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Muslim Teacher Wins Right to Perform Hajj

14 October 2011 General 20 Comments Email This Post Email This Post

Hajj

BY TINA SFONDELES Staff Reporter tsfondeles@suntimes.com

A Muslim woman has won her fight against a west suburban school district after being denied unpaid leave to go on a religious pilgrimage to Mecca.

The U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday announced it settled Safoorah Khan’s religious discrimination lawsuit against the Berkeley School District, forcing the district to pay $75,000 in lost back pay, compensatory damages and attorneys’ fees.

The district also will have to develop a policy accommodating religions consistent with the Civil Rights Acts to ensure something similar will not happen again.

Khan, a teacher at MacArthur Middle School, requested an unpaid leave of absence in December 2008 to perform hajj — a pilgrimage required by Islam — but was told she had to choose between her job and her religious beliefs. She resigned.

“I’m glad that we settled and I hope this does set a precedent,” Khan said. “I hope they realize that hajj means a lot to Muslims and there will be more and more people taking the trip. I hope this helps people and their employers to accommodate Muslims and their requests.”

According to the settlement, the district must also provide mandatory training on religious accommodations to all board of education members and school supervisors.

Khan, now 30, says she went to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the year she resigned.

“It’s required once in our lifetime at the earliest opportunity you can get,” she said.

Original post: Woman wins right to Mecca trip

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20 Comments »

  1. AL HAMDOULILLAH, MAY ALLAH REWARD HER AND ACCEPTS HER PILGIMAGE. MAY ALLAH GUIVES HER A BETTER JOB THAN THE ONE SHE LOST.
    CONGRATULATION SISTER.

  2. Why did she need 2 weeks off? Doesn’t the hajj take only 5 days to complete?

  3. Sarah
    You know that the trip from Illinois to Mecca takes two days at least.From Illinois to New York,Jedda and then Mecca in Saudi Arabia and vice versa will take more than five days then the Hajj which is usually followed by one or 2 days visit to Almadina. You can calculate and find out easily that 2 weeks is a reasonable period.Remember also that this is an absolutely high season for airway traffic. I hope I could explain it .

  4. Two weeks off does not seem excessive when you look at the fact that she requested unpaid leave and it is easy to find a qualified sub to fill the position while she is gone.

  5. WHAT A TERRIBLE PRECEDENT!!!!

    what next? rastifarian teachers suing to smoke pot at school. hindus needing time off to attend hindu festivals. does anyone have any idea how many hindu gods there are and their festivals?

  6. Alhumdillah!!

    I remember reading about this case. I’m so glad that she triumphed. Good over evil. To hear buffoons ask, “Why couldn’t she wait until the summer?” was proof positive that somebody didn’t know JACK about Islam….!!

    ROFLOL

  7. An absolute travesty of justice!

    This muslima could easily do haj during the 2 month break in the school year. She was looking for special privileges and making a point of trying to have her unreasonable demands met. Unfortunately, the dhimmi dummies and the colluders made her wish come true.

    One day soon, the tide will turn. I await that day when right becomes right and wrong becomes wrong again.

  8. Just found out that this hajj is only at certain times of the year. Maybe this muslima should have done her hajj before she accepted the job at the school, since it was so obviously a priority to her?

    I now would like to see Christians, Jews, Sikhs and Buddhists etc. lining up to demand time off to celebrate their own religious rituals. It’s only fair after all and if they are refused I encourage them to sue.

    This muslima may have won a very unfair settlement but all other muslims have lost as employers will understandably be wary of ever hiring another muslim.

  9. Anonymous, Christians do have days off to celebrate their religious beliefs. It’s called Christmas and Easter. Try again.

  10. Sarah,

    It takes you one day to deal with Visas and get to Mekka or Medina, alone when you get to Jeddah, no need to mention sometimes groups are held back at the airport for days if things don’t go according to plan (Once we had to stay in Jeddah for 4 days [No authorization was given to leave Jeddah]). Remember there are millions of people going there all at the same time. It is not a trip to Hawai, It’s a Pilgrimage where millions meet there. So you would need at least about a week over there just for the rituals, then if you give a pass on visiting Medina (I do not know who would do that after spending $5000 for the trip) you would still have to travel back, so with the time difference you could be talking a number of days. I guess we have enough parameters to do the Maths here.

