Diversity means choices in your music: rock, soul, jazz; entertainment: music, sports, movies; food: Whopper, Big Mac, Olive Garden. Diversity of opinion triangulates the truth. Diversity in the weather and in the occurrence of natural forces such as earthquakes compelled pre-historic men to seek an explanation in religion. In our country, choices can also can be regarding religious belief. Investigation discloses the truth that religion and God are not synonymous.
In the name of tolerance and mis-guided liberalism, Islam has been allowed to become a presence within the United States. Investigation also discloses that Islam does not promote anything but itself for in their belief system, Muslims do not acknowledge the existence of cause and effect. They believe everything is caused by their Allah. This explains why Arab countries do not tolerate diverse opinion that leads to scientific and social advancement. Among the top 500 universities in the world, none are located in Arab countries.
In the United Kingdom, the Islamic population has reached a critical mass whereby Sharia law is accepted. Educate yourself about the Islamic threat to the land of the free and the home of the brave.
School system to get Muslim holiday
Cambridge to start observance in 2011-12
By Brock Parker
Globe Correspondent / October 10, 2010
As a Muslim and a high school senior at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, 17-year-old Dunia Kassay faces a tough choice every year on Islamic holy days: go to school or stay home to be with family and friends. If she stays home, Kassay says, she will be forced to play catch-up and make up her school assignments.
But if she goes to school, she will be neglecting what she feels is her religious obligation on holidays such as Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting.
“It’s really conflicting,’’ Kassay said. “Instead of fasting for a month and enjoying this really big day, eating and going to family’s houses, it’s kind of like, ‘Oh, hey, guys, I’ve got to go do my homework.’ ’’
But beginning next year, Cambridge public schools will attempt to make it easier for Muslim students to honor their highest holy days.
In a move that school officials believe is the first of its kind in the state, Cambridge will close schools for one Muslim holiday each year beginning in the 2011-2012 school year.
The school will either close for Eid al-Fitr or Eid al-Adha, also known as the Festival of Sacrifice, depending on which holiday falls within the school year. If both fall within the school calendar, the district will close for only one of the days.
The school district’s decision, announced last month, was made as the national discussion about Islam continues, fueled by a Mosque proposal two blocks from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Florida preacher Terry Jones’s threat to burn a Koran. The discussion has also touched local schools, as Wellesley school officials drew criticism recently for a video that showed sixth-grade students kneeling during a prayer service at a Boston mosque during a field trip in May.
But Cambridge School Committee member Marc McGovern, who pushed for the Muslim holiday in city schools, said he thinks people need to take a step back from what he called hysteria and the stereotypes of all Muslims as terrorists.
“At a time when I think the Muslim population is being characterized with a broad brush in a negative way, I think it’s important for us to say we’re not going to do that here,’’ McGovern said.
Cambridge schools already close for some Christian and Jewish holidays, and McGovern said he believes Muslims should be treated equally.
“The issue that sort of came up was should we celebrate any religious holidays, but there was not the will to take away Good Friday or one of the Jewish holidays,’’ he said. “So I said, if that is the case, I think we have an obligation to celebrate one of the Muslim holidays, as well.’’
A large Muslim population is one of the reasons why the school district in Dearborn, Mich., began closing schools for high Islamic holy days 10 years ago, said David Mustonen, communications coordinator for the school system.
Mustonen said that at first there were some people in the community who didn’t like the schools being closed on Eid holidays. “However, I don’t think this is the case anymore as people have come to realize that it is no different then taking time off at Christmas or Easter,’’ Mustonen said in an e-mail.
In September, public schools in Burlington, Vt., also closed on Eid al-Fitr for the first time, said Dan Balon, director of the school district’s diversity and equity office.
Balon said there is an increasing Muslim population in the schools, and the district decided to close on the holiday rather than risk low attendance rates and force students to decide between school and staying home to celebrate the holiday.
Glenn Koocher, executive director of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees, said that to his knowledge Cambridge would be the first school district in Massachusetts to close schools for a Muslim holiday.
“Somebody has to be first,’’ said Koocher. “I suspect there may be heightened interest in this. We’ll see how this plays out.’’
Marla Erlien, chairwoman of the Cambridge Human Rights Commission, said the discussion about closing Cambridge schools for an Islamic holiday began several years ago when the commission conducted a survey at Rindge and Latin asking students about discrimination, and at a follow-up forum students raised concerns about how Muslims were a “discarded group’’ whose holidays weren’t recognized in the schools.
From there, several students, including Kassay and Humbi Song, a 2009 graduate of the high school, began working to raise understanding of Arab and Muslim culture at the high school and then advocating for a day off from school on a Muslim holiday.
