No Muslim Schools Allowed?

It turns out that a prominent association of private secular and religious schools in Texas welcomes many religious institutions as members — but not, apparently, Islamic private schools. A story in the San Antonio Express-News over the weekend reports that the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS) denied membership to one Islamic school two months ago and to two Islamic schools in 2004.

As a private organization, of course, TAPPS is free to decide which schools it wants as members. The Express-News reports that many of the organization’s members are Christian schools, a couple are Jewish and others are secular. But it seems that Muslims need not apply.

And why not? TAPPS officials were reluctant to talk to the Express-News about their decisions regarding the Islamic schools seeking membership. One responded to a reporter’s queries with something akin to “none of your business.”

Not all TAPPS members, to their credit, are comfortable with making membership decisions based on religion. Some have decided to retain their membership while working to change the organization from within.

But it’s hard not to be saddened by yet another example of the growing prejudice against some Americans simply because of their religion. After all, it wasn’t too long ago in America that Catholic and Jewish individuals and institutions were regularly denied membership in some organizations.

It would be a good thing if elected public officials didn’t also promote this kind of prejudice, but too many in Texas — including some members of the State Board of Education — shamelessly do. And various pressure groups, like Texas Eagle Forum, have been outspoken in promoting anti-Muslim bigotry and hysteria. Lost on all of them, apparently, is the irony that they claim to support religious freedom. That claim is becoming harder and harder to believe.

11 thoughts on “No Muslim Schools Allowed?

  1. The well designed, well funded and manufactured psychological operations propaganda program has created an elaborae and effective politcal appendage of the Israeli state. And with good reason if one were Jewish or Israeli given the misfortunes of several millenium of diaspora, pogram, and holocaust.

    The grafting together of such disparate spare parts of the KKK, Deuatch-Amerika Bund, John Birch Society, and the traditions of the traditions of William jenning Bryan into a tightly controlled ideological amalgum is no small accomplishment. The tricky part of creating a complex amalgum of often conflicting concepts requires the suspension of cognitive dissonance, something that Orwell clearly understood.

    Israel has legitimate concerns over a concerted effort by the Arabs putting together a comprehensive military campaign against their very existence. Essential for their survival is extending an American umbrella over their state, and active in projecting power at a distance against thier enemies.

    The essential elements of propaganda supportive of this program is to portray Muslims as automatons that can only responed to selective parts of Islamic dogma, much in the same fashion that some of the same folks used during the Red Scare’Yellow Peril halcyon days of the Truman-Reagan era. The good Red is a dead one, went the ditty. The update is that Muslims cannot be loyal Americans as all Muslims are hard wired to bring on an Islamic Caliphate to Kansas.

    It seems that no one sees any threat to the Constitution by the Christian theme of creating God’s Kingdom on Earth. The Constitution is pretty clear about prohibiting titles of nobility, the prhibition of religious qualifications for office, and the guarantee of a republican form of government. Worse than that is the ritual cannibalism practiced in rites practiced by certain of the branches of Christianity, and the subjection of children to images of a particular form of public execution.

    Rocks and glass windows.

  2. The Founding Fathers clearly commanded, in Art. 6., Sec. 3., “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

    Of course, private schools have the freedom to discriminate, which is why they should be given no tax exemption or public funding directly or indirectly.

    And leads me to recommend an excellent book, written many years ago by a friend with whom I used to work: Praise the Lord for Tax Exemption, by Dr. Martin A. Larson.

    Unfortunately, the most current official violator of the “no establishment” commandment in the First Amendment is President Obama who has refused to eliminate the Office of Faith-based Ministry, as if it has no relationship to “religion.”

    “Strongly guarded as is the separation between Religion and Government in the Constitution of the United States, the danger of encroachment by Ecclesiastical Bodies may be illustrated by precedents already furnished in their short history,” p. 121, The Religion Commandments in the Constitution: A Primer.

  3. I’ve been busy elsewhere and it’s been too long since I checked in here, but it seems familiar. There’s Gene Garman, making precisely the same probably invalid, certainly irrelevant point he’s made in every post I’ve seen from him here. A nod to TFN’s own “Johnny One-Note.”

