Rochester, N.Y., school taking part in World Hijab Day

Rochester, N.Y., school taking part in World Hijab Day
Eman Muthana (credit: WHEC screen grab)

As any liberal will be quick to point out, education and religion don’t mix. The reason, they will tell you, usually with more than a hint of impatience, is the so-called “establishment clause” in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” If you’re wondering where the words “separation of church and state” appear, they don’t.

Despite the left’s fondness for imposing that interpretation on the founders’ language, they are willing to grant exemptions, at least for the “right” religion. So when Eman Muthana, a Muslim student at the World School of Inquiry in Rochester, N.Y., wrote a one-page letter to Principal Sheela Webster asking if the school could participate in World Hijab Day, Webster gave the request an instantaneous thumbs-up, hailing the suggestion as an opportunity to practice diversity and inclusion.

According to Rochester ABC affiliate WHAM, Muthana’s letter explained:

World Hijab Day invites every woman to wear the hijab for a day so they would experience how women who wear the hijab are treated by others.

Presumably, the teen’s reference to the treatment of hijab wearers by others is not intended to apply to women in the Arab world, who are treated as sex slaves and worse.

As part of the observation of World Hijab Day at the high school, non-Muslim girls will have a chance to walk a mile in Muthana’s shoes by donning hijabs. Boys, for some reason, will have the option of wearing a carnation.

Not all parents are delighted by the decision, which was made without consulting them. Even some teachers voiced disapproval. Jim Farnholz, who has taught for over 30 years, is quoted as saying, “This is wrong on so many levels. All religions are taught in our global studies classes. That being said, that is where understanding, tolerance and the good and bad of religion and history are taught.”

Webster defended the move, stating:

Our perspective in it was not religious — it was really about experiential. We are an experiential school; we engage kids in all kinds of activities and projects all of the time, so the perspective of being able to learn what a hijab is, why some women choose to wear it and why some women don’t choose to wear it, and we provide the opportunity to experience it; it is well within the protocol of experiential learning.

So does that mean that Monday will be Yarmulke Day for non-Jewish students?

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Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.


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