Board will vote December 18 to decide if Muslim holidays will be placed on the 2015-2016 calendar
(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ, 12/16/2014 -- The New Jersey chapter for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) and the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) today called on East Brunswick's Board of Education to approve a petition to include the Muslim holidays of Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha on the school calendar.
[NOTE: Eid ul-Fitr (EED-al-FITTER), or "feast of fast breaking," marks the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan and is the first of the two major Muslim holidays. The second holiday, Eid ul-Adha (EED-al-ODD-ha), comes near the end of the Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca.]
On Thursday, December 18, the board will vote to decide if the Muslim holidays will be placed on the 2015-2016 school calendar. CAIR is also urging as many people as possible to attend the meeting to voice their support for including eid on the school calendar.
Many New Jersey districts, including Paterson, Atlantic City and South Brunswick, have already recognized Muslim holidays on their school calendar. In 2010-2011, South Brunswick schools started with a Muslim student population of 20 percent. There are more than 100 Mosques in New Jersey, with a Muslim population close to half a million.
"With so many Muslim students in New Jersey, school districts are moving forward to acknowledge the importance of diversity and inclusion for students of all faiths," said CAIR-NJ Civil Rights Director Khurrum Ali. "We are confident the school board with do the right thing and include Muslim holidays in the calendar."
ADC Media Relations Specialist Amani Al-Khatahtbeh advised the East Brunswick Board of Education on the importance of fairness and equality in their decision to recognize religious holidays in public schools.
"It is the responsibility of the board of education to turn down the proposed exclusionary calendar and create a more productive decision-making process in which the entire community may be represented," said Al-Khatahtbeh.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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