Allen Hunt
Imam Khalid Latif, a chaplain for New York University and the New York Police Department, recently appeared on CNN. He suggested that the New York public schools should close for at least two important Muslim holidays each year. I could not agree more. Latif suggests that American Muslims are trying to develop their own contemporary identity as the religion of peace and tolerance. In his view, closing schools for major Muslim holidays would help that process since an Americanized modern and moderate Islam would benefit all Americans.

However, I would alter Latif's suggestion slightly. We should treat the various Muslim holidays as we have the birthdays of American presidents with the singular Presidents' Day. My recommendation: we roll all the Muslim holidays into one National Muslim Day and celebrate it on September 11 each year. The New York schools can then follow suit along with the rest of the country.

Rather than working to educate us slow-learning Americans about the merits of holidays like Eid al-Fitr and the birthday of Mohammad, it seems most fitting that we celebrate the contributions and significance of Islam in America's history with one special day each September 11. Mohammad likely does not enjoy birthday cards anyway because those cards too often are filled with cartoons and sketches.

For the inaugural National Muslim Day, President Obama and the mayor of New York can offer inspiring words from the newly proposed $100MM Cordoba Center located a few hundred feet from Ground Zero in the former Burlington Coat Factory whose roof was battered and beaten with burning debris from the collapsing Twin Towers. The Cordoba Institute will place a 13-story mosque, gym, bookstore, and meeting place in the shadow of the unfortunate man-caused disaster in Manhattan. This location seems most fitting for the new holiday's festivities, given the Islamic invasion and takeover of the original Cordoba in the eighth century. One of the Islamic conquerors' first acts was to “convert” the Christian Church of Saint Vincent there into the Great Mosque of Cordoba as a symbol of Muslim conquest and rule. In other words, we destroy your iconic symbols and replace them with ours, kind of like what is happening at Ground Zero right now. Perfect place for the headlining events of National Muslim Day.

Allen Hunt

Allen Hunt is the host of the natioanlly syndicated talk radio program, the Allen Hunt show.
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