Headlines (Page 34)

Wyoming School Tells Students They Can Only Pray in Private — Here’s How Well That Went Over

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Do students need permission to pray? The principal of a Wyoming school thought so, until she was confronted with the First Amendment.

Back in October, a group of Glendo High School students gathered to pray out loud for their meal during lunch. Afterwards, Stanetta Twiford, the school’s principal, said “enough,” accusing students of forcing their religion on others.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Twiford apparently took issue with the public nature of the prayer and allegedly told the students that they would be allowed to pray in private, in the hallway or gymnasium, with permission.

The principal stood by the rule, even after the parent of three of the students confronted her and District Superintendent Dennis Fischer. Using information they claimed to have read from the American Civil Liberties Union, the two administrators asserted that the Constitution prohibits the prayer, as students witnessing it were a “captive audience.”

After hearing this, the parents of two other students took their complaints to the Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal group known for defending Christians in cases like this. The ADF responded with a letter to the district on Dec. 4, threatening to take legal action if the ban persisted.

“School cafeterias are not religion-free zones, and they certainly do not involve captive audiences,” the ADF letter stated. “Students in the cafeteria are not captive audiences because they can leave at any time or turn away from the quiet prayer in the corner. … Further, students in the cafeteria are no more a captive audience than students in the hallway or students on a playground.”

The ADF informed Twiford and Fischer that non-disruptive speech occurring during “non-instructional time” must be allowed and that the Supreme Court agrees on this point.

“So long as non-disruptive speech occurs during non-instructional time, schools must allow that speech. The Supreme Court has already confirmed this very point,” the ADF added.

The Supreme Court case Engel v. Vitale determined that the Constitution prohibits compulsory school or state-sponsored prayer. Private and student-led prayers, however, are allowed.

The school administrators have since changed their tone. In a letter to the ADF dated Dec. 17, Fischer noted that the district’s attorney agreed that the students’ prayer did not violate federal law and that he has advised Twiford “to let the students know that they can pray before meals in the manner they had in the incident in question. … I feel our staff and district have a better understanding of students’ rights regarding prayer and how to handle future incidents.”

Fischer also reported that students prayed in the cafeteria “at least once … and will continue to be allowed to do so.”

Video Purports to Show Screaming and Crying Yazidi Women Being Forcibly Ripped From Their Families

The Daily Mail reported that the Yazidi women were forcibly separated from their families. (Image source: Live Leak)

Video has emerged that allegedly shows Yazidi women screaming in terror as they are physically dragged away from their families by a group of armed Islamic State fighters.

The video, which TheBlaze is unable to independently authenticate, was first posted on Facebook and LiveLeak and was reported by Britain’s Daily Mail.

The Daily Mail reported that these Yazidi women were forcibly separated from their families. (Image source: Live Leak)

In the video, apparent Islamist militants armed with automatic weapons and clothed fully in black with masks over their heads surround the group of civilian captives.

On the second floor above the courtyard stand more gunmen with one unfurling a black Islamic State flag. One of the men observing from above appeared to be armed with a shoulder-fired rocket launcher.

The fighters are prompted to repeat the call “Allahu akbar,” or “Allah is the greatest,” before the family separation operation gets underway.

As the women are ripped away from their families, their cries of anguish are audible and excruciating.

(Content warning: disturbing scene)

The Daily Mail reported that the video was first posted online by Yazidi activists.

Yazidi women who have been freed or escaped their jihadist captors have told heart-wrenching stories about the time they spent as sex slaves for fighters with the group that aims to establish a global caliphate based on Islamic law.

One 21-year-old survivor of the horrific ordeal told the U.N. Security Council how she was gang raped by Islamic State fighters.

Nadia Murad Basee Taha, a Yazidi woman who was held as a sex slave for three months, told the U.N. that the jihadists took her from her Iraqi village to Mosul. She said that even on the journey “they touched us and violated us.”

“The man who took me asked me to change religion. I refused. Then, he asked for my hand in marriage, so to speak,” Taha recounted, according to Britain’s Telegraph.

“That night he beat me. He asked me to take my clothes off. He put me in a room with the guards and then they proceeded to commit their crime until I fainted,” she said.