Song, who is not Muslim, said she tried to promote awareness about Islam at the high school in part because she had Muslim friends who had been made fun of for their religious clothing and headwear. She said she thinks some students were uneducated about Muslim culture.
Erlien said she thinks closing schools on the holiday will help build connections with Muslims in Cambridge.
“As their kids come home and say, ‘Oh, look, we now have a holiday,’ the parents might begin to feel safer here,’’ Erlien said.
But McGovern said he’s sure there will be some people who think closing school for a Muslim holiday is a terrible idea.
“Can’t please everybody,’’ he said.
“You have to do what you think is right.’’
From the Boston Globe:
Why not have 9/11 a day off instead. Use it as a day for all to give their opinions and share their fears. The student expressed concern about Muslim’s feeling safer. We all want to feel safer against terrorist attacks.
10/10/2010 3:11 AM EDT
Forgive me but this is placating PC over the top! Do Cambridge schools schedule days off for Rosh Hashana or Yom Kippur? All of the Catholic High Holdays like Immaculate conception or all Saints day? Over the top and sending the wrong message.
10/10/2010 3:11 AM EDT
This from a city that do not allow anymore the schools refer to the holidays as Christmas nor do they allow the teachers to have any pictures of Santa Claus, Christmas trees or Easter bunnies. All because it will offend others.
10/10/2010 4:32 AM EDT
Anything for another day off from school.
Anything in the name of diversity.
10/10/2010 4:33 AM EDT
Cambridge can pat itself on the back for being progressive and diverse, and teacher unions get another day off — win win, and just another day in Cambridge. This is a mistake.
10/10/2010 4:52 AM EDT
First of all, how about providing a list of cambridge school holidays? That might shed some light on this.
Second of all, it’s amazing to watch liberals bow to muslims, one of the least tolerant devout religious groups in existence, one that treats women as second class citizens and makes them cover their face, etc. This while they make every effort to minimize Christians.
Last, how about providing some demographics of cambridge schools or at least the city of cambridge?
Can a kind reader from cambridge help us out with the first question above please?
10/10/2010 6:02 AM EDT
Why doesn’t Cambridge just secede already and become their own state??? Better yet, country!!!
10/10/2010 6:32 AM EDT
Our own laws will undue us as a nation…. Islam means submission.
In Europe currently, we are witnessing unrest as the countries that initially welcomed Muslims, are now under increasing pressures to revise their own nations identities. This has not occurred that I am aware with any other religious or Ethic group….correct?
Now we should welcome all from all over the world…There is also in the excepting that we, demand of all that we welcome to respect and give allegiance to our country and our laws…Anyone ever hear of the Oath of Office? Our Pledge of Allegiance? and Our Constitution? Any group not willing to abide by our way of life simply do not come to demand we change….They , should accommodate us.
If not, they are not welcomed…..as there will come a day, when They will demand we change and will usurp our very country that welcomed them in the first place.
10/10/2010 6:40 AM EDT
Before you skip to your bigotry get your facts:
Cambridge has 1 Jewish holiday and 1 Christian holiday. So to recognize 1 holiday for another religious group in which you have a large number of students shouldn’t be that big a deal.
10/10/2010 6:55 AM EDT
Why not eliminate all religious holidays?
10/10/2010 7:07 AM EDT
I have no problem with honoring additional holidays for other religions. Corporations do this with floating holidays. That would work for me.
What I would find offensive (but not surprising) is if schools start setting aside rooms for the noon prayers. Don’t forget you cant pledge alegience to the flag anymore because it has the word God in it. Let’s also have more “Mother’s rooms” where single teen moms can breast feed while we are at it.
Ultimately, I suspect this is more budgetary than anything. Towns can’t afford to pay the teacher unions any more money so they give them extra days off.
10/10/2010 7:10 AM EDT
A lame rationale for creating a holiday. If a community is sizeable and makes the case for itself, like Detroit, I can see it. That’s America- we build communities and earn the right to be accommodated by the greater community. This is just grandstanding- we’re enlightened Cambridge, we’ll grace Muslims with this day off- how big of us. Too bad for the less trendy religious minorities.
10/10/2010 7:33 AM EDT
From the article: “As their kids come home and say, ‘Oh, look, we now have a holiday,’ the parents might begin to feel safer here,’’ Erlien said.
This statement is ridiculous. Muslim students and parents are not in danger in Cambridge or anywhere else for that matter. The left has been trying to hype this anti muslim hysteria since 9/11 but it just does not exist.
