To everyone who wants prayer in American public schools: I say fine. That's a great idea. In fact, it would be much more convenient, especially for the dhuhr, if it were led by school officials. That way, no students would have to worry about drawing attention to themselves when they take out their individual prayer mats at whatever time they deem best. After the recitation of adhan and iqama over the public address system, the gym would probably be the best place to gather for school prayer. That way, everyone can say the prayer together and no one will feel left out. There could even be markings on the gym wall to ensure that everyone knows the exact direction to Mecca.
What's that you say? You don't want to take part in these prayers? I will remind you that Allah's mercy is great for those who believe in him and obey, but he has little patience for infidels. Nevertheless, you will not be forced to take part in school prayer. You may sit around the edges of the gym and watch. Everyone is free to participate or not. There's no need to feel you are being discriminated against, just because you choose not to take part in the historic American tradition of school prayer.
You're still not satisfied with this arrangement? I thought you were the one who wanted school prayer in the first place! Oh, I see... you only want school prayer in the manner of your religion. Well, I'm sorry to say that not everyone believes in your religion, and we can't have school prayers for every possible religion! That would be ridiculous! Why don't you just pray silently to your own god while everyone else is reciting the school prayer?
Still not good enough? Okay, how about this compromise. Instead of trying to shove any particular religion into public schools, why don't we just focus on educating the students instead? Let's not have an official school prayer for any religion. That way, no religion gets special treatment. No one needs to feel offended, embarrassed, or left out. You can pray to your own god or gods, on your own, whenever you like, and everyone else can do the same if they choose to do so. It's too bad you're not okay with the school prayer solution I suggested earlier, because it would bring glory to Allah and would be really convenient, but I suppose I can live with the compromise.
Now that I think about it, I guess the compromise is more in line with the First Amendment, anyway. No school prayer means your children and mine will not be discriminated against for abstaining from a prayer they disagree with. It means your children and mine will not be forced to sit awkwardly and silently through a prayer they disagree with. It means no official state endorsement of a religion you or I disagree with. That works for me. Doesn't it work for you?
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