Easter egg hunts debated by Michigan’s Muslims

A member of Dearborn's Muslim community expressed concern that church flyers had been handed out at local schools

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Muslim leaders in Dearborn, Michigan expressed their support Sunday for a planned Easter egg hunt that had come under fire in news reports stating the some of the city’s Muslims were upset that their children received Easter flyers at school.

Majed Moughni told the Free Press last week that his Muslim children had been upset upon receiving flyers for the Church-held “Eggstravaganza” while at school.

“My son was like, ‘Dad, I really don’t feel comfortable getting these flyers, telling me to go to church. I thought churches are not supposed to mix with schools,’ ” Moughni said to the newspaper.

However, Osama Siblani, a local activist and publisher of the Arab American News, said the majority of the area’s 46,000 Arab Americans did not share that view.

“We believe the church is doing the right thing bringing the community together, bringing our children together so we can understand each other and love each other,” Siblani told the Detroit Free Press.

“We’re here to support the church as Muslims and Arabs,” he added, before noting that the word “Easter” did not actually appear on the flyer.

For his part, Moughni added that he was concerned about “using school teachers paid by public funds ... to pass out these flyers that are being distributed by a church. I think that’s a serious violation of separation of church and state.”

“This ‘lone wolf’ voice does not represent the [Muslim] community,” responded attorney Nabih Ayad, chairman of the Arab-American Civil Rights League.

Responding to Moughni’ statement, Pastor Netta Nichols said that the church had received emails, phone calls and social media posts both for and against the event.

“I do believe Mr. Moughni’s concern is more with the school system sending out a flyer for an event that’s happening at a church,” she added. “ It’s a surprise it’s become such a major discussion,” Nichols said. “We just want people to get to know each other. This is a changing community, and it has been changing for years. We want to live in an atmosphere of peace and harmony.”

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