Collierville), which would give parents of children attending failing public schools a voucher with which to enroll in a private school.

Ketron has cultivated a reputation as the state’s chief Islamophobe, proposing a bill in 2011 that could have introduced punishments of up to 15 years in jail for any Muslim who observed the holy month of Ramadan or prayed five times a day towards Mecca, a religious requirement for observant Muslims.

Tennessee is not the first state to try and carve out exemptions to education funding that target only Muslims. Last year, Louisiana Republicans threatened to hold up an education bill backed by Governor Bobby Jindal (R) for similar reasons: a single private Islamic school had applied for a handful of vouchers that Republicans intended to make available only to nondenominational and Judeo-Christian schools. That bill ultimately passed and was signed into law but only after the school — the Islamic School of Greater New Orleans — withdrew its application for vouchers.

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  • you’re welcome

  • GaribaldiOfLoonwatch

    Thanks, good point.

  • They should also join forces with Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, which has spoken out against this as well.

    Profiting The Prophet?: Tenn. Legislators Fear Voucher Bill Will Subsidize Islamic Schools
    https://www.au.org/blogs/wall-of-separation/profiting-the-prophet-tenn-legislators-fear-voucher-bill-will-subsidize

  • It wasn’t clear to me.

  • GaribaldiOfLoonwatch

    I’m not sure what they are doing in this regard, but this is right up their alley and they should in fact team up with the ACLU and other coalition groups to reverse this.

  • Tanveer Khan

    😛

  • I just linked to that article in another comment. Actually they couldn’t do what North Carolina Lawmakers did, and those North Carolina Lawmakers didn’t have the right to do it in first place. They can’t just refuse to obey the parts of the constitution or the supreme court rulings that they don’t want to. There’s no way that the federal government is going to let them get away with that. If they try to uphold that, its going to be over turned and the feds will force them to comply. I don’t know how much you know about US history, but our country has a long history of states trying to nullify supreme court rulings that they don’t like, and they never get away with it for very long. Pretty much the only way North Carolina Lawmakers will be able to get away with that will be if they’re able take on the US military and secede from the Union.

  • Its not legal. Its a clear cut violation of the establishment clause. CAIR would be wised to pursue a lawsuit here. If they win and they will, it will discourage them from trying this again. Also it will force these people to try to defend it, and their only means of doing so will pretty much be to deny that the constitution forbids the states from discriminating based on religion or to try to argue that Islam is not a religion as some anti Muslim bigots have done. Both will be doomed to failure, since no justice worth their salt will take either of them seriously and it will expose its supporters for what they really are.

  • I wonder if CAIR knows about this, and if they are pursuing a suit. I don’t see how this can be legal.

  • Interestingly enough according to this recent Alternet story America is getting less religious, and our fundamentalists know it, and are trying to influence less developed countries.

    You Wouldn’t Believe How Fast Americans Are Losing Their Religion — But the Fundamentalists Have a Plan : As their power declines in America, fundamentalists are moving to
    developing countries not as far along the secularization curve. And
    they’re causing massive damage.

    http://www.alternet.org/belief/you-wouldnt-believe-how-fast-americans-are-losing-their-religion-fundamentalists-have-plan?paging=off

  • I don’t know if America is getting more “religious,” but it looks like the religious right is getting crazier or at least more desperate. I’m glad it will be struck down, but it might cost a lot of money to do so, if they’re determined to defend the indefensible.

  • GaribaldiOfLoonwatch

    Is this nation getting more religious in its “religious” parts? I know they know this can’t pass any sort of Constitutional muster and hence must be going after domestic brownie points.

  • mindy1

    Oh the hypocrisy is staggering, they are wasting time on NONSENSE

  • mindy1

    😉

  • mindy1

    HYPOCRISY

  • mindy1

    hypocracy much?

  • mindy1

    yep 😛

  • In all seriousness, though, one Problem would be that the more ignorant the general public is, the more likely they’d be to buy into the lies of people like Spencer or Geller. The more people know, and the better their critical thinking skills, the less likely they are to believe things that are demonstrably false.

  • Come to think of, even if they were to include Muslim schools, as well as all religious schools, I’m not sure this would be constitutional. There have been a lot of court battles over vouchers to private religious schools in the past.

  • Garibaldi

    Speaking of violations of the first amendment, and discrimination against Muslims, not to mention anyone who’s not Christian, did you hear about this?

    Proposal would allow state religion in North Carolina
    http://www.wral.com/proposal-supports-state-religion-in-north-carolina/12296876/

    You won’t believe how openly they’re defying the federal government and the constitution,

    To quote the wral.com article,

    ————————————————————————————–
    The resolution goes on to say:

    SECTION
    1. The North Carolina General Assembly asserts that the Constitution
    of the United States of America does not prohibit states or their
    subsidiaries from making laws respecting an establishment of religion.

    SECTION
    2. The North Carolina General Assembly does not recognize federal
    court rulings which prohibit and otherwise regulate the State of North
    Carolina, its public schools or any political subdivisions of the State
    from making laws respecting an establishment of religion.
    ————————————————————————————–

    Could you imagine if a group of American Muslims were to even suggest something like this? Many of the hypocritical Anti Muslim, far right Christian who support this, while claiming to support religious liberty would be up in arms and rightfully so, but when Christians try to get the state to give their faith special treatment, chances are they support it, or don’t care.

    The reality of course is that there’s no way that Muslims could do anything like this in United States even if they wanted to, and without all the anti Muslim bigotry in the country.

  • GaribaldiOfLoonwatch

    This particular passage is disheartening: Tennessee is not the first state to try and carve out exemptions to
    education funding that target only Muslims. Last year, Louisiana
    Republicans threatened to hold up an
    education bill backed by Governor Bobby Jindal (R) for similar reasons:
    a single private Islamic school had applied for a handful of vouchers
    that Republicans intended to make available only to nondenominational
    and Judeo-Christian schools. That bill ultimately passed and was signed
    into law but only after the school — the Islamic School of Greater New
    Orleans — withdrew its application for vouchers.

  • GaribaldiOfLoonwatch

    Seems like you nailed it.

  • Nur Alia binti Ahmad

    Actually, it might be good that the government cant tell the school what to teach or not.
    I would let them have thier exclusive bill…and while Muslim schools are teaching science and mathmatics with the intention of progress, the Christians children will still be stuggling with how many animals did Noah put into the ark.

  • The good news is that there’s no way they can do this legally. Its a clear cut violation of the establishment clause. There’s no constitutional grounds that they could use to justify having the money only go to Jewish or Christian schools.

  • Just_Stopping_By

    Let me see if I understand this: Muslims in the U.S. are to be blamed for being “insufficiently Western” or “insufficiently American,” unless they ask for the same funding as those of other religions are entitled to, in which case they are to be blamed for being … too American?

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