An elite New York City high school has denied requests by Muslim students to change the date of prom so it would not conflict with the Muslim observance of Ramadan.
Brooklyn Tech High School students signed a petition to move the date of their senior prom — scheduled to take place June 3 — a week and a half earlier, but the school turned down their request, the New York Post reported.
“I think it’s kind of unfair because there’s a major population of Muslims at Brooklyn Tech,” student Pikeeza Shabbir said.
Muslims who observe the holy month every year cannot eat or drink anything from sunrise to sunset. Brooklyn Tech’s senior prom begins at 7 p.m. when the sun is still out.
New York City Department of Education officials told CBS New York that they would not reschedule the event because it was planned months in advance, but they are willing to wait until 9 p.m. to serve dinner at the prom to accommodate Muslims who attend the event.
But Shabbir said there are other religious rules Muslims must follow during Ramadan besides abstaining from food during daylight hours.
“You’re not supposed to listen to music during Ramadan, so it’s not really allowed,” Shabbir said.
More than 250 students signed a Change.org petition that argues that Brooklyn Tech’s scheduled date for prom would “heavily affect” some Muslim students’ ability to attend the event because of their observance of the holy month.
City education department officials say they did not know about the petition and never received it, even though students started the petition three months ago.
The issue was eventually brought to the principal’s attention Monday. He met with the school’s Muslim Student Association the next day to discuss ways the school can better accommodate Muslim students at prom in the future.
Ramadan falls on different dates every year because it follows a lunar calendar.