Little Mosque in Utah Finally Footloose—Declare Dancing Permissible
By Sossannah Riyaad
Salt Lake City (UT)—after deliberating for more than 2 hours, Crescent Mosque officially declared dancing as permissible for the Muslim community in Lehi, Utah. Over 200 people, mostly teenagers and some parents rejoiced when the decision was announced at 1 pm (MST) shortly before Friday Prayers.
“Crescent Mosque, in a 6-4 vote, has decided dancing in moderation to be safe,” said Communication Secretary Saffiyah Mulham. “An evaluation still needs to be conducted on whether certain moves such as the Harlem Shake and different genres of music are within acceptable boundaries. But for now, dancing will be allowed.”
The hot and often controversial issue began in the small community just 30 miles outside of Salt Lake City, close to a year ago when 18-year old Senior, Kamran Sultan, a recent transplant from Chicago had suggested the idea to other Muslim high school students after he realized his new home lacked any excitement. His idea didn’t gain much momentum as most kids were afraid to tamper with the religious laws that had been implemented by the town’s respected Turkish Imam, Dr. Rafi Ali.
“I just couldn’t believe there wasn’t anything fun to do here,” said Sultan who claimed he used to dance by himself at a steel mill located just outside the town. “I knew it wasn’t going to be like Chicago, but this was really dead.”
Sultan, who along with his mom, moved in with her brother’s family in Lehi after she lost her job, was initially considered an outcast. He was constantly challenged to fights and playing chicken with tractors. Eventually, his rebel attitude but good-natured ways inspired the kids at school, including the Imam’s daughter, 17-year old, Syma (who reportedly is in love with him) to advocate dancing.
“Kamran has always been a super-cool guy driven to get what he wants,” said Hibbah Nayyab a senior at Alpine High School, and a spot-on doppelganger to Sarah Jessica Parker. “Plus I think he and my bestie Syma are going to get married!”
While many of the youth and even some adults lobbied the proposal for dancing to Crescent board members, Dr. Ali was adamantly opposed and forbade any discussion of it, even stating at a press interview that rock, techno, electronica and hip-hop music were evil, though he quietly avoided mentioning disco. However, Ali’s views changed at a town hall discussion last Sunday when both parties presented their case. While Sultan failed to find any reference to dancing in the Qur’an, he brilliantly used an argument from the school of Shafi which considers dancing as ‘not unlawful unless it is languid.’
“Hey, give credit to the kid [Sultan]. He did his homework and found evidence,” said a noticeably relaxed Ali. “But I felt like I was in a movie with all this drama. Wait, wasn’t this a story in a film?”
“Kamran really opened up the flood gates of happiness around here,” said Taha Jamil, Sultan’s best friend and a frequent wearer of overalls. “He’s not only made all of this happen, but he’s teaching me how to dance!” Jamil said his lessons have been coming well as he has practically completed a choreographed sequence to Kenny Loggin’s “Footloose.”
Despite the decision, Crescent Board did warn co-ed mixers would be heavily chaperoned, which left some a little deflated. However, Sultan said he’s ok with the discrepancy and dancing with caution is better than not dancing at all.
“It’s a start. I think the town is showing progress. Plus it’s better than dancing at a steel mill all alone.”