Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Oak Lawn, Illinoisistan

"...A southwest suburban school district has taken action, responding to the concerns of a Muslim parent. But now, other parents are angry that traditional school holidays will be renamed or even eliminated.

"That does not represent all the Muslims, all of the Arabs at that school," said Qais Nofel, the father of a student in Ridgeland School District 122.

There was some heated discussion between parents outside Columbus Manor Elementary School in Oak Lawn on Friday. The thought of no more traditional holiday celebrations has many parents really upset.

For now, children in Ridgeland School District 122 will celebrate fall festival instead of Halloween and winter festival instead of Christmas. Brenda Elvidge said, "It's not fair to our kids. This is America and that's an American tradition."

The decision affects the children at four elementary schools in Oak Lawn and one junior high school in Bridgeview.

The district has a 30 percent Arab-American population, many of whom practice Islam. The superintendent says the reason for the change in tradition comes after one parent wanted Ramadan decorations put up inside Columbus Manor Elementary. They were taken down.

Superintendent Tom Smyth said, "I go back to our policy which says that public schools are to remain neutral in this respect."

Ridgeland School District 122 has called for an emergency meeting on the issue, to be held on Tuesday.

Meantime, Muslim children are being allowed to pray during what's being called their own time, that's lunch time, during Ramadan.

Parent June Quigley said, "They get to pray in our schools. That is religion in a public school." (source)

Wow, my PS does the "Winter Break" and "Spring Break" crap, but they talk about Christmas, Easter, Passover, Ramadan and Hanukkah. They also have yet to take away Halloween -though you can't dress up like Jesus.

All this while elsewhere in Illinois...Seven Muslim men "intended to destroy Chicago's Sears Tower and bomb FBI buildings to ignite a chaotic guerrilla war that would overthrow the U.S. government and pave the way for an Islamic regime." (source)

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