Muslim parents are reportedly angry about a flyer handed out at public schools in Michigan advertising an Easter egg hunt.
The flyers, announcing an “Eggstravaganza!” at a local Presbyterian church, are being heralded by Muslim parents as a violation of the separation of church and state.
The event, taking place at the Cherry Hill Presbyterian Church, will include an easter egg hunt, relay race, and egg toss. The images included on the flyer were of a bunny and eggs.
The flyers were given to students at three Dearborn elementary schools, where a large number of Muslim students are enrolled.
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Parent Majed Moughni reportedly told the Detroit Free Press that the flyer bothered his two children.
“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,” said Moughni.
Moughni is concerned over “using school teachers paid by public funds … to pass out these flyers that are being distributed by a church.”
A Halloween event was also advertised at the school, and Moughni is worried that Christians "are trying to convert Muslim kids through propaganda distributed at public schools,” reports Yahoo News.
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Moughni says he would be equally opposed to the distribution of materials about events at local mosques.
Pastor Neeta Nichols of Cherry Hill Presbyterian Church says the flyer was approved for distribution by Dearborn Public Schools and is not promoting a religious event.
“It’s designed to be an opportunity to invite the community to come for a day of activity,” said Nichols. “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,” she added. “We’re offering various kinds of programming, fun opportunities, so that we can be engaged with the community.”
Greg Lipper, a lawyer at Americans United for Separation of Church and State, has concerns over the flyer because the event is located at a church.
“It would be one thing if this were an Easter egg hunt in an otherwise secular setting,” like the White House Easter Egg Roll, he said. “But this invitation was for an Easter egg hunt at a Christian church — and so the event has much clearer religious connotations. Context matters.”