Outrage as high school recites Pledge in Arabic saying 'One Nation Under Allah'
Fury is brewing at Rocky Mountain
High School, in Colorado, after a multicultural student group were
encouraged to recite the Pledge of Allegiance over the loudspeaker in
Arabic - replacing 'one nation under God' with 'one nation under Allah'.
Monday's pledge, Principal Tom Lopez has been inundated with complaints
from outraged parents concerned that saying the Pledge in any language
other than English is unpatriotic.
Standing by his controversial decision, Principal Lopez has said that despite the irate telephone calls and emails, he is not in any way or form trying to push an Islamic agenda at the Fort Collins school.
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Rocky Mountain High School in Colorado was hit by controversy on Monday when a student group recited the Pledge of Allegiance in Arabic
'These students love this country,' said Lopez to Fox News.
were not being un-American in trying to do this. They believed they
were accentuating the meaning of the words as spoken regularly in
At the school, the Pledge of Allegiance is recited once a week and on Monday, a member of the Cultural Arms Club at Rocky Mountain High School read out an Arabic version.
The pupils sought the permission of Principal Lopez, who previously had allowed the Pledge to be read out in French and Spanish.
the backlash began from students hours after the recital and has
continued through the week as angry parents have waded into the
understand not everybody would agree with the students’ choice,' said
Danielle Clark, communications director of the Poudre School District to
Pictured are members of the Cultural Arms Club at Rocky Mountain High School
'We’ve heard there are some who are upset.'
said though, that the club has a history of reading the Pledge in
different languages and some parents have emailed to say it 'was a great
And she added that the students had asked permission from the principal.
'We deferred to the students because it’s their deal,' she said to Fox News.
at the school rushed to the classmates defence, keen to highlight the
motto of the Cultural Arms Club which seeks to 'destroy the barriers,
embrace the cultures.'
'No matter what language it’s said in, pledging your allegiance to the United States is the same in every language,' student Skyler Bowden told The Coloradoan.
The issue for some parents and pupils at the school is that in an Arabic translation of the Pledge of Allegiance, 'one nation under God' is replaced with 'one nation under Allah'.
Rocky Mountain High School Principal Tony Lopez has been stunned by the level of vitriol directed at him and the students for the Arabic pledge
in Arabic, you would use the word Allah, but Christian Arabs would use
the word Allah,' said Ibrahim Hooper, of the Council on American Islamic
'It’s not necessarily specific to Islam and Muslims.'
Lopez has borne the brunt of the criticism of the decision to allow the
recital - and some have gone as far as to label him as a traitor.
claim they are outraged that this is blaspheming a real major tenet of
our patriotism – which in their mind the Pledge of Allegiance is only in
English,' said Lopez.
Other parents have accused him of 'pushing a Muslim Brotherhood agenda - to push Islam into the school.'
Solemn Duty: Young students recite the Pledge of Allegiance at a school in America
'How on earth is it un-American to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in another language,' said Hooper to Fox News.
'It doesn’t make sense unless the people complaining are anti-Muslim or anti-middle eastern bigots.'
Indeed, the embattled head is becoming wary at the number of complaints and level of abuse he has received.
'I’ve been shocked with prejudicial statements that have been made,' said Lopez.
been shocked with the lack of seeking understanding. There’s definitely
suspicion and fear expressed in these people’s minds. There’s some
Lopez says the school is a place of inclusion where one message can be communicated in many different ways.
'When they pledge allegiance to United States, that's exactly what they're saying,' Lopez said. 'They're just using another language as their vehicle,' he said.