WORLDWIDE NEWS OF RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE FOR 2004-MAY.
2004-MAY-20: Oklahoma student can wear hijab: Nashala
Heam, an 11-year old student of the Muskogee Public School
District in Oklahoma City, OK, was suspended twice by the school for wearing
a hijab -- a head scarf worn by devout Muslim women and girls. The scarf
violated a school dress code that banned hats and other head coverings. The
school board maintained that the other students were "frightened" by
her scarf. The Justice Department filed a lawsuit in 2004-MAR on her behalf.
The school district has also agreed to modify the dress code to allow for
religious exceptions, and to educate teachers and other staff about the new
code. R. Alexander Acosta, assistant attorney general for civil rights of
the Justice Department said: "This settlement reaffirms the principle
that public schools cannot require students to check their faith at the
schoolhouse door...It is un-American to fear and to hate."
2004-MAY-27: Fourth New
Jersey school district to observe Islamic holidays: The Atlantic
City School District is the fourth district in New Jersey to
recognize Islamic holy days. Trenton, Paterson and Irvington had made
this decision previously. A school holiday will be held on 2004-NOV-15
for Eid al-Fitr -- a festival celebrating the end of
Ramadan. Another will be held on 2005-JAN-21 for Eid al-Adha, a
festival of sacrifice and pilgrimage. Newsday.com reports that "Board
member Cornell Davis, who is Muslim, called the decision 'courageous' in
light of current tensions between Americans and Islamic extremists.
Davis said: 'It shows a lot of character about us as Americans'."
About 7% of students in the district are Muslim.
- "Muslim girl can wear
head scarf to school," Omaha World-Herald, 2004-MAY-20, at:
- "NJ: Atlantic City
schools to recognize Islamic holidays," Associated Press,
Copyright � 2004 by Ontario Consultants on Religious
Originally written: 2004-MAY-1
Latest update: 2004-MAY-30
Compiler: B.A. Robinson