As far as the holiday goes, the teacher’s union is always happy to have another paid day off. You can’t say Merry Christmas but you can have the time off. I say get rid of all the holidays. That would be the politically do correct thing to do.
10/10/2010 7:11 AM EDT
Let’s hear it for political correctness in Cambridge. Now all children have to celebrate a Muslim holiday. For his next act, perhaps Marc McGovern will require all girls to cover their faces so as not to offend the Muslims.
10/10/2010 7:43 AM EDT
Considering all HOLYdays are fake and pretty much stolen from other cultures throughout time, I think we ought to observe NONE of them. School is more important than trying to please some imaginary deity.
10/10/2010 7:48 AM EDT
Ah, Cambridge. Once again…you have shown up the rest of the country..you are a leader. A symbol of tolerance. You are also a joke.
Now the Muslims come along wanting one of their holidays and you cave. Where were they before???????? Did they not exist in Cambridge? In the US? Or are you maybe afraid they pose a threat so you decided to go along with this? They certainly do not exist in sufficient numbers in Cambridge to justify this, yet it is being done. See you want it both ways…that’s the Cambridge way…talking out of both sides of your mouth. Muslims are not a threat. Let’s give them an unwarranted holiday, They are not a threat…let them do what they want.
Hmm….how about those who practice shinto, or Hinduism or Scientology….how about cultists…how about satanists, how about wiccans…how much longer will you deny them their holidays?
You can kid all you want, but Muslims make up a small, small minority in the school system. Hardly large enough to warrant system-wide observances. Certainly Muslim students should not be penalized for taking off religious days….I’m sure you accommo
10/10/2010 7:49 AM EDT
FYI. Rosh Hashanah, Christmas Eve, and Good Friday are also school holidays in Cambridge this academic year according to the Cambridge academic calendar.
10/10/2010 8:56 AM EDT
For all of you that find this so objectionable, is it okay for some school systems to give Good Friday as a day off from school? How about Rosh Hashonnah or Yom Kippur? I know of towns that do Good Friday, but not any Jewish Holy days and some that give none or both. So why is it such a big deal to allow Muslim students to have one of their Holy Days?
Also, to the person that claims that Islam is the most intolerant of religions, how much do you know about Islam and how much do you know about Christianity? To some Christians, they feel that it is their duty to God to try and convert everyone to their specific brand of Christianity or those people will be condemned to hell for eternity. Is this tolerance of others? The same is true in Islam, some interpret the message as they have to convert everyone to Islam and the majority do not read their scriptures the same way. So to make a blanket statement as you have shows forth ignorance of Islam.
10/10/2010 9:03 AM EDT
I feel like a lot of people posting here would have felt pretty much at home in Germany in 1937. Why do you let Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck define Islam for you? Why not learn something about it on your own?
10/10/2010 9:07 AM EDT
4321 wrote: Al
While American students are busy learning about religion, students in China are busy learning math and science. Let us pray we can still compete with them in ten years.
10/10/2010 9:18 AM EDT
June 21, 2013, 10:36 pm 58 Comments
Breaking Medicine’s Color Barrier
By CATE LINEBERRY
Alexander T. Augusta
On Jan. 7, 1863, just six days after the Emancipation Proclamation authorized African-American men to serve in the Union Army and Navy, Dr. Alexander T. Augusta, a freeman born in Norfolk, Va., wrote to President Lincoln requesting to serve as a surgeon “to some of the coloured regiments, or as physician to some of the depots of ‘freedmen.’” The 37-year-old Augusta had attended Trinity Medical College in Toronto; as he explained in his letter, “I was compelled to leave my native country, and come to this on account of prejudices against colour, for the purpose of obtaining knowledge of my profession; and having accomplished that object … I am now prepared to practice it, and would like to be in a position where I can be of use to my race.”
Lincoln sent the letter to the Army Medical Board, which initially ruled against allowing Augusta to serve. Refusing to give up, Augusta traveled to Washington to personally appeal his case, and he finally persuaded the board to overturn its decision. In April 1863, Augusta became the first African-American commissioned as a medical officer in the Union Army and was awarded the rank of major. He was one of only 13 African-Americans to serve as surgeons during the war, out of a total of 12,000.
Augusta was assigned as the surgeon in charge of the Contraband Hospital in Washington. The hospital, a collection of mostly tents and barracks, had been established to provide medical treatment to thousands of former slaves, known as “contraband,” who had fled to the capital after Lincoln ended slavery in the District of Columbia in April 1862. By the time of Augusta’s selection a year later, the hospital was also treating African-American soldiers.
