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-Maryland: A Push to Close Public Schools for Muslim Holidays?

by Dr. D ~ June 1st, 2012

English: A symbol of Islam, the Star and Cresc...

     (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is a push from a local politician and a Muslim group to close Montgomery County public schools (A suburb of Washington DC) for at least two major Muslim holidays.

From the Washington Examiner:

Montgomery County officials are considering closing schools for two Muslim holidays next school year.

At-large County Councilman George Leventhal asked school leaders in a letter to shut down campuses for Eid-ul-Adha and Eid-ul-Fitr, days when Muslim students and residents usually pray, feast and visit with family. Currently, Montgomery County Public Schools system offers excused absences to these students.  …

Irma Hafeez, director of the Montgomery County Muslim Council, said her organization is starting a letter-writing campaign and hopes to gather signatures to support closing schools on the holidays. She estimates that Muslims make up 3 percent of Montgomery County.

“I think it will be a very good move at this time, to show politically and emotionally the tolerance of America and show we really care about freedom of expression, of religion, of pursuing a good life,” Hafeez said. “That is the dream of all the immigrants.”

Response: My question is this –why the special treatment for Islam when Muslims only make up 3% of the population? What about closing for Buddhist, Hindu, Shinto, and Wicca holidays?

Meanwhile schools all around the country are shifting away from identifying breaks with Christian holidays. Some have gone so far as to have a ‘Spring break’ which does not come anywhere close to Easter anymore –either before or after. The break in December is now called a ‘Winter Break’ and no longer officially tied to the Christian holiday. Schools across the country use to take Good Friday off but most have stopped recognizing that day. Very few schools in America take off major Jewish holidays like Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur except in communities where Jewish students make up a large part of the student body.

Muslim students should be allowed to stay home with excused absences on their religious holidays just like everyone else and apparently already have that right in Montgomery and all across the country. That is the best way to handle religious holidays for minority religions. I do not believe that the Muslim religion should receive any kind of special treatment just because it is politically correct right now to battle against so-called Islamophobia in America. That’s what this issue is really all about- political correctness.           *Top

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