MD: MUSLIMS VOICE PROTESTS OVER SCHOOL CALENDAR
Muslim advocates, some of whom have pressed for years to persuade Baltimore County school officials to close schools for Islamic observances, were quick to criticize the proposed calendar for 2008-2009 as it was presented to the school board last night.
As usual, the calendar includes days off for Rosh Hashanah and Christmas, but makes no mention of Eid al-Fitr or Eid al-Adha.
"What is so hard about being equal and fair; you closed schools on Jewish holidays but did not close them on the Islamic holidays," said Hadear Abdou, a student at Towson University. "We have even compromised and said at least one holiday should be closed. This was an attempt to meet you in the middle, but apparently you have not made that equal attempt."
Bash Pharoan, president of the Baltimore chapter of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, said the proposed calendar was discriminatory. "The superintendent chose to reject the 18- to 20-member calendar committee's unanimous support for adding one school closing day on Eid al-Fitr and simply throw it away."