Some things make sense when they are put together, like chocolate and milk, or macaroni and cheese. But some combinations just don’t make sense. Last weekend, one Six Flags amusement park put together an odd combination: Military Appreciation Day and Muslim Friends and Family Day — on the same day. It is unclear whether this was intentional or coincidental, but whatever the intent, some customers are not happy.
DML Daily reports that the event to honor the people who serve in the American military took place on the weekend of September 20 and 21 at Six Flags over Georgia. The park website states that they are “proud of the men and women of the military who protect our freedom.”
“During this weekend, there will be complimentary admission for current (active) military members and up to three dependents. If a military service member is currently deployed during this weekend, a spouse and up to three dependents can receive complimentary admission with a current military ID card.”
Six Flags also offered half-price tickets for additional family members as well as for retired military veterans. The event has been a hit in past years with military families, according to reviews on TripAdvisor. Many patriotic Americans love events that honor the military.
But this year, a strange thing happened. Six Flags also decided to honor Muslim families. By itself, there would be nothing unusual about that. It is not uncommon for venues to host special events for various minority groups or special interest groups, and Six Flags has held such events in the past. Just not on the same day that the military men and women are scheduled to be there.
While the “Great Muslim Adventure Day” at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey was held on September 26, the comparable event at the Six Flags over Georgia was held on Sunday, September 21, while the members of the military were scheduled to be there.
The Six Flags website explains the event.
“In addition to enjoying thrilling roller coasters, rides, shows and attractions, Muslims and their friends, families, and all guests will be able to enjoy Halal foods, open-air bazaars featuring Muslim merchants, congressional prayers, informative lectures and a constant stream of Islamic nasheed. Muslim Friends and Family Day also raises awareness about Islam and Muslims and promotes a better understanding of the faith.
“Established in 1968, ICNA (the Islamic Circle of North America) was formed to support the Muslim community in the United States. Over the past four decades, ICNA has worked to establish connections between Islam and the public. Today, ICNA is known for its commitment to self- development, education and community outreach.
“ICNA is committed to providing families, friends and supporters of the Muslim Community with opportunities to attend unique fun filled outings.
“Buy your tickets below, or enter promo code muslim on our website.”
The military were able to get free tickets, but there was no mention of a discount for Muslims. However, the entire atmosphere of the park was to be altered in numerous ways to honor Muslims, from the food and merchandise being offered to the accommodations for prayers. Generally, at events that honor military and veterans, patriotic music is played, but not this time. “Nasheed” refers to Islamic chants, with or without instrumental accompaniment, and it was to be streamed constantly throughout the park.
One poster, “Heather Feather,” responded to the combination of events at Six Flags.
“Either they are the stupidest company on the planet for insulting our military with bs Muslim Day on the same frkn [sic] day, or this is intentional. My money will never be given to, nor will I ever visit, a Six Flags again.”
Some perceive the actions of Six Flags to be “a total insult to our military.”
Many military members have spent tours of duty in Islamic-majority countries Iraq and Afghanistan. For any suffering from PTSD, being immersed in an atmosphere with the chanting and food and smells associated with their time in the Middle East may trigger symptoms. While they may generally feel safe on U.S. soil, being surrounded with reminders of the area where many lost friends and colleagues could make the day that is supposed to be fun and relaxing, anything but.
“Well this doesn’t have “Bad Idea” written all over it at ALL!!” says J. Little. “You will also remember that m0slems have had it suggested to them, to murder soldiers and their families, where ever they find them. SOMEbody is just looking for the ‘2nd Crusades’ to start….”
Late last summer, The Inquisitr reported that the Six Flags franchise which is showing such tolerance towards Islamic culture failed to show the same tolerance to a military veteran who served and lost friends in Iraq who was wearing a patriotic shirt. They denied him entrance into the park with the shirt because it was deemed offensive.
What do you think? Was the honoring of both the military and Muslim communities on the same day simply an odd coincidence, or do you have a hard time swallowing the concept that this combinations wasn’t intentional by someone at Six Flags over Georgia? Was this scheduling occurrence a display of tolerance or was it offensive?