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CAIR Applauds Md. School Board’s Decision to Give Day Off for Muslim, Other Religious Holidays

CAIR logo(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.]

SEE: Howard County Students to Have Day Off on Eid al-Adha, Diwali, Lunar New Year's Eve

SEE: Howard County Board of Education Takes Action on 2016-2017 Academic Calendar

Montgomery County has a large Muslim population and efforts had been underway for a number of years to seek Eid equality in that county.

SEE: Add a Muslim holiday? Remove a Jewish one? Schools Debate Calendars as Diversity Increases

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.

SEE: Schools Confront Question of Adding or Removing Religious Holidays From Calendar

“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.

SEE: An Educator's Guide to Islamic Religious Practices   

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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CONTACT: CAIR Maryland Outreach Manager Zainab Chaudry,, 410-971-6062

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