    But it’s Gordon Fowkes’ comments that disturb me. True he is a master creator of word salads unmatched South of Alaska, and I can only hope it is his problems in communication that make him seem to be implying that the current wave of anti-Muslim feeling in the US is the result of some form of Israeli Psy Ops. (If he meant this, my congratulations for coming up with something almost as smply wacky as the old ‘It was the Mossad that blew up the Twin Towers’ paranoia.)

    I know it is his deficient writing skills that make him seem to imply that it was the Israelis who welded together the various groups he mentions. That doesn’t just require a tin-foil hat, it almost makes me want one for myself to keep from catching whatever infected him.

    But the real reason I wanted to comment was his remarks about “the traditions of the traditions of William jenning Bryan.” Now I’d hate to see what “Google Translate” would come up with for that, but he seems to be including Bryan with the KKK and the other groups.

    INHERIT THE WIND was fact-based ‘fiction,’ sir. But even it has Darrow speaking of the many causes that he and Bryan had shared in the past, and accurately. Bryan was, rather than a Conservative, a ‘left-wing populist’ and probably the most radical Democratic candidate between Jackson and Roosevelt. (Wilson was also on the left — except racially — but merely built on the TR framework, Bryan preached these things when few in the major parties would even suggest them.)

    Bryan also was the only US Secretary of State to resign his post because, as a pacifist, he could not go along with the war preparations of his government. And even his support for Creationism — and he hinself was not a Young Earth Creationist, but one who accepted that the ‘days’ could be ‘millions of years — still absurd, but less so then when science was only beginning to appreciate the size and age of the Universe — was specifically a ‘populist’ one. He beliwved that the people, the parents should be the ones who decided what their children should be taught, not ‘experts.’ Not a wise position, buit hardly a ‘conservative’ one.

  4. If my word salads are unmatached south of Alaska, then how can thesse unmatched salads be evidence of a deficient writing skill? That remark is a fine example of Orwellian Doublespeak and DoubleThink in which mutually exclusive notions are welded as if one, thereby short circuiting cognative dissonance.

    Cognitie dissoance is the process which opposing notions become conciously recogniseed as conflicting, requiring some effort to rationally changing one or both of the notions to match reality. Marxist dialectic is modeled on a comparable model in which thesis and anti-theseis are resolved by synthesis.

    The suspension of cognitive dissonance is part and parcel of any really effective propaganda package. The Nazis justified their actions against Jews because, according to Nazi racial “science” were inferior folks who infested gentile society as evidenced by the fact that Jews took too many of the jobs that required smarts, and were so insidieous as to manipulate gentile society from behind the scenes. The Jews were super smart inferiors.

    The mixture of traditional propaganda themese in unlikely combinations such as KKK and the anti-Gold populism of the Tea Party is another example of mutually exclusive concepts assembled as if complimentary and inclusive. The glue that holds these theoretically incompatible ideas together isn’t the actual meaning of teh words themselves but the connnotative meanings. As in Buss in Buzzwords.

    There is a game played on Wall Street, the Congress, and the Pentagon called “Buzzword Bingo” in which groups of polysyllablci buzzwords with a collecctive meaning of zip are put into play. Sample:

    Thus the heirarchical integratons of specific alterations are momogenously allocated …. etc, etc for example.

    This phrase sounds authoritative, it’s buss is similar to the buzz heard in classrooms and boardrooms in which onl the Emperor’s Tailors can understand. Jan Christian Andersen’s “Emperor’s New Clothes” preceded Animal Farm and 1984 by decades.

    The skilled propagandist takes concepts and words that have a certain buzz flavor and value. Such may be angry buzzes, victim buzzes, depression buzzes, and assembled in constellations where they are assembled solely for the net buzz value. It gets to be like coded messages after a while.

    “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others” …. Animal Farm.

    Tea Party: ” Take our country back!” is old line KKK buzzery,

    Tea Party:
    1. Shari’a is anti-constitutional, one cannot be a Muslim and a loyal American,
    2. We have to make American meet God’s standards, … Huckab y.
    3. The Muslim religion isn’t a religion, it’s a hostile political conspiracy.

    If one can add 1+2+3 and get 6, one is Tea Party savvy.

