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Choral Beef

BHS Concert choir performing in the auditorium.

Photo taken from blainechoir.net

BHS Concert choir performing in the auditorium.

Andrew Davis, Blueprint Staff Member

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Despite it having been the season of joy, happiness, and love, Blaine’s choir was plagued by controversy before, during, and after their annual Holiday Concert. “Why?” you might ask. The answer: Song selection. In addition to many Christmas carols, the students were asked to perform both a Ramadan and a Hanukkah song. Some say that the inclusion of various holidays in the choir’s concert is a non-issue, but others maintain that their inclusion misrepresents the beliefs and values of Blaine High School students and staff.

The song that is inspiring this controversy is “Eid un Sa’Eid” which includes phrases such as “Allahu Akbar,” Arabic for “God is Great” and English phrases like, “Thank you Allah for this blessed day.”

I have spoken with various students, some who have expressed their feelings of annoyance in light of the controversy, “It’s stupid,” one student said, because, “It wasn’t a required song so you didn’t have to sing it if you didn’t want to.” However, another student stated that, “The only song that people are required to sing is the Muslim song.” Students are not the only ones who have made their voice and opinions clear on this issue though. After one parent posted the song’s lyrics to Facebook, another parent chimed in, saying that “No child should be forced to sing a song about the Muslims and the religion of hatred,” again, the belief that participation was forced was central to opposing the song’s inclusion.

I tried to contact the choir director to verify what either party said, but she declined comment. But on December 16, the district cleared up the confusion by saying that no student has to participate in anything that they don’t want to. They also said that not singing any one song should not have a negative effect on a student’s grade.

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