A song about the Muslim holiday Eid on the setlist for Blaine High School’s holiday choir concert Thursday sent some parents into a flurry of concerns.
The song, “Eid-un Sa’Eid,” includes the phrase “Allahu Akbar,” which is translated to “God is great.”
The concern rose from a parent complaint on Facebook about the song one week ago, which spurred phone calls to the school from community members, said Anoka-Hennepin spokesman Jim Skelly.
In total, the school administration has discussed the song with 10 Blaine parents, and some outside the school community have called the district, too. Some said they’re upset because they believe Muslims are the enemy, Skelly said.
“Eid-un Sa’Eid” is being included for a second year and is on the setlist as a “sing-along” song, meaning the audience participates as choirs transition from one to another on the stage. Students select this and other songs to reflect their cultures, Skelly said.
Lyrics include “Thank you Allah for this blessed day” and some others in Arabic.
It’s one in a group of songs about the holidays, including some about Christmas and Hanukkah. In the past, students have sung about Kwanzaa, and are considering adding a traditional Hindu song.
Skelly said the activity is neither graded, nor mandatory. There are an estimated 80 to 100 Muslim students at Blaine, a number of whom are involved in the choir program, he said.
Anoka-Hennepin school board chair Tom Heidemann said the district welcomes students from all backgrounds and faiths.
“It should be a good mixture of the communities and the faces of the individuals we educate,” he said of the songs at the concert.
When “Eid-un Sa’Eid” was performed last night, the district said it was received just like other songs at the concert. There were no disruptions, and audience members participated in the song.