High School Students Recite Pledge of Allegiance in Arabic

A bunch of high school students from Colorado just did something risky while reciting the Pledge of Allegiance… and it had nothing to do with “Under God”:

Rocky Mountain High School senior Nuha Kapatayes had butterflies in her stomach Monday as she recited the first words of the Pledge of Allegiance in Arabic — a language she learned as a child and now speaks fluently — over the school’s public address system during morning announcements.

Kapatayes is one among a couple dozen members of the student-initiated Cultural Arms Club, which seeks to “destroy the barriers, embrace the cultures” that exist at not just Rocky Mountain High School, but also within the community. Members in November recited the Pledge in Spanish, sparking intense debate about whether saying the words of the Pledge in any language other than English was unpatriotic.

Normally, I’m opposed to saying the Pledge at all and I salute those students who opt out of it, but reciting it in a different language is really another way to raise consciousness about what we’re actually saying, what it means to people from other cultures who say it, and whether everyone needs to participate.

The school received negative feedback from some parents, but the students haven’t faced any backlash from their peers.

Meanwhile, some commenters are flipping out over pledging allegiance to a nation “under Allah” or the idea of anyone shoving a Pledge like that down everybody’s throats…

Welcome to our world.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.


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