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CAIR and Student Prayer
In Michigan, the recent decision of Dearborn Public Schools to permit Muslim prayer during school hours has sparked heated debate. Specifically, opponents argue that the policy may run afoul of the First Amendment. Exacerbating the controversy is the fact that the group lobbying for this permission, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), is an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas funding trial. According to former FBI Assistant Director Steve Pomerantz, "any objective assessment… leads to the conclusion that CAIR, its leaders, and its activities effectively give aid to international terrorist groups."
Last month, the Arab American News released a statement by CAIR describing a negotiated arrangement with the school board in Dearborn. The district has agreed to a policy that "fully accommodates student-led prayer" and allows for "unexcused absences for students who leave early on Friday for Jumu'ah prayers," which occur every Friday. When contacted, an unnamed source from CAIR Michigan described the agreement as providing for student-led, student-initiated prayer "between classes, in spare time and during lunch breaks" that is "not led by any school official."
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