A Colorado high school student says he quit the school choir after an Islamic song containing the lyric "there is no truth except Allah" made it into the repertoire.Nothing the kid says is wrong. On the other hand, though:
James Harper, a senior at Grand Junction High School in Grand Junction, put his objection to singing "Zikr," a song written by Indian composer A.R. Rahman, in an email to Mesa County School District 51 officials. When the school stood by choir director Marcia Wieland's selection, Harper said, he quit.
"I don’t want to come across as a bigot or a racist, but I really don’t feel it is appropriate for students in a public high school to be singing an Islamic worship song,” Harper told KREX-TV. "This is worshipping another God, and even worshipping another prophet ... I think there would be a lot of outrage if we made a Muslim choir say Jesus Christ is the only truth."
At an upcoming concert, the choir is scheduled to sing an Irish folk song and an Christian song titled "Prayer of the Children," in addition to the song by Rahman.Membership in the choir is voluntary.
"The teacher consulted with students and asked each of them to review an online performance of the selection with their parents before making the decision to perform the piece," Kirtland said, and members who object to the religious content of musical selections aren't required to sing them.
Update, 2/18/12: Does he really deserve death threats over this?