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'.
Following 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.
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.
'They were not being un-American in trying to do this. They believed they were accentuating the meaning of the words as spoken regularly in English.'
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.
However, the backlash began from students hours after the recital and has continued through the week as angry parents have waded into the controversy.
'We understand not everybody would agree with the students’ choice,' said Danielle Clark, communications director of the Poudre School District to Fox News.
Pictured are members of the Cultural Arms Club at Rocky Mountain High School
'We’ve heard there are some who are upset.'
Clark 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 thing'.
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.
Students 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
'Obviously 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 Relations.
'It’s not necessarily specific to Islam and Muslims.'
Principal 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.
'They 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.
'I’ve been shocked with the lack of seeking understanding. There’s definitely suspicion and fear expressed in these people’s minds. There’s some hate.'
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.
this man needs to be fired. Parents call your Board of Education. Get rid of him. Allah is not God! Lord help us JESUS!
You let the devil in through a crack and he just keeps pushing trying to take over. We've got to take our education system back. Pay attention to what is being taught to our children and grandchildren.
"I pledge Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all."
HOW MANY POKES IN THE EYE IS ENOUGH ( HOW MUCH BLOOD AND LIM LOSE IS IT GOING TO TAKE) I AM AT THE END OF MY ROPE WITH THE LACK OF ACTION FROM THE AMERICAN PEOPLE .
In a quote by Isabel Paterson (1886-1961) a Canadian-American who was a journalist, author, political philosopher, literary critic stated "A tax supported, compulsory educational system is the complete model of the totalitarian state." Our nation has reached that point and it time to abolish the public education system. Every tax paying citizen should be up in arms over this matter and the other unconstitutional acts espoused or supported by the federal government.
If we are to return to true freedom as our forefathers envisioned we must dismantle and severely limit the powers and authority of the federal and state governments -
It been proven we cannot rely on the government to preform or fulfill its primary function of even protecting it citizens from invasion or terrorism so how can anyone expect this bloated burdensome parasite to provide services that it has no responsibility, constitutional right or obligation to provide. Anytime the government gives something to an individual or a group and more especially free services to non-citizens they must take from a tax paying citizen, it theft, and it no different than an armed robber except governments use the power of the law instead of a gun. I say it time to revolt........JB