It’s been eight years since a ten commandments monument was removed from State Capitol grounds but now, the fight continues. This time in the classroom.
State Superintendent Ryan Walters submitted a list of religious leaders backing the idea of hanging a copy in every classroom.
Muslim faith leader Masood Abdul-Haqq said he never signed off on recommendations made to the department of education. He sent a letter to them asking to be taken off the list.
The Oklahoma Advisory Committee on Founding Principles recommends a minute of silence at the start of each day, the ten commandments be on display in every classroom and a western civilization course be required for graduation.
The letter also lists its members, one being Abdul-Haqq.
“I wasn’t there,” Abdul-Haqq said.
Abdul-Haqq says he only attended the first meeting months ago and recommendations were not discussed. He said he would not support having the ten commandments on display and a required western civilization course.
“I wouldn’t be in support of any one religion being made supreme over any other religions in schools,” Abdul-Haqq said.
Instead, he would like to see teachers receive more support and more resources for students’ emotional health and a focus on individuality.
“It helps them have more compassion for people who don’t necessarily look like them who don’t believe like them, worship like them, and more exposure to different cultures I believe is necessary here,” Abdul- Haqq said.
He sent a letter to the committee saying he thought he would’ve been removed because he only attended one meeting.
Reverend Stephen Hamilton released this statement:
The Oklahoma Advisory Committee on Founding Principles (OACFP) gathered a diverse group of members, men, women, religious leaders, and other citizens who are active in our Oklahoma communities. Masood Abdul-Haqq is certainly among those leaders and does great work in his many endeavors. He was a valued member of the OACFP and contributed impressively to our discussions. Like all diverse groups it can be difficult to keep everyone together with competing schedules and demands. I acknowledge his resignation, which he communicated to me on Friday, June, 23, 2023. Our committee wishes Masood the best and we are confident that he will continue to be of great service to the many people he serves and to the greater good of Oklahoma.
The Department of Education will be formalizing enforcement as well as notifying students and parents of their rights during the minute of silence including prayer. They said that recommendation is in statute.