- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Muslim parents in Michigan are up in arms at a flier distributed by a local school district promoting an Easter egg roll, saying the ad for the event violates the separation of church and state standard.

Easter is a Christian-based holiday that remembers the rising of Jesus Christ from the grave. Easter as celebrated by eggs and the Easter Bunny, however, has no relation to the religious or biblical story of Jesus — and is secular in nature.

Still, some Muslim parents with children in the Dearborn Public Schools system were still upset by the “Eggstravaganza!” fliers that were distributed among students because they advertised the event as taking place at a local church, United Press International reported.

“It really bothered my two kids,” one Muslim parent, Majed Moughni, told the Detroit Free Press. “My son was like, ‘Dad, I really don’t feel comfortable getting these fliers, telling me to go to church. I thought churches are not supposed to mix with schools.’ “

The event is set for Cherry Hill Presbyterian Church and is billed as an egg hunt, a relay race and an egg toss.

“it’s designed to be an opportunity to invite the community to come for a day of activity,” said Cherry Hill Pastor Neeta Nichols, UPI reported. “There is not a religious component to this event. Part of our ministry in Dearborn is to invite the community to let them know we’re here. We’re offering various kinds of programming, fun opportunities, so that we can be engaged with the community.”

The Detroit Free Press reported that Muslim parents see the flier as a backdoor attempt to convert their children to Christianity. And they’ve received some support from the Americans United for Separation of Church and States.

“It would be one thing if this were an Easter egg hunt in an otherwise secular setting,” said Greg Lipper, with the group, in UPI. “But this invitation was for an Easter egg hunt at a Christian church — and so the event has much clearer religious connotations. Context matters.”

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