Shortly after his appointment, Augusta was viciously attacked on a train in Baltimore, while in uniform, by a group of white men. He later responded to the attack in a weekly African-American newspaper, writing, “My position as an officer of the United States, entitles me to wear the insignia of my office, and if I am either afraid or ashamed to wear them, anywhere, I am not fit to hold my commission.”
After six months with the Contraband Hospital, Augusta left to become a regimental surgeon for the Seventh Infantry of United States Colored Troops in Maryland. (He was soon transferred to an African-American recruiting station after several white surgeons objected to his serving as their superior officer.) With Augusta’s decision to leave the hospital, William P. Powell Jr., the son of an African-American father and American Indian mother, who had received his medical training in England, became the surgeon in charge.
In all, 7 of the 13 black surgeons worked at the Contraband Hospital. Among these men were Augusta’s protégé, Anderson R. Abbott, a Canadian whose parents had emigrated from Alabama to Toronto, who joined the Union as a contract surgeon in 1863, as well as the abolitionist Charles B. Purvis, who first served at the hospital as a nurse before graduating from Wooster Medical College in Cleveland in 1865.
Toronto Public Library (left); National Library of Medicine Anderson R. Abbott, left, and Charles B. Purvis
John V. Degrasse, who had studied at Maine Medical College and who, like Augusta, was a commissioned officer, was the only African-American surgeon to serve in the field with his regiment. The other five surgeons who did not work at Contraband Hospital were assigned to various military hospitals and recruiting stations.
In addition to these remarkable men, who overcame almost insurmountable obstacles to care for wounded soldiers, countless other African-American men and women, with no formal training, worked as nurses in black-only and white-only hospitals and on battlefields. Some of them had been born free; others were former slaves. Charles Purvis’s cousin Charlotte Forten, born free in Philadelphia in 1837, had traveled south to St. Helena Island, S. C., in 1862 to help teach former slaves to read and write. When soldiers of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment of the United States Colored Infantry in South Carolina were defeated at Fort Wagner during brutal hand-to-hand combat in July 1863, she volunteered as a nurse to care for them.
United States Naval History and Heritage Command The Red Rover, a captured Confederate paddle steamer that was converted into a naval hospital.
Ann Stokes, a former slave, was the first African-American woman to serve on a United States military vessel when she began her work as a nurse in 1863 under the Sisters of the Holy Cross. She worked aboard the Red Rover, a former Confederate paddle steamer that had been converted into a naval hospital. Stokes was paid for her work and eventually became the only black woman awarded a pension from the Navy for her service during the Civil War.
Another former slave, Susie King Taylor, who had been taught to read and write at secret schools while a child living with her grandmother in Savannah, Georgia, spent more than three years working for the Union’s First South Carolina Colored Volunteers while her husband served as a sergeant in the regiment. Officially a laundress, she tended to the wounded while teaching others to read and write. She was never paid for her work.
In 1902, more than three decades after the war, Taylor published “Reminiscences of My Life in Camp with the 33d United States Colored Troops Late 1st S.C. Volunteers” — the only published memoir by an African-American nurse during the Civil War. In the opening she explains her reasons for writing the book:
So I now present these reminiscences to you, hoping they may prove of some interest, and show how much service and good we can do to each other, and what sacrifices we can make for our liberty and rights, and that there were ‘loyal women,’ as well as men, in those days, who did not fear shell or shot, who cared for the sick and dying; women who camped and fared as the boys did, and who are still caring for the comrades in their declining years. So, with the hope that the following pages will accomplish some good and instruction for its readers, I shall proceed with my narrative.
The Union wasn’t alone in depending on African-American nurses. Some Confederate hospitals relied on black nurses to help care for the overwhelming number of sick and wounded. The largest Confederate hospital, Chimborazo Hospital in Richmond, Va., used hundreds of African-Americans, most of them male slaves, to provide care to thousands of patients. The surgeon in charge of the hospital in 1862, James Brown McCaw, wrote, “It will be entirely impossible to continue the hospital without them.” After Richmond was captured in April 1865, the Union turned it into a hospital to treat black soldiers.
William P. Powell Jr.
When the war ended, the contributions of many of these African-Americans were largely forgotten. In fact, when William P. Powell Jr., who served as the surgeon in charge of the Contraband Hospital after Augusta’s departure, retired from medicine in 1891 because of poor health and a disability, the government denied his request for a pension, citing his role as a contract surgeon rather than a commissioned officer and determining that he did not have enough proof of his disability. Powell spent the next 24 years fighting the decision, and even wrote letters to Presidents William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt asking for their assistance, until his death in 1915 at the age of 81. He never received his pension.