Holidays and Hypocrisy
Posted: 24 Rabi-ul-Awwal 1424, 26 May 2003
I was just reading up on Muslim holidays on your website because after 3 years of my insistence, my company has finally agreed to acknowledge them. I find it curious though that you stress to include, discuss and celebrate Muslim holidays in public schools but yet say that Muslim children should be excluded from secular religious discussions or activities such as Valentine's Day or Halloween. If my child is to learn about Islam (which I think is a good idea), then why should a Muslim child be exempt from learning about Christian or Jewish culture?
I find it a little hypocritical.
Thank you, John Morrison PA
We thank you for your query and appreciate the chance to respond to it; it is through this kind of interaction that we can build bridges of understanding.
It would have been easier if you had quoted passages from our site that you think are hypocritical.
We are not against Muslim children learning about non-Islamic holidays; only against celebrating them.
With the overwhelming force of the popular media and popular culture, it is impossible for anyone living here not to be aware of Halloween. But countless Americans have not even heard the names of Eid ul-Fitr or Eid-ul Adha, and may not have the slightest idea as to what they mean. So we appreciate what you did for your workplace and we think it is the right thing to do. Acknowledging it does not make you forcibly celebrate something you do not believe in.
Hypocrisy is to declare belief in one thing but to do the opposite. Thus for a Muslim to celebrate a pagan holiday, which he believes is wrong to celebrate, would be hypocritical as would be the celebration (not just acknowledgement, not just awareness, but celebration) of a Muslim holiday by anyone who does not believe in it.