Michael Luo writes about Muslim schools in New York devoted to memorizing the Koran. Never once does he mention the problematic nature of some of those very verses. A rather respectful tone is taken:
The students who finish memorizing the Koran earn the title hafiz, an exalted accomplishment in the Muslim world that is relatively rare in the United States. A hafiz plays an important role during Ramadan, when the entire Koran must be recited over 30 days to mosque members. But becoming a hafiz is also believed to bring rewards in the hereafter, guaranteeing the person entrance to heaven, along with 10 other people of his choosing, provided he does not forget the verses and continues to practice Islam.
'It's almost like a bank account for the afterlife,' said Zawar Ahmed, 11, who recently became a hafiz through the Muslim Center and brought in sweets for his classmates to celebrate.
Devout Secularists understand the patronizing neutrality at work here. There is no real respect for religion being shown here. It is all superstition and nonsense to such folks. Still, these are Muslims, after all, and it wouldn't be wise to annoy them. So rather than the outrage which might accompany, say an article about Baptist children not being taught math, the Times coos:
By not offering instruction in other subjects, the school may be inadvertently running afoul of state law, according to city and state education officials. Private religious schools like the Muslim Center's program are required to provide 'substantially equivalent' instruction to that offered in public schools, they said. But tracking every school—age child who leaves the public school system can be difficult. [emphasis added]
Several parents said they were not worried about their children falling behind because they are smart enough to make up the academic work. Some students from the class have, in fact, gone on to the city's best high schools, parents and school officials said.
Nevertheless, next year, the school plans to introduce two hours of instruction in math, science, English and social studies
Hat tip: Ed Lasky
Thomas Lifson 8 16 06
Richard Baehr adds:
And there's a big article today on all the wonderful deeds Hezbollah is doing to rbuild Lebanon with money from Iran. Both must really care about everyday people.