For the last year, Baltimore County Muslims have been lobbying the school
board to close schools on two important Islamic holidays.

“For the 40 years I have been here, I have been celebrating Christmas with
my friends,” said Sanaullah Kirmani at the Dec. 21 school board meeting.

“I want my boys’ friends to celebrate with us,” said Kirmani, whose two
sons attend Towson High School.

On Jan. 21, Muslims celebrated Eid ul-Adha, which commemorates Abraham’s
willingness to sacrifice his son, Isaac. The day is spent in prayer and in
the evening Muslims celebrate with family and friends sharing a meal.

Eid ul-Adha and Eid ul-Fitr, which occurs in late fall, are the two most
important holidays for Muslims.

The Baltimore County Muslim Council wants those days designated as holidays
on the school calendar, just as Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur are.

Bash Pharoan, the council president, said that the current school calendar
sends a message that only Christian and Jewish holidays are acceptable.

“If you give a holiday to an ethic group, you must give that right to all
other groups,” Pharoan told the board. “We ask you to treat us equally”¦


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