Iman Academy: Texas's Private-School League Asks Muslim Schools Why They'd Play with Christians

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The New York Times took a look at the story of the Beren Academy, a Jewish school that was initially going to have to forfeit its playoff run because the schedule conflicted with the Sabbath.

The organization making that decision was the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools, which oversees competitions for 200 private schools in the state.

The Times uncovered a striking letter TAPPS wrote to Houston's Iman Academy SW when the Islamic school inquired about joining the league.

The school was asked to answer the following questions:

-- "Historically, there is nothing in the Koran that fully embraces Christianity or Judaism in the way a Christian and/or a Jew understands his religion. Why, then, are you interested in joining an association whose basic beliefs your religion condemns?"

-- "It is our understanding that the Koran tells you not to mix with (and even eliminate) the infidels. Christians and Jews fall into that category. Why do you wish to join an organization whose membership is in disagreement with your religious beliefs?"

-- "How does your school address certain Christian concepts? (i.e. celebrating Christmas)"

Wait, don't hardcore evangelical Christians believe Jews are going to hell? Did Beren Academy get a letter saying, "Why do you want to play basketball when you're eventually going to burn forever in Satan's domain?"

TAPPS also asked school officials in an interview about the proposed "Ground Zero mosque," which has a lot to do with high school basketball.

TAPPS won't answer questions on the subject. The Iman Academy was denied membership in the organization and did not appeal the decision.

"We didn't want to bring any negative attention to the school," a school official told the Times. "We know our kids are just as American as their kids. We just wanted to play ball."

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