(OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, 6/27/24) – The Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OK), a chapter of the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today condemned as a “clear violation of the Constitution’s Establishment Clause” the new Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) requirement that all Oklahoma schools incorporate the Bible as instructional support into classroom curriculum.

SEE: Oklahoma state superintendent announces all schools must incorporate the Bible and the Ten Commandments in curriculums – CNN

CAIR-OK said the requirement is a blatant violation of religious freedom, specifically the Constitution’s Establishment Clause, and only stands to further marginalize religious minorities in public schools.

The civil rights organization also called it a dangerous encroachment on the separation of church and state by supporting the teaching of a particular interpretation of the Bible as truth.

SEE: OSDE Press Release Announcing Requirement for Bible to be Taught in Oklahoma Classroom

This is not the first time CAIR-OK has opposed attempts to incorporate specific religious teachings in the classroom in violation of our country’s constitution. In 2015, CAIR-OK opposed Senator Loveless’s proposed Senate Bill incorporating a Bible class in public schools.

SEE: CAIR Calls on Oklahoma Senator to Drop Unconstitutional Bible Class Bill

In a statement, CAIR-OK Director Adam Soltani said:

“Although we and the American Muslim community recognize the important historical and religious significance of the Bible, forcing teachers to use it and only it in their curriculum is inappropriate and unconstitutional.

“We adamantly oppose any requirements that religion be forcefully taught or required as a part of lesson plans in public schools, in Oklahoma, or anywhere else in the country. As the Constitution outlines, religious freedom allows for the academic instruction of religion in subjects such as geography, social studies, and history.

“To require religious scripture, regardless of which one it may be, to be incorporated into lessons in our schools, however, is a clear violation of the Constitution’s Establishment Clause and infringes on the rights of our students and their families.

“Ryan Walters should reconsider his actions of using his position and influence to promote what appears to be a personal Christian Nationalist agenda, as it does not contribute to the advancement of our children’s education.”

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.


CONTACT: Adam Soltani, CAIR-OK Executive Director, asoltani@cair.com, 405-248-5853; Veronica Laizure, CAIR-OK Deputy Director, vlaizure@cair.com, 405-430-9877