A group of high school Muslim students signed petition requesting to move the prom date as it will fall during the Ramadan. The principal has a perfect response to it.
When Brooklyn Technical High School’s Muslim students, who are a minority, found out that prom would be held on June 3 this year, they were deeply upset that they would have to choose between adhering to their religion’s endless commands or living like American teenagers. Since Islam strictly prohibits worshipers from listening to music or dancing, especially during this month of fasting, the Muslim students decided to pressure the school to move the event around their religious observance. The answer they received was not what the retaliatory special interest group is accustomed to hearing very often.
Seems there’s a “vast” Muslim population at the New York City school, and since its prom — scheduled for this Saturday — falls during Ramadan, the petition signers wanted the date altered so all Muslim students could attend.
Ramadan — the annual Muslim holy month — calls for fasting between sunrise and sunset, along with other restrictions.
The Muslims convinced ignorant non-Muslim classmates to support their petition, which, despite gathering more than 250 signatures, was dismissed by school officials, according to CBS New York. It reads:
“In 2017, Ramadan is expected to begin on the night of either May 26th or 27th. Brooklyn Tech’s Senior Prom is scheduled for June 3rd, a week into Ramadan. The start of this entails many responsibilities to the participants and with Tech’s Muslim population being so vast, it is clear the scheduled date will heavily a᱈ect the attendance of this signi᱈cant event of our high school experience.
“A change to the date, even a week and a half earlier, would allow so many more people to partake. If no action is taken, Senior Prom truly wouldn’t be open to every senior who wants to go.”
“I think it’s kind of unfair because there’s a major population of Muslims at Brooklyn Tech,” student Pikeeza Shabbir told WCBS-TV.
“Because it’s Ramadan, and it’s a tradition in my family, I don’t want to miss out.”
“On prom night, I’ll probably be spending time with my family because I believe prom is the night ifthar happens where we all break our fast,” student Mashror Ali told WCBS, noting the Islamic name for the Ramadan dinner.
And while the station said the prom dinner won’t be served until 9 p.m. — after sunset — students indicated that other factors preclude Muslims observing Ramadan from attending.
“You’re not supposed to listen to music during Ramadan, so it’s not really allowed,” Shabbir told WCBS.
While the petition drew support from over 270 people, the station said the school turned down the request because the senior prom was planned months in advance. WCBS reported that although the petition was created three months ago, a Department of Education spokesperson said school officials didn’t know about it.
The petition was deleted Monday, noting that the school’s administration “will make sure in the future to make decisions to avoid this debacle happening again.”
Some Muslim students told WCBS they believe their holidays are overlooked.
“Muslim holidays they don’t give much attention to it, school events, they don’t care about it,” Saima Afrin told the station.
New York City in March 2015 became the first major U.S. urban center to close public schools on two of Islam’s biggest holy days — Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. The former recognizes the end of Ramadan, and the latter commemorates the willingness of Abraham (or Ibrahim) to sacrifice his son. Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio pushed for the holidays.
The exact dates of Muslim holy days change annually since they’re based on a lunar calendar.
Prior to the deletion of the prom petition, one student called it “kind of useless” — and not for a reason that likely made school officials happy.
“I don’t wanna say it,” Nafin Rahman told WCBS, “but it’s kind of useless since the school won’t change it because they’d lose money.”
Despite the petition, the prom will still go ahead as planned, beginning at 7 p.m., which is nearly an hour and a half before Muslims are even allowed to break their fast for iftar, their religious gorging of food at sunset.
In reality, the school never discouraged or disallowed Muslims from attending. Along with refusing to attend in favor of their religious compulsion, they hoped to force the non-Muslim majority to abstain from prom during the month of Ramadan.