Monday, June 11, 2007

The All-Muslim, All-Girl High School Prom

The University of Minnesota's Al-Madinah Cultural Center is an Islamic student group (website here) that receives much its funding from mandatory student activity fees paid by all students who attend the university.

mission is "to create a better understanding and appreciation for the diverse culture of Islam through educational, social and community activities at the University of Minnesota and grooming the leaders from our campus community."

Recently, this group sponsored an all-Muslim all-girl high school prom that was held in the University's student union where non-believers and boys were
barred at the door: (emphasis added)
It was a prom for girls only, where more than 100 Muslim teenagers could take off their head scarves, let loose and dance, experiencing an American rite of passage without violating Islamic culture and values.

The Saturday night PROM – Party foR Only Muslimahs, or Muslim girls – at the University of Minnesota’s Coffman Memorial Union provided a chance for the girls to participate in a major high school experience.

Many Muslim girls don’t attend their high school prom because they aren’t allowed to dance with the opposite sex, and prom dresses can be too revealing for some Muslim girls to wear in public.

“I’d hate to miss this,” said Sabrina Wazwaz, 15, a freshman who goes to Twin Cities Academy in St. Paul, Minn. “I think it’s really nice how they thought of the Muslim girls who can’t go to the American prom, so they made this for us.”

“I thought it was an awesome idea,” said Sagirah Shahid, 18, one of the main organizers and president of the Muslim Youth of Minnesota. Shahid is a senior at Roosevelt High School in Minneapolis.

The event included dinner, performances by the girls during a talent show, a fashion show of clothing from different cultures, and dancing.

The event was organized by Muslim Youth of Minnesota and co-sponsored by the University of Minnesota’s Al-Madinah Cultural Center.
Personally, we don't have a problem with a group of female students (or anyone else) getting together, renting privately owned facilitates, (with privately raised funds) and having a party.

But we do have a problem with any group that receives publicly-generated monies while sponsoring events that exclude people based upon gender and/or religious beliefs.

Would the University of Minnesota be so open-minded to certain other religious groups having exclusive members-only proms on their publicly-owned and operated premises?

Let's apply a basic test of fairness and see.

What if a group of Wiccans were to ask for University sponsorship of their (Oops! The school would doubtlessly approve them. Sorry about that.... Let's try again and pick another much more often maligned and ridiculed group that's not so politically-korekt.)

What if a group of devout Christians were to ask the university to sponsor their use of school facilites in order to stage their own "Christians Only" prom?

In this era of political korektness, we think that it's safe to say that somebody "in authority" would decline the Christians' request by citing the need to maintain "separation between church and state."

Certainly the mainstream media would howl if Christians were permitted to exclude others from attending a social event held at a publicly-owned facility.

Failing such a Test of Basic Fairness, how could the MSM continue to remain silent and not hold those at the University of Minnesota accountable?
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