- Post 15 June 2012
- By Copy Editor
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. – There are an estimated 250 thousand Muslims in the DC area, but right now, no Washington area schools close on Muslim holidays.
A Montgomery County Councilman wants to change that, and he’s already gotten a response from the Superintendent.
Councilman George Leventhal (D-At Large) says it isn’t fair that Montgomery County Schools close for some religious holidays for some faiths and not others, so he asked the board to consider closing schools for twoimportant Muslim holidays.
“These are the two holiest days for Muslims. Eids, which means festival, Eid-ul-Adha and Edi-ul-Fitr.
The request is getting mixed reviews.
“As a Jew, I think it’s important that all religiousfaiths are recognized by the school system,” Stephanie Rubin says.
“It sort of depends on how much of a disruption there is to the school calendar, and how many Muslim students and teachers, and staff would want to take off on these holidays,” David Rubin said.
But there are opponents who say students miss enough class time already without adding two Muslim holidays into the mix.
“Schools are closed for the primary Christian and Jewish holidays. We’re talking about one day– Eid ul-adha which I don’t think would be inconvenient or burdensome.” Leventhal says.
For the next several years, Eid-ul Fitr falls in August and wouldn’t affect the school year, Leventhal says.
Leventhal received a letter from Superintendent Joshua Starr Friday. Starr writes, “It is extremelydifficult to consider all of the potential holidays as school closings in such a diverse community as Montgomery County. MCPS gladly would welcome a representative from the Muslim community to serve on the school calendar committee work group.”
Why do they need a “Muslim” representative? Did they chose other members specfically for their religion? Not likely but rather than earn a spot on the committee it will simply be handed to them and the committee will bend over backwards fearing lawsuits and cries of raaaacism and Islamophobia.
A move Ronit Eisenbach says presents a teachable moment to the county’s students.
“I think in this day and age and all that represents the U.S., it makes a lot of sense,” Eisenbach says.
And that’s just plain creepy – suggesting that all students in the county be forced to learn about Islam? It makes no sense.
Even if the school calendar committee were to approve the Muslim holidays as days off from school, it wouldn’t happen next year. The calendar is already set. The earliest it could happen would be during the 2014 school year. The committee will start working on that in November.