Monday, October 11, 2010

Muslim Holiday Celebrated at Mass. Schools

Public schools in Cambridge, Massachusetts will be the first in the state to close every year in honor of Eid al-Fitr or Eid al-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice).

. . . the city’s Muslim population appears to be growing.

"As their kids come home and say, ‘Oh, look, we now have a holiday,’ the parents might begin to feel safer here."

UPDATE 11/7/11: Muslim holiday celebrated for second year in a row

-- From "Cambridge school district to observe Muslim holiday" by The Associated Press 10/10/10

Cambridge School Committee member Marc McGovern, who pushed for the policy, says people should avoid what he calls hysteria and the stereotype of Muslims as terrorists. He says Cambridge schools close for some Christian and Jewish holidays and Muslims should be treated the same.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "School system to get Muslim holiday" by Brock Parker, Boston Globe Correspondent 10/10/10

The school district’s decision, announced last month, was made as the national discussion about Islam continues, fueled by a Mosque proposal two blocks from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Florida preacher Terry Jones’s threat to burn a Koran. The discussion has also touched local schools, as Wellesley school officials drew criticism recently for a video that showed sixth-grade students kneeling during a prayer service at a Boston mosque during a field trip in May.

Cambridge School Superintendent Jeffrey Young said the district does not collect information about the religion of its students. But Young said that there is a significant Muslim population in the city, and that, at least anecdotally, the Muslim population in the schools appears to be growing.

A large Muslim population is one of the reasons why the school district in Dearborn, Mich., began closing schools for high Islamic holy days 10 years ago, said David Mustonen, communications coordinator for the school system.

In September, public schools in Burlington, Vt., also closed on Eid al-Fitr for the first time, said Dan Balon, director of the school district’s diversity and equity office.

Balon said there is an increasing Muslim population in the schools, and the district decided to close on the holiday rather than risk low attendance rates and force students to decide between school and staying home to celebrate the holiday.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Note: Muslims represent less than two percent of the U.S. population, and is growing.