Ramadan at lunch

I agree with Dave Huber’s analysis of this story about Muslim students in Delaware complaining they’re required to spend lunch period in the cafeteria, even though they fast during daylight hours. They want to be able to use an empty classroom, which should be fine. Demanding the right to leave class to pray at a room set aside for the purpose is another matter. Muslims are supposed to pray five times a day.

The parents of some Muslim students attending Bancroft Intermediate School in Wilmington have charged that the Christina School District is interfering with their children’s observance of Ramadan, Islam’s holiest month.

The students are required to go to the cafeteria for lunch during a month when they are supposed to fast during daylight hours, parents said. They also are being denied the opportunity to go to an empty classroom and pray during the day. Muslims normally pray five times daily, a religious practice that is especially important during Ramadan.

The assistant superintendent says the district will try to set up an alternative to the cafeteria for students to use at lunch time. That sounds sensible.

About Joanne


  1. Half Canadian says:

    I agree about the cafeteria bit as well. There should be an available classroom during lunch time.
    However, during class time, that’s a whole other matter. Spare classrooms out here are as common as genuine sightings of bigfoot. It may be culturally insensitive, but I’d just advise them to have a prayer in their heart.

  2. Walter E. Wallis says:

    I assume that the Muslim parents are willing to supervise the alternate classroom and defray any added expense to the school from this usage.

  3. This is an excellent chance for socialization and the parents aren’t doing the kids any favors. This isn’t a religious issue, it’s a bad parenting issue. Kids have to learn how to fulfil their duties without creating an alternate society.

    I once had a Muslim boss, and we went on a business trip during Ramadan. He sat with us during our lunches, and participated without eating. He even made jokes about it and went out of his way to make sure we were all comfortable eating while he didn’t. I can’t imagine someone like my former boss demanding isolation chambers for his kids during lunch hour.

  4. Bluemount says:

    Boo, you have a good point. In Arab countries everyone is sharing the experience, which is a little easier. The problem these parents have is their children are learning the culture. The fact they are young and the culture is not the dominant culture makes their effort more difficult. I agree that we cannot expect society to provide an alternate culture, but remember even wearing a traditional headscarf is banned in some countries (I can’t understand that).

    I respect Ramadan because it’s a small step in personal sacrifice. It would be nice if Children could share their religous understanding of moral values like giving and sacrifice instead of supressing it. I’m baffled this would be a problem. Certainly a table in cafeteria should be adequit for Muslim children to give each other moral support if they wished. Maybe they could invite their Christian friends to joing them 🙂

  5. Looks like the school district in question has caved:

  6. A Red Mind in a Blue State says:

    I agree the solution sounds reasonable. But the storm is coming. Here on Long Island, for instance, we have a huge influx of Muslim and Hindu immigrants. When I was on a school board a few years ago, we received a request that our school calendar list Muslim holidays, on the grounds that we listed Jewish & Christian ones.

    The day is coming when the casual closing of school on Jewish & Christian holidays will be challenged. Will we stay open on all, or close down on all?


  1. Hube's Cube says:

    Looks like Christina caves

    So much happens in one day. When it looked as if the Christina School District had some balls and said that they shouldn’t have to provide a private room for Muslim students to pray during Ramadan, they went ahead and…