(WASHINGTON, D.C., 12/23/04) – A prominent national Islamic civil rights
and advocacy group today called on the state of Texas to investigate the
discriminatory actions of a private school association that required Muslim
applicants to answer a series of hostile questions about Islam.
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) says at
least two Muslims schools in Texas, one in Houston and the other in Dallas,
have received letters from the Texas Association of Private and Parochial
Schools (TAPPS) demanding a response to the biased questions before their
applications for admission to the association could be approved.
SEE: “Local Muslim School Taken Aback by Letter”
The 10 hostile questions, which listed a number of distorted and
stereotypical views of Islamic beliefs, included: (To read the entire TAPPS
letter, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/downloads/TAPPSletter.pdf )
* “Why do you wish to join an organization whose membership is basically in
total disagreement with your religious beliefs?”
* “What is your attitude about the spread of Islam in America? What are the
goals of your school in this regard?”
* “Why do you think the current member schools of TAPPS will not be biased
against your school, based on the fundamental difference in your religion
and Christianity, since about 90% of TAPPS schools embrace Christianity?”
(Note: The TAPPS constitution does not list a religious requirement for
In a letter to TAPPS, CAIR-Houston Executive Director Iesa Galloway wrote:
“The TAPPS letter demonstrates a profound ignorance of Islam and Muslims
and a clear disdain for the American Muslim community.” He called the
letter “a symbol of religious intolerance (that) has no place in a nation
that was originally built by those seeking asylum from such intolerance.”
Galloway’s letter also demanded an investigation, a reprimand for those
involved, a formal apology, and sensitivity training.
CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group, is headquartered in
Washington, D.C., and has 30 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada.
Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue,
protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions
that promote justice and mutual understanding.
– END –