(H/T: Daily Mail)

Jewish, Pro-Israel Groups Blast Professor for Encouraging Students to Protest ‘Islamophobia’ by Wearing Nazi-Like Yellow Stars

The star was designed as a protest against Islamophobia (Image source: Stand With Us)

A Jewish human rights group and a pro-Israel organization criticized the efforts of a University of San Diego professor to raise awareness about “Islamophobia” by encouraging students to wear a yellow Star of David with the word “Muslim” and the Muslim crescent moon symbol drawn on it.

This star was designed as a protest at the University of San Diego against Islamophobia (Image source: Stand With Us)

The Times of San Diego reported last week that associate professor of theology and religious studies Bahar Davary led some 100 students and faculty members in the silent protest against anti-Muslim statements by wearing the type of yellow stars Jews were forced to wear in Nazi Germany.

Following questions raised in reports on conservative news sites including Legal Insurrection and the Washington Free Beacon, the private Catholic university issued a statement explaining that the class project on Islamophobia wasn’t meant to compare the Muslim experience in America to Jews during World War II.

“In no way was the project’s symbol intended to make an analogy between the current situation of Muslims in the U.S. to that of Jews in Germany and wider Europe before the Holocaust,” the University of San Diego posted on Facebook.

“The project’s symbol was an attempt to demonstrate solidarity among Muslims, Jews and Christians. Professor Bahar Davary regrets any misunderstandings that may have resulted from this class project,” the university said.

Stand With Us, a pro-Israel organization active on U.S. campuses, on Sunday called the redesigned yellow star “inappropriate and shocking.”

“While protests against anti-Muslim bigotry are understandable and legitimate, using the Holocaust in this inappropriate and shocking way serves to trivialize and deny meaning to the unspeakable horrors that Jews suffered at the hands of Nazi Germany,” said Stand With Us San Diego area director Sara Schoonmaker.

William Jacobson, a Cornell University law professor who regularly writes about the issues of free speech, anti-Semitism and anti-Israel activity on campuses nationwide, wrote at Legal Insurrection, “The irony, of course, is that the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem was a big supporter and fan of Hitler, and the Muslim world is a hotbed of anti-Semitic propaganda and agitation.”

“Jews routinely are demonized for being Jews, and the ancient Jewish communities in Muslim areas were expelled after the creation of Israel,” Jacobson wrote, adding, “In Europe, Jews cannot walk the streets in many places while displaying any Jewish symbol or even traditional Jewish attire for fear of harassment by young Muslims.”

Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center told the Free Beacon that the star “imagery is off” and explained that under the Nazis, Jews “had to wear it under penalty of death.”

The University of San Diego associate professor issued a statement through a campus spokeswoman explaining that she did not wish to diminish the plight of those who were killed in the Holocaust.

Instead, her goal was to put a spotlight on the danger of “marking any group of people as the ‘other,’” she said according to the Free Beacon.

The Times of San Diego reported that the project was prompted by recent statements about Muslims by Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ben Carson.

The newspaper also noted that Davary advised her students not to wear the star off campus, apparently aware of the controversy it might stir.

Always Winter but Never Christmas

(AP Photo/courtesy of ORDA/Whiteface)

In C.S. Lewis’s classic children’s story, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” we find Peter, Susan, and Lucy standing fearful and confused in a land that is frozen and nearly lifeless. A lamppost stands somberly in the pale and windless forest. The few creatures the children do encounter live in hiding, frightened and without hope.

Mr. and Mrs. Beaver tell the kids that Narnia is under the spell of an evil despot. There is no joy and there is no peace. Narnia has become a land of despair and defeat. Every day is as if it is “always winter but never Christmas.” This is the description of life under the White Witch’s rule.

(AP Photo/courtesy of ORDA/Whiteface)

Suddenly, the children hear sleigh bells in the distance. At first—sure this is the sound of the witch on patrol with her legions—they hide.

But no, it’s not the witch. The driver of the sleigh is a great, glad, giant of a man dressed all in red and white. It is Father Christmas!

“I have broken through at last!” he cries. “She has kept me out for a long time, but her magic is weakening.”