    It makes no difference if the elements of a mass movement include mutually exclusive ideals, the clever propagandsit can weld these parts by creating synergy between the postive or negative nature of the busses associated with the ideas.

    Enough Salad for the Day, and OBTW my salad market is global and read at the highest levels often behind closed doors.

    That co

  5. We are talking geometric progression. Two, four, eight, ninety-seven, two-eleventy. The numbers boggle the mind. And in conclusion, we must get off the dime and keep our noses to the grindstone.

  6. Amen!

    Then, “Strongly guarded as is the separation between Religion and Government in the Constitution of the United States,” James Madison, “Monopolies, Perpetuities, Corporations, Eccelesiastical Endowments,” W&MQ, 3:555, some of the first things we need to do is adopt and promote 200 year old political principle from the Father of the Constitution, i.e., eliminate tax exemptions for all churches, parochial schools, and religion organizations; legislative chaplains at all levels of government; and the Presidential Office of Faith-based Partnerships.

    Americans who want to promote religion should be required to do so voluntarily, without any support, taxes or otherwise, from coercive government. In the USA, religion is to be freely exercised, not at the expense or with the help of government.

  7. Gordon:
    My dear lad, you don’t get it, do you. First, when I said “he is a master creator of word salads unmatched South of Alaska” I was hardly creating ‘cognitive dissonance.’ The reference — so obvious you must have been the only reader of my lines to miss it — was a comparison between you and Sarah Palin. If you think that was a ‘compliment’ to your writing skills instead of the reverse, well, HOUSE had a patient this week whose inability to understand sarcasm proved to be a key symptom in her diagnosis.

    You have considerable ability in using familiar phrases and words, like ‘cognitive dissonance’ and ‘propaganda’ and ‘buzz words’ and the rest, in ways that show you don’t quite grasp their meaning. For example ‘cognitive dissonance’ is an inherent factor in most people’s minds, and humanity’s progress is — to some extent — shown by the ability to overcome this tendency. It is hardly something ‘introduced’ or caused by ‘propaganda.’

    In fact, rereading your original post shows I may have been too complimentary, since you used the phrase to mean its exact opposite. “Cognitive dissonance’ means holding two inherently contradictory opinions without seeing their contradiction. It certainly is something that many conservatives share — and some people on my side of the spectrum show it as well. It is not recognizing and correcting such contradictions. (And you seem to be confused between ‘holding two contradictory opinions’ and holding a ‘wrong opinion.’ Let’s take “Young Earth Creationism” — a totally absurd position unsupported by any facts — as an example. A person can believe YEC without any ‘cognitive dissonance.’ It is only when he simultaneously defends YEC and carbon-dating, or the accuracy of the measurement of the speed of light that he shows ‘coginitive dssonance’ — let’s say ‘CD’ from here on and save a tiny bit of bandwidth and my time and typing fingers — since these positions contradict each other.)

    [My apologies to many of you for ‘over-explaining the obvious.’ It seems to be necessary in this case.]

    CD is not created by propaganda. The goal of propaganda is to change people’s minds about something, not to create an inability to recognize contradictions. (And, while this is pedantry because many people use the term this way, calling something ‘propaganda’ implies nothing about its truth. The key to propaganda is that it is ‘deliberately and primarily designed to influence an audience and to spread some cause.’ It may be true or false, the cause may be a good one or a bad one. The assumption that ‘propaganda is always negative’ is simply wrong.)

    You do do slightly better on ‘connotative meaning.’ Yes, words do have both ‘denotative’ and ‘connotative’ meanings. Thus ‘steak’ and ‘partially burned piece of dead cow’ may ‘denote’ the same object, but they create different emotional responses, thus ‘connote’ different things. Similarly, a writer may use ‘connotative’ meanings to expand upon the ideas his words ‘denote.’ It’s not some evil ploy, it is the basis of any metaphor, of almost any writing above telephone directories and shopping lists. In fact, you give a very good example in your use of “KKK’ which denotes certain specific organizations that existed at various times after the Civil War and used that name. You use it for its ‘connotative’ meaning, to imply ‘conspicuously unintelligent and violent racists.’

