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Written by: Hamzah Moin
Halloween – Sally McDonnell’s class of Grade 3 students received a different kind of scare. “I still can’t sleep at night,” said McDonnell, 33, who is the English teacher for Washington Falls Elementary School Grade 3 class, “this is hands down the scariest thing I’ve ever heard in my life.”
Abdul Malik Bukhari, 8, was the only Muslim in McDonnell’s class and when she asked him to present something ‘scary’ to the class, he told a true jinn story. “Most of the people in my class would present something like fake eyeballs or some stupid costume they got at the dollar store but not me… I gave them the real deal” narrated Bukhari.
Apparently Bukhari’s tale of jinns and possession came from a true account about his crazy uncle and his expeditions to a haunted jinn house in Pakistan. “It’s the usual jinn story… a disobedient Muslim does something rotten and a jinn uses some cool powers to scare the hell out of ‘em” explained Bukhari. It is reported that Bukhari always pleads to hear jinn stories before he goes to sleep instead of the usual nursery rhymes.
Abdul Malik has always been the most controversial student in the school during Halloween. Last year, Bukhari convinced his entire class to dress up as “Muslims”. “It scared the hell out of the faculty that’s for sure” said an anonymous Grade 3 student. Several children in the class embraced Islam as a result after experiencing how fun it is being a Muslim and not being Freddy Kreuger or a fairy princess for a change.
It’s not all rosy in Mrs. McDonnell’s class. Bukhari has been known to ruffle a few feathers. “I honestly think stories like that should be banned from the classroom,” said Tiffany Murphy, 8, “it’s just a recipe for disaster. Children will become desensitized to horror and violence at such a young age.” Murphy later admitted that she enjoyed the jinn story about the jinn who used its arms like Mr. Fantastic from the Fantastic Four to grab a Qur’an.
Bukhari’s parents have also been notorious for their bizarre antics during Halloween. Khalid Bukhari, 41, says, “We like to hide Hadith reminders in the wrappers of the candy we give out so they know more about Islam” It was reported that 8 children were hospitalized for eating their Hadith reminders, not realizing they were inedible. “It seems their stomachs are daeef (weak)” joked Mr. Bukhari.