Racism and Islamophobia Converge as US Muslim Teen Denied Diploma for Dancing on Stage


A US high school graduate, Hafsah Abdur-Rahman, was left humiliated after her principal refused to hand over her diploma.

As her name was called, she came forward to receive her diploma while performing a short celebratory dance across the stage.

The principal denied giving her the diploma and asked her to leave the stage instead.

No Cheering Policy

The Philadelphia High School for Girls has a no-cheering rule, which restricts the audience from cheering for a specific student. The students were informed about the rule prior, but Hafsa danced to the stage, which caused laughter from the crowd and resulted in the unfortunate incident.

A Dance to Honor Her Late Sister

Speaking to WPVI news, Hafsa explained that the dance was to honor her sister, who was killed by a stray bullet in 2014 and was never able to graduate.

The student cried following the rejection and expressed her embarrassment.

Hafsa stated that she understood the principal’s warning and was well aware of the school policy. The incident caused laughter from the audience, which wasn’t her intention.

Response from the Public

The event sparked outrage from many who consoled Hafsa. They also criticized the principal for ruining her big day.

On the other hand, many had opposite opinions and favored the principles decision.

US Teen Denied Diploma for Dancing on Stage During Ceremony
US Teen Denied Diploma for Dancing on Stage During Ceremony

Apart from Hafsa, 3 other girls in her class also had their diplomas withheld and received them after the ceremony.

Considering the backlash, the School District of Philadelphia stated that it does not condone the withholding of earned diplomas based on its rules and no-cheering policy.

The audience is not allowed to cheer, and an act causing it is also strictly ill-advised.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Prove your are not robot by selecting the Heart.