Thursday, August 25, 2016

Unhappy Muslims in America: Baltimore County schools to continue study of religious holiday issue

The Baltimore Sun reports:
Despite rejecting a move to close schools on certain Muslim holidays, Baltimore County school board members said they aren't dropping the issue.

The decision to continue examining when schools should close for religious holidays came after a contentious meeting at which the board voted 6-5 not to grant the holiday closures requested by members of the Muslim community.

Before they voted, board members heard lengthy and emotional commentary from supporters and opponents of Muslim holidays in county public schools.

Muslim leaders were stung by the defeat of a decades-long effort to have their holy days recognized on the school calendar. They denounced the vote and predicted that it would further marginalize Muslim students.

"This smells of bigotry and discrimination," said Muhammed Jameel, president of the Islamic Society of Baltimore, which has 30,000 congregants in the area.

Muslim parents wanted the school board to close school on two Islamic holy days, Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr, when they fall on school days. It is rare that both holidays fall on a school day in one year. The board scheduled one of its professional development days for teachers on Sept. 11, which coincides with Eid-al-Adha this year, so all students have the day off.
Muslims in Christian America dealing with being a minority.