Parents at a Minnesota high school are complaining about the choir teacher deciding to include a song about Ramadan, or the Muslim holy month, in the school’s holiday concert.
Some parents of Blaine High School students were shocked when they learned the song, which is scheduled to be sung in Arabic and includes the phrase “Allahu Akbar,” or “God is great,” would be included in the concert.
The controversy started after a parent of a ninth-grader posted the translated lyrics to the song the choir has been practicing for the Christmas Eve concert.
One parent posted, “No child should be forced to sing a song about the Muslims and the religion of hatred.”
Another parent told WCCO that considering the recent terror attacks in Paris and California, which were committed by Muslims, singing a song about Allah would be “insensitive.”
But the school district defended the decision, saying in a statement that: “Songs are not performed in a worship setting or to promote religion, but rather in [an] educational setting where students are learning and performing music.”
A spokesman added that the Arabic song was to be sung during the audience participation portion of the concert, along with a Jewish song and Christian songs.
The district did say that any student who doesn’t feel comfortable singing the song doesn’t have to, and their grade will not be affected.