There is an interesting case out of Berkeley, Illinois involving alleged religious discrimination. The Obama Administration is supporting former teacher Safoorah Khan who alleged discrimination at her middle school after she was refused leave of three weeks to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca. The school insists that she was the only math lab instructor and would have left at the critical end-of-semester period for the school.
I am not sure of this claim and would love to hear from our readers with knowledge of Islam. My understanding is that Hajj is not required but is encouraged for Muslims in their lifetime. This is the fifth pillar of Islam and only required once for able-bodied Muslims who can afford it. The question then is why this one date is treated as mandatory by the Obama Administration. Three weeks is a long time for a requested leave and I would feel the same way about a teacher demanding a Christian or Jewish pilgrimage.
In this case, Khan resigned and went on the trip.
I have long commended the Obama Administration’s outreach to the Islamic community. I consider the efforts of President Obama to open a dialogue with Muslims here and abroad is one of his most positive legacies. However, I have obvious reservations over the Administration litigating this case on behalf of Khan. It seems to me that there are ample reasons for the denial of a 19-day leave.
What do you think?
Source: Washington Post