Quantcast
Connect with us

School board yanks Christmas from calendar after Muslims ask for their own holiday off

Published

on

Muslims have been cast as the villains in an ongoing dispute over religious equality in a Maryland school district.

The conservative Education Action Group reported that the Montgomery County School District “stripped Christmas and Jewish holy holidays from its official calendar after Muslim parents complained,” and the headline warned that a “suburban DC school district takes Christmas off (the) calendar after Muslims complain.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Even then, the activist group’s founder claimed in his article, “that’s not good enough” for the Muslims.

While EAG’s conclusions aren’t quite accurate – some of its reporting is.

Muslim families aren’t satisfied with the school board’s decision, because they’ve been asking the district for years to cancel classes on the Muslim holiday of Eid ul Fitr, which comes at the end of Ramadan.

“The Eid is just the same exact as Christmas day or Easter day or Yom Kippur,” said mother Samira Hussein, who works for the school district. “The children want to be home with their families. This is a family holiday that God designated and gave us the time to celebrate and be joyous.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Students are given excused absences when they miss school for religious observance, but parents say they shouldn’t have to choose between their faith and their school work.

This year, Eid coincided with Yom Kippur, so students were already off school.

Montgomery County schools have closed on Jewish high holidays since the 1970s, because the area’s high Jewish population would create a high absenteeism rate.

ADVERTISEMENT

They’ve always been closed for Christmas.

But county officials have said there aren’t enough Muslim families in the area to justify closing schools on Eid or other holidays celebrated in Islam.

“The absentee rate on the Eid holidays, when they’ve fallen on a school day, haven’t been considerably higher or lower than it is on any other given day,” said Dana Tofig, of Montgomery County Public Schools.

ADVERTISEMENT

In response to the Muslim parents’ concerns, the school board voted 7-1 Tuesday to support Superintendent Joshua Starr’s recommendation to stop identifying religious holidays on scheduled days off but simply state schools will be closed on those dates.

The board did not, as Todd Starnes reported for Fox News, “eliminate all religious holidays.”

The school board member who offered the amendment said the measure was “the most equitable option.”

ADVERTISEMENT

But some of the Muslims who packed the school board meeting said the decision simply alienated religious communities while doing nothing to advance equality.

“(They would) go so far as to paint themselves as the Grinch who stole Christmas,” said Zainab Chaudry, co-chair of the Equality for Eid Coalition. “They would remove the Christian holidays and they would remove the Jewish holidays from the calendar before they would consider adding the Muslim holiday to the calendar.”

She said Muslim parents want Christian and Jewish holidays to remain on the school calendar – but they want a day off granted for theirs, too.

ADVERTISEMENT

“What we’re asking for is … to also have both the Jewish holiday and the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha both be recognized on the school calendar,” said Chaundry, who is also Maryland outreach manager for the Council on American Islamic Relations.

Watch this video report posted online by WRC-TV:

ADVERTISEMENT

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and legal efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. And unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from billionaires and corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click to donate by check.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



Report typos and corrections to: [email protected]. Send news tips to: [email protected]m.
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

As many as 20 corrections officers have been subpoenaed by grand jury investigating Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide

Published

on

According to sources interviewed by CNN, as many as 20 correctional officers are being called to testify before the grand jury investigating how Jeffrey Epstein was able to kill himself.

It was reported late Wednesday that there were eight officers who knew to watch Epstein while he was housed in the Metropolitan Correctional Center. Epstein had left "suicide watch" after an alleged suicide attempt, and he was supposed to remain under the watchful eye of officers. However, the officers are overworked and the prison understaffed, requiring officers to work several overtime shifts, the officer's union explained.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Top DHS aide resigns amid Trump anger that new anti-immigration plan didn’t get better TV ratings: report

Published

on

The Trump White House has long been plagued by record turnover and now Axios is reporting that yet another Trump administration official has found himself out of a job.

According to Axios, Andrew Meehan, a top aide to acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan, stepped down this week amid tensions between DHS and the Trump White House.

Continue Reading
 

2020 Election

Ex-Trump official bashes White House ‘apologists’ who haven’t quit yet: ‘There’s not much hope for them’

Published

on

A report on the silence coming from first daughter Ivanka Trump and her White House advisor husband Jared Kushner after Donald Trump attacked American Jews turned to the future of White House aides who are either complicit in the president's policies or stand idly by as he lurches from controversy to controversy.

In an interview with CNN's Brianna Keilar, former Trump adviser J.W. Verret pointed out there are still some "adults in the room" with Trump, but CNN's Kaitlan Collins first pointed out that -- as of late -- Ivanka and Kushner are not among them.

"This fits a pattern that we've seen from Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump at times during times when the administration tried to repeal parts of Obamacare, and of course, the big one the president has made about Jewish people who are supporting Democrats," Collins explained. "Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump are both Orthodox Jews. They've been involved with the president on many things. but neither of them have said anything publicly about the president's comments. and when we asked the white house have they been advising the president privately on this, the White House did not get back to us."

Continue Reading
 
 

Thank you for whitelisting Raw Story!

As a special thank you, from now until August 31st, we're offering you a discounted rate of $5.99/month to subscribe and get ad-free access. We're honored to have you as a reader. Thank you. :) —Elias, Membership Coordinator
LEARN MORE
close-link
close-image