Arab-Americans Stand with Church Over Easter Egg Hunt Dispute

A Muslim father of two who criticized the school district for passing out flyers to an egg hunt at a church was called a “lone wolf” who doesn’t speak for the majority of the Dearborn area’s 46,000 Arab-Americans.

Several Arab-American leaders gathered at the Cherry Hill Presbyterian Church Sunday in a show of unity, saying a father of two's criticism of the public school district's distribution of an egg hunt flyer at the church doesn't reflect their views.
Several Arab-American leaders gathered at the Cherry Hill Presbyterian Church Sunday in a show of unity, saying a father of two's criticism of the public school district's distribution of an egg hunt flyer at the church doesn't reflect their views.

Several members of Detroit’s Arab American community are standing in solidarity with the Cherry Hill Presbyterian Church in Dearborn after a Muslim father of two elementary school students said he believed flyers distributed at the schools to promote an upcoming Easter egg hunt violated the separation of church and state.

Attorney Majed Moughni said his two children were bothered the school’s involvement in publicizing the Eggstravaganza, but several Muslims in the area made it clear Sunday that Moughni doesn’t speak for the majority of the region’s 46,000 Arab-Americans, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Among them was Osama Siblani, who publishes the Arab American News. In an opinion piece posted after media accounts of Moughni were widely circulated, Sablani’s newspaper said:

“The truth is that almost all Muslim parents in Dearborn are not offended at all by the flyer. They are concerned about funding for their children's schools, education standards and class size, just like all parents.

“Moughni was seeking attention, and [the media] rewarded his efforts, without ever reaching out to other parents, religious leaders, or civil rights groups.”

The story also criticized media for quoting only Moughni, but writing there were others who believed similarly.

On Sunday, Siblani and others gathered with church leaders in a show of unity.

“We’re here to support the church as Muslims and Arabs,” he said Sunday morning, standing outside the church’s rear entrance with leaders from the church and the Arab-American community. “We believe the church is doing the right thing bringing the community together, bringing our children together so we can understand each other and love each other.”

Sablani pointed out that that the word “Easter” never appears on the flyer for the event, which Cherry Hill church officials have promoted as a way to bring the community together.

Another member of the group, attorney Nabih Ayad, chairman of the Arab-American Civil Rights League, called Moughni “a lone wolf.”

The Rev. Netta Nichols said the Cherry Hill Presbyterian Church has worked with Dearborn schools in the past to get information out to the community, regardless of religious background. She said that as Dearborn becomes more diverse, it’s important that people get to know one another.

“This is a changing community, and it has been changing for years,” Nichols said. “We want to live in an atmosphere of peace and harmony.”

Moughni told the newspaper his position hasn’t changed.

“I’m standing up for my children,” he said.

susan April 20, 2014 at 08:48 AM
Yes, serving Halal food as an option IS encouraging a religion. It is a Muslim religious term just as Easter is a Christian religious term. Do you see restaurants offering kosher food? No. I have never seen that. And since Easter is a religious term and the event is at a church it implies that religion is a part of it. The children are being invited so that they and their parents may be proselytized. Pam, the whole point of separation of church and state is to prevent such things as what you're describing in Dearborn Public schools. I seriously don't understand how that can be happening. As you said, if you allow Muslim practices then you have to allow Christian and other practices and then every other religion. I have never understood why most Christians don't seem to understand that separation of church and state was always to protect the religion from the government. I would be willing to bet that you will be seeing Muslim flyers of some kind at this very same school in the near future. Once that door is opened all religions will have to be afforded the same rights.
Julie Lattimore April 20, 2014 at 09:15 AM
I went to a private Catholic school, many different religions and races went there, they did learn about our culture and traditions as we did about theirs. The difference is they did not join the church/school purposely to bust up our culture, they joined it and keep their own idenity. These few radical Muslim join organizations to bust up the American culture and beliefs, they are not nice about it, they are bullies, how dare they try to take away the children's fun! Shame on anyone who sticks up for that kind of crap! HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE!!!!!!
Pam April 20, 2014 at 10:01 AM
Susan, I don't understand why religious practices are happening in the public schools either. The entire discussion has been an eye-opener that has further divided the community.
Marium Wilke April 20, 2014 at 10:52 AM
HAPPY EASTER TO EVERYONE!..We're so blessed to be able to enjoy our many holidays...Excluding all the hatred....Let them be lonely....Remember God don't like UGLEY..Enjoy your day!
Love All April 21, 2014 at 08:24 AM
It certainly is refreshing to know that the world did not end yesterday with a local church bringing a diverse community together to participate in an innocent, secular hunt for eggs.


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