School Assignment on "Fasting" Sparks Protests

November 24, 2003

Source: Pasadena Star,1413,206~22097~1789230,00.html

On November 24, 2003 the Pasadena Star reported that "about 200 protesters marched outside Royal Oak Intermediate School on Monday, opposing an assignment in which students fast to learn about Islam... The protest began brewing last week when Christian-based groups learned a teacher gave the optional extra-credit assignment to students studying Islam in a seventh-grade world history class. The topic is part of the California Department of Education curriculum for seventh grade. Teacher Len Cesene told students they could earn extra credit by fasting for one to three days, a practice of Islam during the holy month of Ramadan, which ends this week. School officials have said the assignment was intended to promote a greater understanding of the Muslim religion."