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CAIR Welcomes Decision by Maryland School Board to Close on Muslim Holiday

CAIR logo(WASHINGTON, D.C., 11/10/15) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed a decision by Maryland’s Montgomery County Public Schools Board of Education to close schools on the Muslim holiday of Eid Al-Adha during the 2016-17 school year.

[NOTE: Eid ul-Adha (eed-al-ODD-ha), or “festival of the sacrifice,†celebrates the end of the yearly pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj) with communal prayers and other activities. The prayers and the holiday that follows commemorate the Prophet Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael at God's command.]

The 6-2 vote followed a heated debate during today's hearing.

SEE: MCPS Nixes Classes on Eid-ul-Adha Starting in 2016   

The years-long effort to mark Islamic holidays has been led by Muslim community leaders and activists.

CAIR has provided written and oral testimony at numerous board hearings and has met with board members to make the case for closing schools on “Eid†for the county's growing Muslim population, which some estimates place at 10 percent of the county's total population.

SEE: CAIR Rep to Testify on Proposed Maryland County Religious Holidays Policy

“We appreciate and applaud the school board's decision to vote for Eid equality in Montgomery County Public Schools,” said CAIR Maryland Outreach Manager Zainab Chaudry. “This victory comes on the heels of years of advocacy by local Muslim leaders, CAIR and our interfaith allies, and it sends a strong message that all communities are worthy of equal and fair treatment.”

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, zchaudry@cair.com, 410-971-6062

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