Muslims want the holy day of Eid al-Adha to be recognized as a school holiday in Montgomery County, Md., and some families have chosen to keep their kids home to celebrate the day.
One Muslim family in Germantown, Md., that has chosen to bypass school for the holy day, wonders why a holiday wouldn’t be given for Eid al-Adha, one of two major Muslim holidays, in a county with a growing Islamic community, according to The Washington Post.
“It’s like we don’t feel equal to other people who get their holidays off,” said 14-year-old Hannah Shraim, a high school student in Germantown.
Muslim leaders have started a petition drive and have the backing of some elected leaders and religious groups, including a Lutheran church and a Jewish organization.
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County Council member George L. Leventhal, who is Jewish, is among the elected officials supporting the effort. Leventhal said he plans to keep his son home that day. “I think it’s the right thing to do,” he said.
WJLA recently reported that unlike other holidays such as Rosh Hashanah, Christmas and Easter, schools currently hold class on both Islamic holidays while at least six school systems across the country have changed their calendars to recognize the Muslim religion.
At that time, the Montgomery County School district released the following statement:
State law makes it clear that we cannot close schools for religious purposes, but only for operational reasons, such as high absenteeism among staff or students. If a student is observing a religious holiday, it is considered an excused absence and the student must be given ample opportunity to make up any work and cannot be penalized in any way. We do not schedule tests on a major religious holidays.