Fire Holder! Overhaul DOJ! Wake up Obama

This is the kind of rubbish we’ve been talking about for well over three years. The United States Department of Justice through its channels has taken up the cause to sue Berkeley School District 87 – about 15 miles west of Chicago in Berkeley, Illinois. Why or what on earth would an agency of the U.S. government being suing a school district?

The federal government has sued a west suburban school district for denying a Muslim middle school teacher unpaid leave to make a pilgrimage to Mecca that is a central part of her religion. In doing so, the school district violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by failing to reasonably accommodate her religious practices, the government said.

Now come-on! What are we to believe? Is there an issue here with the separation of church and state? Or is it the other way around; is there an issue where something or someone has denied a person their privileges of worship or a person’s right to attend church? Or dare we say it — discrimination.

In a civil rights case, the department said the school district in Berkeley denied the request of Safoorah Khan on grounds that her requested leave was unrelated to her professional duties and was not set forth in the contract between the school district and the teachers union.

Khan wanted to perform the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia which every adult Muslim is supposed to make at least once in a lifetime if they are physically and financially able to. Millions go each year.

What and how many times have we written that at the behest of special interest groups, or for just about anything these days when someone doesn’t like something that is specific to America – like freedom of religion, speech, and other liberties – they use the U.S. Constitution in a manner to benefit themselves (Please see here, here, and here).

This woman started as a middle school teacher in Berkeley School District in 2007. In 2008 she asked for almost three weeks of unpaid leave to perform the Hajj. After the district denied her request – twice – Ms. Khan then wrote the board that “based on her religious beliefs, she could not justify delaying performing hajj,” and resigned according to the lawsuit filed in federal court in Chicago.

According to the lawsuit filed by Ms. Khan, Berkeley School District compelled her to choose between her job and her religious beliefs.

The government asked the court to order the school district to adopt policies that reasonably accommodate its employees’ religious practices and beliefs, and to reinstate Khan with back pay and also pay her compensatory damages.

In November 2008, Khan filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which found reasonable cause that discrimination had occurred and forwarded the matter to the Justice Department. The case is the first brought by department in a project to ensure vigorous enforcement of the 1964 act against state and local governments by improving cooperation between the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the department’s civil rights division.



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