Why Six Flags turning away NJ 101.5 listener for ‘Muslim Day’ wasn’t unusual
A New Jersey 101.5 listener told the station this week that when he and his family went to Six Flags Great Adventure Friday with season passes, they were stopped — told it was "Muslim Day" and they'd need to pay another $10 each to enter the park.
But Six Flags Great Adventure told New Jersey 101.5 that's not anything unusual — that the park followed the same procedures it does for other groups that rent out the park.
The listener in an email that when he was told he'd have to pay an extra $10 per person, he refused to pay and left the park.
Six Flags spokeswoman Kristin Siebeneicher said that the Islamic Circle of North American (ICNA) of New Jersey rented the park on Friday for "Great Muslim Adventure Day" — and it was not a regular operating day.
"The park was always marked 'closed' on our operating calendars, the website banner also stated we were closed, in addition to social media messages that Fright Fest would resume on Saturday. Season Passes and regular tickets are not valid on closed, special event days," Siebeneicher said in an email.
Siebeneicher said that the park has been rented this season by private companies, charities, religious groups, the LGBT community and school groups. Over the years, events have included a Physics Day and an event for the National Conference of Synagogue Youth. A movie company rented the park for Save the Children and a prominent pharmaceutical company also rented out the park.
"We have hosted the ICNA for more than 10 years," Siebeneicher said.
"These days are always marked 'closed' on our calendars to communicate that they are not open to the public, including season pass holders. In every case, with permission from their respective promoters, season pass guests who come to the park are admitted for a small fee," Siebeneihcer said.
Syad Haq, one of the organizers of the event for ICNA, said the everything went well on Friday night at the park in attraction for the approximately 12,000 that attended from around the Tri-State area.
"We have received threats in the past" about the event and people have been encouraged to pretest outside the park, according to Haq. "But no one has called us or left us a message that there is a problem (this year)."
"We always keep our own security" for the event that works with park security if any problems arise, Haq said.
An Arizona-based militia group made threats against the event last year state, officials said.
"The safety and well-being of our guests and team members is our highest priority. We adjusted our security measures two weekends ago as a precaution to address issues in the area," Siebeneicher said.
According to ICNA's website, it held similar events at Six Flags parks around the country in Springfield, Massachusetts, the Washington/Baltimore area, Chicago, San Francisco and Atlanta.
Past Muslim Family Day events by the ICNA have caught attention before. The liberal online magazine Mother Jones in 2010 wrote "Tea partiers and other anti-Islam activists are freaking out about a Muslim Family Day" scheduled for Sept. 12 — one day after the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Conservative commenter Glenn Beck was among those questioning the timing in 2010 as well.
"What we’re arguing here is maybe Muslim Day with all of the kiddies and the, you know, the dragon, you know, floaties around them going to the water park might be in bad taste on 9/12," he said at the time.
A writer for Inquisitr.com criticized Six Flags in 2014 for scheduling both the Muslim event and a military appreciation day at a Georgia park.
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