Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Michigan Wrestling School Coach Fired For Sharing his Faith Posted July 29, 2009

By Drew Zahn
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

A high school hall-of-fame and Christian wrestling coach in Dearborn, Mich., claims he was muscled out of his long-tenured coaching job by the school's principal, a devout Muslim, because the administrator was furious over a student wrestler who had converted to Christianity from Islam.

Gerald Marsazalek has coached wrestling for 35 years at Dearborn public school, amassing more than 450 wins and, in addition to being added to the Michigan High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame, was named "Sportsman of the Year" by the All-American Athletic Association.

Despite Marsazalek's success, however, Principal Imad Fadlallah of Dearborn's Fordson High School ordered the administration

not to renew the coach's contract, allegedly in retaliation over the student's conversion and to continue a campaign of flushing Christianity out of the school.

"We are getting a glimpse of what happens when Muslims who refuse to accept American values and principles gain political power in an American community," said Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, which is representing Marsazalek. "Failure to renew coach Marszalek's contract had nothing to do with wrestling and everything to do with religion."

Marsazalek is suing both the principal and the school in the U.S. District Court of Eastern Michigan, seeking back pay, injunctive and declaratory relief, damages, and to be reinstated as coach of the wrestling team.

According to lawsuit documents, Principal Fadlallah's retribution against the Christian coaches serving Fordson High began in 2005, after Marsazalek's volunteer assistant coach, Trey Hancock, led a non-school sanctioned and independent summer wrestling camp. Hancock, who is also pastor of the Dearborn Assembly of God and parent to one of the wrestlers, reportedly shared his beliefs at the camp and baptized a Muslim Fordson student into the Christian faith.

That fall, Fadlallah fired Hancock and ordered the volunteer coach not to have further contact with the student wrestlers.

"Subsequently, in full view of students and faculty," the lawsuit states, "Fadlallah approached the young Fordson student who had chosen to be baptized a Christian at Hancock's summer wrestling camp, punched the student and advised the student he had 'disgraced his family' by converting to Christianity from Islam."

According to a statement from the Thomas More Law Center, Dearborn is one of the most densely populated Muslim communities in the United States. An estimated 30,000 of its 98,000 residents are Muslims, and roughly 80 percent of the student population of Fordson High School is Arabic, many of whom are also Muslims.

Furthermore, the lawsuit alleges, Fadlallah then banned Hancock from entering the school, ordered Marszalek to "keep Hancock out of the building" and even banned the Hancock family from helping out at school concession stands, even though Hancock's son was an All-State wrestler on Fordson's team.

On or about Thanksgiving Day 2007, Hancock came to the school to register his son for an activity, an offense against Fadlallah's orders, the lawsuit claims, which led to a vocal confrontation between the principal and Marszalek, who was allegedly accused of failing to enforce Hancock's banishment.

When the 2007-2008 wrestling season concluded, the lawsuit states, Fadlallah instructed the school's athletic director to be rid of Marszalek too, by refusing to even process the Christian's yearly renewal application for the coaching position, saying, "Gone. I want him gone. No appeal."

Another assistant coach, who had made no application for the head coaching position, was chosen by the school to take Marszalek's place.

According to the lawsuit, however, Marszalek's treatment by Fadlallah isn't isolated, but part of an intentional eradication of Christianity from the school.

"Fadlallah, since assuming duties as Fordsons' principal in 2005, has systematically weeded out Christian teachers, coaches and employees and has terminated, demoted or reassigned them because of their Christian beliefs," the lawsuit continues. "Fadlallah has publicly stated 'he sees Dearborn Fordson High School as a Muslim school, both in students and faculty, and is working to that end.'"

David Mustonen, a spokesman for Dearborn Public Schools, told the Detroit Free Press earlier today that the district had not yet seen the lawsuit and would therefore have to review it before making any comment.

Link to Original Article


JMC Ministries thoughts

We first saw this article on the 700 Club and wanted to share it.

Due to the fact that these allegations haven't been proven true or false we aren't going to go too in depth on the article.

If these allegations prove to be true it is only showing us that there really isn't freedom of religion in this country and that no one has the freedom to worship in freedom without being a target of persecution.

Yes there is terrible persecution of Christians in other countries, but rarely do we talk about the persecution going on right here in America. We have laws that uphold that we have a right to freedom of religion but we take it for granted and slowly our freedom is being taken away every year, every day.

We believe everyone has free choice as to what religion they follow whether you be an atheist, muslim, jew, Christian etc. and we must respect those decisions.

JMC Ministries chooses to follow the teachings of the holy bible and the Christian faith. But we also have friends of all different beliefs, backgrounds, races, and colors. We all have to live in this world and if we just show each other a little love and respect. It would make this world a little easier to live in don't you think?

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