(WASHINGTON, D.C., 1/15/16) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today applauded a decision by Maryland’s Howard County Board of Education to close schools for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, the Chinese Lunar New Year's Eve and the Hindu holiday Diwali.
[NOTE: Eid al-Adha (EED-al-ODD-ha) comes at the end of the Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca.]
Montgomery County has a large Muslim population and efforts had been underway for a number of years to seek Eid equality in that county.
CAIR has long championed Eid equality in Maryland school districts - including Howard County, Montgomery County and Baltimore County - that are home to large Muslim populations. CAIR chapters nationwide have worked to have school districts recognize Muslim holidays.
"This vote is proof that it is indeed possible to accommodate the religious needs of multiple faith communities in diverse school districts," said CAIR Maryland Outreach Manager Zainab Chaudry, who has submitted testimony on the holiday inclusion issue. "Religious pluralism is the hallmark of an integrated and inclusive society. We see that reflected in the Howard County Board of Education's decision."
CAIR offers a booklet, called "An Educator's Guide to Islamic Religious Practices," designed to help school officials provide a positive learning environment for Muslim students.
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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