A US advocacy group has welcomed the decision by Connecticut’s New London Public Schools to recognize two Muslim holidays in its calendar for the coming year.
“We welcome the inclusion of Islamic holidays in the school calendar because it will serve to enhance the learning environment for Muslim students,” CAIR-CT Executive Director Mongi Dhaouadi, who is also a New London Public Schools parent, said in a statement obtained by OnIslam.net on Tuesday, March 18.
In its calendar for the year 2014-2015, the school included certain Muslim holidays as days when observing students can be excused for absences.
It also asks teachers not to schedule tests on those dates.
This list included two religious holidays; Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.
“While school is in session on the following dates, teachers are asked to be mindful of these religious holidays and to refrain from scheduling tests or major activities on these dates,” a note to the listings states.
“Also, in accordance with Board policy, students will be excused from school if they observe these holidays.”
Muslims celebrate two feasts each year.
`Eid Al-Adha, or “Feast of Sacrifice”, is one of the two most important Islamic celebrations, together with `Eid Al-Fitr.
Elsewhere across the United States, home to a Muslim minority between 6-8 million, recognizing Muslim religious holidays is gaining ground.
In Boston, leading schools Cambridge Public School District issued a decision in 2010 to recognize `Eid Al-Fitr and `Eid Al-Adha, which marks the end of hajj.
Several cities in New Jersey close schools on Muslim holidays.
Dearborn, Michigan, where nearly half of the 18,000 students are Muslims, is believed to be the first city to close school on Muslim festivals.
In September 2010, public schools in Burlington city, Vermont, also closed on `Eid al-Fitr for the first time.
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.
Source: On Islam