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Let’s consider a hypothetical case. Imagine that a Muslim middle school—let’s call it Zaytuna Academy—hires Mr. Khalil as its Vice Principal. Mr. Khalil is an effective administrator and is very popular with teachers and students alike. Now, Mr Khalil happens to believe that the prohibition of alcohol consumption in Islam is wrong. So he doesn’t honor that teaching in his personal life. He also happens to reject Islamic teachings on sexuality and modesty. So, when an opportunity comes his way to become a business partner in a new “gentleman’s club” featuring alcoholic beverages and nude dancing—he takes advantage of it. And he makes no effort to hide his involvement in a “sideline” strip club business from his students. On the contrary, he freely acknowledges and discusses it when asked, and even makes use of some club promotional objects (e.g., “Lady Godiva’s” pens and coffee cups) in his office. Moreover, he is identified as a partner in the business in an article about it in the local newspaper—an article in which he was quoted extensively based on an interview he gave the reporter.

Zaytuna terminates Mr. Khalil’s employment. In my opinion, the school should certainly have a legal right to do that. But I believe it has a moral right to do it, too. Indeed, I think it is right for the school to do it. In fact, I would go so far as to say it would be wrong for the school not to do it—it would be an injustice, given the school’s mission and concomitant obligations to the Muslim children and families it exists to serve.  

More on: Public Life

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