Middle school students in Bloomington, a suburb of Minneapolis, have reportedly been given the opportunity to step out of class for “reflection” time during Ramadan.
An online form asks parents of students at Valley View Middle School if their child has permission to leave class for 15 minutes throughout the month of April. The story was first reported by the Center of the American Experiment.
“Ramadan Kareem! Please let us know if you give permission for your student to leave class for reflection in the media center from 1:30-1:45PM during Ramadan,” the form reads. “We need your permission in order to keep track of the students and meet their needs during Ramadan.”
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. This year it began on April 2 and ends at dusk on May 1. The entire month is devoted to fasting and prayer.
One parent told American Experiment that Valley View Middle School did not give students the opportunity to observe any “reflection” time for Lent, Easter, or Passover. Of course, Lent and Easter are celebrated by Christians, while Passover is celebrated by Jews.
The Minneapolis City Council recently passed a resolution that allows mosques in the city to broadcast the Muslim call to prayer five times a day.
“This Ramadan, and moving forward, Muslims in Minneapolis will get to hear the call to prayer. It is a signal of the equality and community we have built here,” said Council Member Jamal Osman. “This is America and we are allowed to share our faith from the rooftops, just like everyone else.”
The call to prayer, the adhan, was first broadcast five times a day outside the city’s Dar Al-Hijrah Mosque during the first months of the COVID pandemic, when government shutdowns and “stay at home” orders kept people away from houses of worship.
“Muslims have been part of the fabric of America for over 400 years, since the first Muslims in America arrived as slaves,” the City Council resolution said. “Minneapolis has become home to one of the largest populations of Somali and East Africans in the nation, and their Muslim faith is welcome here.”