I guess when you don't have the guts to call someone a terrorist, anti-American grinch will do.
Elizabeth Zahdan might as well have been burning the flag or an effigy of President Bush when she hung up Ramadan lights at an Oak Lawn elementary school a few days back, prompting outrage from other parents and subsequently forcing Ridgeland School District 122 to consider a ban on Christmas and Halloween parties.
Offended parents felt the Muslim mother, Zahdan -- who is also a PTA member -- blurred the line between separation of church and state by hanging the sparkling stars and moons. Did they think their children would convert, hypnotized by the lights?
Apparently, Zahdan didn't fear her three children would flee their Islamic faith when she hung Christmas decorations at the school the year before.
The angry lot came dressed in red, white and blue last week, blaming Muslim parents for pushing the school board into contemplating nixing Santa Claus decorations -- a secular symbol they argued was part of their American heritage.
They must not have gotten the memo of the U.S. Congress passing a resolution recognizing Ramadan hours earlier that same day.
You have to wonder if there was just as an intense of an uproar when the district had to cut art, music and band programs recently. The school board ultimately decided to keep all holiday celebrations intact but also agreed to acknowledge Ramadan in the district's five schools, where 30 percent of the student body is Muslim.
Smart move. School districts should either dump all religious holiday celebrations or be inclusive.
Zahdan has had enough of the spotlight. When I called her, she directed all questions to the local Council on American-Islamic Relations office, which is hoping to establish interfaith healing sessions in Oak Lawn. (MORE)