Gym Attire Gripe Latest Bid to Force Shari'a in US, Critic Says

Monisha Bansal | Staff Writer | Monday, October 02, 2006

Gym Attire Gripe Latest Bid to Force Shari'a in US, Critic Says

( - A Muslim advocacy group's successful argument that a 9th grade student from a Virginia public high school did not have to wear normal gym attire because of her Muslim religion, has fired up a critic of Islamic radicalism.

The 9th grader at Lake Braddock High School in Burke, Va., was "threatened with failing the class if she did not wear shorts," according to a statement released by the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).

"The student's family contacted CAIR (of Maryland and Virginia) for assistance in resolving the issue. Following discussions with school officials, the student was moved to a different gym class and will be allowed to dress in attire that meets her religious needs," stated CAIR.

The group stated that initially, the girl's teacher told her "the law required that the student wear the shorts."

In light of the dispute over the gym class attire, CAIR also noted that it would conduct diversity training for Lake Braddock's newer staff, as well as "visit local middle and high schools to review their policies for accommodating the religious needs of Muslim students during Ramadan, Eid and throughout the school year."

But Daniel Pipes, a frequent critic of CAIR and the director of the Middle East Forum, told Cybercast News Service that the gym shorts are part of a "campaign" by CAIR to replace rules in the U.S.

It is a campaign "to adapt public schools in the United States to Islamic norms," Pipes said, and "is an integral part of its effort to adapt the country to the Shari'a, or Islamic law."

"Its success in getting the gym rules changed at Lake Braddock High School, plus its success in providing 'diversity training' for school staff, have inspired it to become more bold and to 'review the policies' in other middle and high schools in an attempt to bend them too to the Shari'a," Pipes added.

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