Middle East studies in the News
Students Sing "Allah Akbar" At Holiday Concert
Nothing says Merry Christmas like a Ramadan song – at least in Blaine, Minnesota.
There was a big controversy after Thursday's holiday concert at the local high school – when the teenagers belted out a praise song to Allah.
I'm sure a number of Lutherans along with other Protestant parents spewed their egg nog when they heard their offspring singing, "Allah Akbar, Allah Akbar."
Television station WCCO first reported on the holiday dustup – quoting several moms and dads who were not all that happy their children were singing about the glories of Islam.
Check out some of the lyrics of "Eid un Sa' Eid – Zain Bhika":
"Ramadan has come and gone/Eid has dawned up us/Thank you Allah for this blessed day/This is a time of happiness, a time of joy/Thank you Allah for this blessed day."
Throw in some banjos and a fiddle and I'm sure you'd have a real toe tapper.
Then then song breaks into some Arabic.
"It's a time of brotherhood, a time of peace/Muslims are singing praises to Allah/Allahu Akbar/Allahu Akbar/"
Now it's true the youngsters also sang "Away in the Manger" and "Silent Night" and a few Jewish songs. But why are they singing a Ramadan song at Christmas time?
I know the lyrics say that Ramadan has come and gone. But in this case, Ramadan was last summer.
One parent told the television station considering recent events in Paris and San Bernardino - a song about Allah would be "insensitive."
By the way – I don't seem to recall any outrage from the ACLU or any of those perpetually offended atheist groups that break out in hives at the sound of a Christmas carol.
The Anoka – Hennepin School District is defending the Muslim melody.
They argued that the Islamic song that called on Muslims to "unite to worship Allah" is not really about worship.
"Songs are not performed in a worship setting or to promote religion," the district said in a statement to WCCO. "But rather in (an) educational setting where students are learning and performing music."
And besides, any student who did not feel comfortable singing it, was not required to do so.
The school district said they have students from a number of different backgrounds and they try to promote equal opportunities for all students.
Well in the spirit of equal opportunities -- I wonder which Christian songs they're going to croon during Ramadan? How about "Jesus Loves Me"?Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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