Lucy and her siblings shiver with excitement. Father Christmas has come! And he not only brings presents, he brings peace. He not only offers cookies and cream, but love and compassion. He brings music and he brings a message:

“Aslan is on the move!” he shouts. The great lion, the son of the Emperor beyond the sea, has come to set all wrongs to right. “A Merry Christmas! Long live the true King!”

Today, many of us shiver as we try to shelter ourselves from the freezing winds of nightly news. Violence and suffering in the Middle East: always winter but never Christmas. San Bernardino, Roseburg, Paris, and Fort Hood: always winter but never Christmas. Islamic State, Boko Haram, and Al Qaeda; Human trafficking, sexual slavery, Islamic intolerance and magd and subjected to judicial tyranny at home: always winter but never Christmas. Political arrogance, governmental corruption, and the loss of individual liberty: always winter but never Christmas… The list seems endless.

But remember, there’s better news! News of long ago when light shone on the hills of Bethlehem, and Christmas arrived in a stable under the stars.

“Do not be afraid,” cries Christmas. “Winter has begun to melt away, I have broken through at last! For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a savior who is Christ the Lord. And the government shall be upon His shoulders and he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, King of kings, Lord of lords, Lion of Judah! Of His kingdom there will be no end. He will reign with justice and righteousness forever!”

“I have broken through at last,” he shouts! “Glory to God in the highest! Peace on earth and good will toward men,” and…

“Merry Christmas!”

TheBlaze contributor channel supports an open discourse on a range of views. The opinions expressed in this channel are solely those of each individual author.

Angry dad pulls son from Massachusetts elementary school over pro-Allah text

(The Washington Times) — A Massachusetts father pulled his son out of his Boston-area elementary school after finding the Muslim Call to Prayer and perceived pro-Allah statements in a textbook.

Among the text: “I bear witness that there is no God but Allah,” The Daily Caller reported.

Another portion of the text reads: “Muhammad never expected to change the world. … Muhammad later tended sheep on the dry hills like many young Arabians. Later he became a successful merchant and married a wealthy widow. However, he felt as though something was missing in his life, so he went on a retreat. [He] was upset about the cruelty of his people [because they] killed baby girls [and] treated their slaves unkindly,” The Daily Caller reported.

The text also said that “Muhammad had a strong sense of right and wrong.”

Keep reading…

Angry dad pulls son from Massachusetts elementary school over pro-Allah text

(The Washington Times) — A Massachusetts father pulled his son out of his Boston-area elementary school after finding the Muslim Call to Prayer and perceived pro-Allah statements in a textbook.

Among the text: “I bear witness that there is no God but Allah,” The Daily Caller reported.

Another portion of the text reads: “Muhammad never expected to change the world. … Muhammad later tended sheep on the dry hills like many young Arabians. Later he became a successful merchant and married a wealthy widow. However, he felt as though something was missing in his life, so he went on a retreat. [He] was upset about the cruelty of his people [because they] killed baby girls [and] treated their slaves unkindly,” The Daily Caller reported.

The text also said that “Muhammad had a strong sense of right and wrong.”

Keep reading…

5-YEAR-OLD BOY BEING TESTED FOR EBOLA IN NEW YORK CITY

Bellevue Hospital in NYC

(New York Post) — A 5-year-old boy who just returned from West Africa was transported to Bellevue Hospital Sunday with possible Ebola symptoms, according to law-enforcement sources.

The child was vomiting and had a 103-degree fever when he was carried from his Bronx home by EMS workers wearing hazmat suits, neighbors said. “He looked weak,” said a neighbor.

“He was really, really out of it.”

The boy returned with his family from Guinea Saturday night and five members of the family were being quarantined inside their apartment, sources said.

5-YEAR-OLD BOY BEING TESTED FOR EBOLA IN NEW YORK CITY

Bellevue Hospital in NYC

(New York Post) — A 5-year-old boy who just returned from West Africa was transported to Bellevue Hospital Sunday with possible Ebola symptoms, according to law-enforcement sources.

The child was vomiting and had a 103-degree fever when he was carried from his Bronx home by EMS workers wearing hazmat suits, neighbors said. “He looked weak,” said a neighbor.

“He was really, really out of it.”

The boy returned with his family from Guinea Saturday night and five members of the family were being quarantined inside their apartment, sources said.