    Your main mistake — one which I’ve watched writers make who show more intelligence and maturity than you have — is to create a conspiracy to explain what is simply the result of stupidity, lack of critical thinking, ignorance, and yes, CD. (When you go back to recheck the meanings of some of the terms you’ve misused, include “Occam’s Razor” and the “Post hoc, ergo, propter hoc” fallacy as well.) You no more need to invent a conspiracy to explain anti-Muslim bigotry than you do to explain the spread of the equally absurd Creationism — which in fact share more similarities than you may realize. People are still ‘tribal’ and xenophobic — against any ‘other.’ Many Americans are followers of forms of Christianity — and other religions, but mostly Fundamentalist/Literalist Christianity– which discourage critical thinking (“Doubt is not just sinful, but the ultimate Hell-deserving sin”) and encourage CD. (“Credo quia incredibile’ may be Catholic in origin, but the idea is common elsewhere.) And many of us have a natural but regrettable tendency — particularly in reference to groups we start out hating, distrusting, or fearing — to ‘overgeneralize’ one specific action by one member or group of members into something that condemns the whole group.

    And the simple fact is that several groups of extremist Selafist Muslims have launched attacks not just on specific buildings and installations but on what those buildings ‘connote.’ The people who inflate this fact into a condemnation of all Muslims are as stupid — but as humanly understandable — as is a friend of mine’s reaction. Her boss is of a different ethnic group. There’s little doubt from what I know that her boss conspicuously favors members of her own ethnic group. The boss is wrong, but my friend is even more wrong to assume this is an ‘ethnic characteristic’ that all members of the boss’s group act the same way.

    My friend needs no ‘sinister outside influence’ to make that leap, nor do the anti-Islamic bigots. The people who insincerely make use of that bigotry for their own political or financial ends — many of the ‘users’ of the bigotry are as ignorant or stupid as their hearers and mean their own nonsense — are not creating it from nothing, but are merely taking advantage of something that already existed. (And, btw, even the Nazis did not ‘create’ anti-Semitism, which was already quite strong in German and Austrian culture. They merely ‘shaped’ it into the most vicious possible elaboration of its basic idea. The one thing Nazism’s anti-Semitism was not was an example of CD. Had the facts been what the Nazis claimed, had the Jews been the evil force that Streicher and Goebbels and Hitler told the German people they were, not being an anti-Semite would have been true CD.

    Again, my apologies to the rest of you for the length of this demolition of a minor post, but maybe some of the points I made will be valuable elsewhere. (And then again, I could be as ‘self-confidently wrong’ as is our Baylor graduate or Mr. Fowkes himself. If I am, tell me. There’s no shame at being wrong, just in staying wrong.

  8. It is tempting to retort to personal attacks with personal attacks, but the original issue is the mounting and increasingly rabid anti-Islamic tone of the Divine/Righteous Right, Tea Parties and all and a synergy with the state interests of Israel.

    The synergy evidences itself in a near hyterical tone emating from the Israeli state about the imminent threat of nuclear annihilation by Islamic states (Iran in particular) and a matching hyteria, chapter and verse with the Divine/Righteous Right. It should also be noted that many Christian fundamentalist organizations are funded and supported in no small way by the Israeli government including the provision of properties seized from Palestinians.

    The establishment of AFRICOM, a joint DoD geographic command to assume DoD responsiblity of the African continent, particularly the Horn of Africa was in response to an Israeli initiative to secure alternate oil resources for Israel. Nothing sneaky per se, as I found some the original reports on the net with the original sources open and above board.

    While this is not to portray the Israeli connection as inherently sneaky, subversive, or necessarily evil, but it is a factor that should be taken into account in making decisions concerning the nature of the extremism of the Divine Right. The characterization of the Divine/Rigtheous Right as Dogpatch expats is self deception given the tangled web that is woven in hyper politics.

    Earliest posts on my blog include more detailed descriptions of the workings of propaganda, psychological warfare and the like.

  9. I think we ought to get the Chick-Fil-A Holstein cattle in on this. The real threat is not Muslims. The real threat is “Moo Slims,” which I understand are cattle so trim that they disappear upon turning sideways. Invisibility has always been a military holy grail, and some of these cows appear to have figured out how to do it. Now, there’s your real threat to national security.