CAIR Applauds Maryland School Board’s Decision to Close Schools on Muslim Holiday

(BALTIMORE, MD, 11/6/19) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), American’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today applauded the Baltimore County Board of Education’s unanimous decision to close public schools for students on Eid holidays on the rare occasions when they land on a school day. 

[NOTE: Eid ul-Fitr (EED-al-FITTER) marks the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan, 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.]

SEE: Baltimore County School Board approves post-Labor Day start to 2020-2021 school year

https://www.wbaltv.com/article/bcps-school-board-approves-on-2021-school-calendar/29703244

Baltimore County School Board Approves Post Labor Day Start For 2020-21 School Year

https://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2019/11/05/baltimore-county-public-school-start-date-latest/

Baltimore County school board opts for post-Labor Day start, shorter spring break in 2020-21 school year

https://www.baltimoresun.com/maryland/baltimore-county/cng-co-baltimore-school-calendar-vote-20191106-smuaa5cjavfwhf2cvx54wlzvte-story.html

“This historic victory is the culmination of a decades-long battle by local leaders to seek equal recognition for the county’s thousands of Muslim children,” said CAIR Director of Maryland Outreach Zainab Chaudry. “It sends a message to Muslim students and parents that school officials are paying attention to their needs, and that they are valued, seen and heard.”

CAIR acknowledged Student Member of the Board Omer Reshid, and leaders Dr. Basher Firaoun and Muhammed Jamil for tirelessly championing this issue. 

The long-awaited move comes after 30+ years of advocacy and efforts to seek Eid equality, and on the heels of the county’s first Muslim Student Member of the Board being elected to serve in that capacity. 

Eid equality efforts are also underway in Montgomery County, Maryland where the school board agreed in 2015 to close schools for students on Eid but is reportedly considering calendar proposals for the school year 2020-21 which now leave school open on Eid.  

SEE: School leaders in Maryland ask for no AP testing on Muslim holy day

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/school-leaders-in-maryland-ask-for-no-ap-testing-on-muslim-holy-day/2019/11/05/e50f04ee-fa87-11e9-8190-6be4deb56e01_story.html

Last week, CAIR called on the College Board to not schedule AP exams on Eid in 2021 to help local school boards be equitable to all of their student populations.

SEE: CAIR Sends Letter Requesting College Board Avoid Scheduling AP Exams on Eid al-Fitr

https://www.cair.com/cair_sends_letter_requesting_college_board_avoid_scheduling_ap_exams_on_eid_al_fitr

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.

END

Contact: CAIR Director of Maryland Outreach Zainab Chaudry, zchaudry@cair.com, 410-971-6062


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