Dearborn, Michigan, has one of the largest Muslim populations in the United States, and, evidently, the slow installation of Muslim culture seems to be alive and well. Controversy over the firing of a popular coach at Fordson High School has erupted in the predominantly Muslim community, according to the Michigan Messenger.
Gerald Marszalek has filed a lawsuit in federal court after being dismissed because of, what he believes, are his Christian values. Marszalek was the wrestling coach at Fordson High School for 35 years, but his contract is not being renewed. Marszalek says he was told by Fordson principal Imad Fadlallah that the decision was made in response to complaints from parents in this predominately Muslim community over alleged proselytizing by Trey Hancock, a former volunteer assistant coach for the team who is also a Pentecostal minister. At a recent school board meeting, according to the Detroit News, more than 200 parents from the school came to support the principal’s decision and expressed anger at Hancock’s attempts to convert Muslim students.
The problem for the school, however, is that none of the incidents referred to in those complaints is connected to Hancock’s activities as an assistant wrestling coach. Hancock has not been a volunteer assistant for the team since 2005, when Fadlallah ordered Marszalek to keep him away from the team after he baptized a Muslim student. But Hancock told the Michigan Messenger that the incident had nothing to do with him being involved with the wrestling team. The boy that he baptized, who was of Yemeni descent, was a close friend of Hancock’s son and had been attending Hancock’s church for two years before being baptized at a church retreat. Hancock notes that the baptism took place before the wrestling season had even begun the first year the boy was on the team.
The other incident referred to by the school and by critics of Hancock is his attempt to convert a teenage Muslim girl. The Detroit News mentions an ongoing divorce case where this issue has been raised. But Hancock again argues that this had nothing to do with the school. The mother of the girl came to his church complaining of abuse by her husband, and the mother and daughter began attending the church. The girl was not involved with the wrestling team in any way, and any discussions they have had took place in church, where the girl and her mother voluntarily attended. Hancock wonders, quite reasonably, why this is the school’s business at all and says that he understands quite well where the line is drawn between what he may do as a private citizen and what he may do as a coach at a public school.
They claim that the principal in question is the one who has violated separation of church and state. After the incident involving the baptism of the young boy, the student was called into the office and lambasted by the principal. Other students have ridiculed and ostracized the former Muslim student because of his decision to convert to Christianity.
Attempts by the press to contact Mr. Fadlallah have been unsuccessful.
THERE IS NO SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE!!!! HEY ACLU: Have you done anything to help this man? Bet not, you wienies!