Working While Muslim in America: The ‘Id shut Out

Last year, at Stanford my Arabic instructor at the time, who happened to be an Arab Muslim, didn’t think it was appropriate to cancel class. I remember being stuck in traffic coming from the ‘id prayers, stressed out about making it back to Palo Alto in time. Two of my sistah-sisters who rode with me were in the same predicament. I apologized for making them late and deep inside regretted my foul mood. After I finally found a parking space, I had to rush to locate the Arabic reading materials just before class started. This Arabic was supposed to be a class linked to Stanford’s burgeoning Islamic Studies program, yet there were no accommodations for Muslim students or faculty. Yet, on Yom Kippur even some of the most secular and liberal professors and students were notoriously absent and classes were canceled. Right now, I’m reeling over a boss who just shut out ‘id. It’s especially annoying knowing how much they value those Turkey Days and weeks off during X-mas break. It is experiences like these that make you feel out of place as a Muslim in America. Your boss or your professor can say: Screw you practicing Muslim, nobody cares about you or your holiday. It makes me question things, when enlightened places of America’s elite institutions of higher learning like UPenn and Stanford do little to create a space where Muslims can celebrate a day that is really holy for us, and not just a secularized day where we just buy stuff or eat stuff.

One thought on “Working While Muslim in America: The ‘Id shut Out

  1. I had very similar experiences in college – couldn’t miss the very very important small group discussion in my islamic history class on an introduction to the Qur’an, despite the fact it turns out I knew more than the TA leading the discussion.



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