  11. Mr //Anonymous
    14 October 2011 at 7:13 pm
    at this time you just went crazy and started giving us a lecture on when this woman should have done the pilgrimage and that she wanted special treatment

    Then you did a small search

    //Anonymous
    14 October 2011 at 7:21 pm

    when you realized you were wrong in your accusations because you do not pick your days to do the pilgrimage you went on quoting

    “I now would like to see Christians, Jews, Sikhs and Buddhists etc. lining up to demand time off to celebrate their own religious rituals. It’s only fair after all and if they are refused I encourage them to sue.”

    I hope you had your glass of milk this morning, you are so childish or I guess you IQ is somewhere around the freezing point.

  12. Salim , since I do not follow islam I am not on top of all of your “religious” celebrations. It occurred to me after I posted that there might be a special time of year for the Hajj. Most non-muslims are under the impression that Hajj, to be conducted once in a person’s lifetime is done at any time of the year. Feel better now?

  13. ps/ I stand behind everything else I posted and if you were being honest, you’d agree that this judgement is completely unfair. Maybe if all the other religions started making demands similar to you. you’d finally get it but knowing muslims and their feelings of superiority, that’s doubtful.

  14. Anonymous,

    the point is not about me feeling better or not, I am nobody! A simple person, but what is irritating is when one tries to make a point based on false accusation or knowledge.

    Now about your point that Muslims are superior, there is no difference between the slaves of Allah except by piety.

    Muslim word in Arabic means submission, I hope you do understand that being a Muslims ain’t being an Arab or a middle eastern, So whoever believes in Allah alone as he alone is worthy of worship and gets closer to Allah by his/her good deeds is higher in in the sight of Allah.

    Please do a search at the following link.

    http://www.islam-qa.com/en/

  15. Anonymous,

    We do not have this so called feeling of superiority, but imagine yourself in the middle of four guys, each poking you with his fingers! Would you get defensive? I did lot of business travelling at one time and never had a problem with TSA even though i have a beard, if once in a while they would pull me to give additional search, I used to think at last finally they are doing a good job.
    I used to see even Army personnel searched, so why not me, but I guess when you saying “bye I got to go on the phone” and for that you are taking out of the plane, then 100% it is because of the Islamic appearances.

    Now if you are a jew, why jewish get so irritated if one says that the number of 6 millions cremated jews ain’t true!! For god sake now there are even Laws to protect jews from slandering! what the hake, double standard!

    A saying that says “A person steal with the thieves then go to cry with the victim”

    That is what it seems like here.

  16. I’m sorry, did you just say that Jews and Christians don’t have days off for religious reasons?
    What are the breaks in December and early Spring for? And why are so many businesses closed on Sunday?
    Either ALL religions should be accomodated or NO religions should be accomodated. I don’t get solstices and equinoxes off, why are Christmas and Chanukkah more worthy than Beltane and Yule?

    I’m actually more of the mind that no religion should be accomodated, as O feel that religion is personal and private and has no place in public and/or professional life.

  17. Farasha you made a good point, unfortunatelly some people are blind!

  18. Farasha,

    isn’t december 25th yule? i agree totally, “I’m actually more of the mind that no religion should be accomodated, as O feel that religion is personal and private and has no place in public and/or professional life.” but i don’t think christmas is going anywhere, to economically important to retailers. and easter isn’t a national holiday. in fact christians don’t even agree on when easter is. and other than federal employees there is no guarantee that you get holidays, religious or otherwise off work. i just worked on columbus day. don’t think i’ve ever worked for a company that took mlk day off. you do know that mayday was once celebrated in america in a big way. i think it fell out of favor because of the communists?

    anyways, have you ever heard of anyone other than a muslim suing their employer because the employer wants them to work during a religious event? lots of people work on christmas.

  19. salim,

    i like your link. that guy seems very honest:

    “Praise be to Allaah.

    Islam was spread by proof and evidence, in the case of those who listened to the message and responded to it. And it was spread by strength and the sword in the case of those who stubbornly resisted, until they had no choice and had to submit to the new reality.

    And Allaah is the source of strength. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions, and grant them peace.

    Fataawaa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 12/14

  20. Nice post buddy

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