A viral story said that the U.S. Supreme Court sided with President Donald Trump and ruled that public schools will not teach Sharia law.
"Breaking: Supreme Court sides with Trump - this changes everything!" said a March 9 headline on Nowtrump.com, a pro-Trump fake news website.
The story said that the court ruled that public school in the United States "will not teach the tenets of Islam or Sharia Law."
We found that this story recycles misinformation from 2017 about a court ruling that doesn’t exist. Facebook users flagged the post as being potentially fabricated, as part of the social network’s efforts to combat online hoaxes.
The story said that on behalf of the U.S. Education Department, Trump’s legal team petitioned the court to make America safer. The Supreme Court ruled 5-3 that public schools "will not teach the tenets of Islam or Sharia Law."
However, Nowtrump.com (a play on the "never Trump" movement) wrote that according to USA Politics Today, students will learn about Islam, as they do about other religions, in history. (Snopes fact-checked the USA Politics Today story in 2017, which is similar to the Nowtrump story.)
The Nowtrump.com story then made up inflammatory quotes by Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch.
"We certainly shouldn’t be filling the children with lies about Islam being a ‘religion of peace’ when they see the carnage on the news almost every day," Gorsuch said, according to the article.
We found no actual quote by Gorsuch, and the timing of the alleged court ruling makes no sense based on when Gorsuch joined the court.
FactCheck.org fact-checked a similar story on another website on April 11, 2017, and noted that Gorsuch didn’t hear his first case until April 17 -- about a week after the fake news story first appeared.
It is worth noting that public schools can teach about religion, according to a 1963 U.S. Supreme Court ruling. In Abington vs. Schempp, Associate Justice Tom Clark wrote for the court:
"It might well be said that one’s education is not complete without a study of comparative religion or the history of religion and its relationship to the advancement of civilization. It certainly may be said that the Bible is worthy of study for its literary and historic qualities. Nothing we have said here indicates that such study of the Bible or of religion, when presented objectively as part of a secular program of education may not be effected consistently with the First Amendment."
Nowtrump.com wrote that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that public school in the United States "will not teach the tenets of Islam or Sharia Law."
There has been no such ruling banning schools from teaching about Islam or Sharia law. The story includes made-up quotes by Gorsuch.
We rate this claim Pants on Fire.'
Nowtrump.com, "BREAKING: Supreme Court Sides With Trump–This Changes Everything!" March 9, 2018
Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute, School District of Abington Township, Pennsylvania v. Schempp, June 17, 1963
SCOTUSblog, "Justice Neil Gorsuch takes the bench, jumps into the fray," April 17, 2017
Factcheck.org, "SCOTUS Didn’t Ban Teaching About Islam," April 17, 2017
Snopes, "Did the Supreme Court Rule Against Schools Teaching 'Sharia Law'?" May 19, 2017
PolitiFact, "Did the U.S. Education Department introduce an Islamic indoctrination program for public schools?" April 5, 2017
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