I spent 35 minutes staring at the email I had typed up to my boss to request off for Eid, which started with: “Because we follow the moon…”
I was only asking for a half day. Just enough time to make it to the mosque for morning prayer, and then get on with my workload in the office. “Just hit ‘send,’ Jenan.” I hit send.
“Don’t be silly! Take as long as you need – happy holiday!” #win. My boss is a saint. But why was I nervous? Maybe, because I was dreading the possibility of a response like the one below.
This is apparently what happens when a Rutgers University student informs her professor that she’ll be taking a day off from class for a religious holiday. You know, a religious accommodation to which she’s entitled. Mind you, she was being respectful, because she could have just not showed up.
Dude started arguing the jurisprudence of math.
Since when do we need “proof” that attending class on a religious holiday is “prohibited?” We don’t take off from work or school simply because it’s our holiday. We ask to be given an excused absence so that we can — for once — observe our religious faith properly and dedicate an entire day to the duties that are expected of us. You know, kind of like how the entire country is off to go to church on Christmas? Or how most public schools are closed for Yom Kippur to help ease the fasting?
When was the last time you heard a teacher tell a student, “Listen, I know it’s Christmas and all, but can you get a note from your priest proving that you should be excused from class because of Jesus’s birthday? After all, Jesus turned water into wine, so, really, you’re worshipping him indirectly by coming to chemistry class.”
Any imams out there want to write this poor girl a note?