Massachusetts Schools to Have Muslim Holiday

According to Wikipedia, the majority of Americans (76%) identify themselves as Christians (51% Protestants; 25% Catholic). Non-Christian religions (including Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism), collectively make up about 4% to 5% of the adult population. [source]
Once very small, the Muslim population of the US increased greatly in the 20th century, with much of the growth driven by rising immigration and conversion. South Asians Muslims from India and Pakistan and Arabs make up the biggest group of Muslims in America at 60–65% of the population. Native-born American Muslims are mainly African American converts who make up a quarter of the total Muslim population. Despite all this, Muslims comprise less than 2% of the U.S. population. [source]
So it is curious indeed that the public school system of Cambridge, Massachusetts, decided to close down its schools for one day a year as a Muslim holiday. What happened to the separation of church and state that the Left always invoke when it comes to anything Christian? What next? A public school holiday for Satanists?
Cambridge is one of the most liberal cities in America. Its residents jokingly refer to it as “The People’s Republic of Cambridge.” Indeed, in 2008, 58.43% of Cantabrigians (what residents of Cambridge call themselves) registered Democrat, 35.43% were Unaffiliated or Independents, while only 5.07% were Republicans.
H/t Dave.
~Eowyn

“The flag of Islam will one day fly over the White House.” –Anjem Choudary

Brock Parker reports for the Boston Globe on October 10, 2010:

As a Muslim and a high school senior at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, 17-year-old Dunia Kassay faces a tough choice every year on Islamic holy days: go to school or stay home to be with family and friends. If she stays home, Kassay says, she will be forced to play catch-up and make up her school assignments. But if she goes to school, she will be neglecting what she feels is her religious obligation on holidays such as Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting. “It’s really conflicting,’’ Kassay said. “Instead of fasting for a month and enjoying this really big day, eating and going to family’s houses, it’s kind of like, ‘Oh, hey, guys, I’ve got to go do my homework.’’’

But beginning next year, Cambridge public schools will attempt to make it easier for Muslim students to honor their highest holy days. In a move that school officials believe is the first of its kind in the state, Cambridge will close schools for one Muslim holiday each year beginning in the 2011-2012 school year.
The school will either close for Eid al-Fitr or Eid al-Adha, also known as the Festival of Sacrifice, depending on which holiday falls within the school year. If both fall within the school calendar, the district will close for only one of the days.
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.
But Cambridge School Committee member Marc McGovern, who pushed for the Muslim holiday in city schools, said he thinks people need to take a step back from what he called hysteria and the stereotypes of all Muslims as terrorists. “At a time when I think the Muslim population is being characterized with a broad brush in a negative way, I think it’s important for us to say we’re not going to do that here,’’ McGovern said.
Cambridge schools already close for some Christian and Jewish holidays, and McGovern said he believes Muslims should be treated equally. “The issue that sort of came up was should we celebrate any religious holidays, but there was not the will to take away Good Friday or one of the Jewish holidays,’’ he said. “So I said, if that is the case, I think we have an obligation to celebrate one of the Muslim holidays, as well.’’
State and federal laws require schools to make reasonable accommodation of the religious needs of students and in observance of holy days, but the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education leaves the decision about how to do that up to individual school districts because they “know best about the needs and unique demographic makeup of their student population and community,’’ said JC Considine, a spokesman for the department.
If a school district has a large number of students who observe Good Friday and would not attend school that day, Considine said the districts are allowed to close because of the expected low attendance. But the state does require districts to schedule at least 180 days of school.
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. Mustonen said that at first there were some people in the community who didn’t like the schools being closed on Eid holidays. “However, I don’t think this is the case anymore as people have come to realize that it is no different then taking time off at Christmas or Easter,’’ Mustonen said in an e-mail.
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.
Glenn Koocher, executive director of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees, said that to his knowledge Cambridge would be the first school district in Massachusetts to close schools for a Muslim holiday. “Somebody has to be first,’’ said Koocher. “I suspect there may be heightened interest in this. We’ll see how this plays out.’’ [….]
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tina
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Do NOT get this started. They need to go back to their homeland and do all this B.S. I hope the parents raise holy HELL.

DCG
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DCG

I say they stick w/federal holidays. If schools are going to recognize EVERY religious holiday, then the kids wiil be doing school all tear long…

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Take one of those Jewish or Christian holidays away… left/liberal “educators” have to kiss-up to the future Islamist overlords, you know. (Of course, being that it’s Massachusetts, they probably have to bus a muslim student in to demonstrate how “tolerant” they are.)

Dave
Editor

Hey, look on the bright side: at least it keeps American kids out of the clutches of government agent teacher’s union goons for one more day.
That was near-sarcasm, BTW.
If this sort of PC crap isn’t nipped in the budd now, it will someday devour us.
-Dave

igor
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igor

so if you have enough people in a district who believe in zeus or name a god of you choice and keep their kids home from school to celebrate or offer virgins up for sacrifice to the great volcano god the idiot liberal agenda will make a case for a federal holliday. giving in an inch often times leads to cedeing a yard or more. this country was a melting pot where different cultures melded together to become a distinct american culture. muslims have never historically gotten along with either jews or christians and its doubtful they will adopt to… Read more »

Joan
Editor
Joan

This is just too much! Pretty soon the Satanists will have Alistair Crowley’s day off for school! What next! This is not tolerance – this is stupidity!

Dianne
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Dianne

I was just informed by my Nephew that his school system in Mass. is teaching the childern how great a man Muhammad was. I told him to tell his parents about it which he did. I would also like to tell parents that they need to check and make sure that their childern rn’t also being fed Muslim propaganda

Rachael
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Rachael

the peoblem with islam is that it is being highjacked by groups that are not teaching Islam thats the only real danger of islam in public schools. as for as anything else , all children have the right to an education regardless of their religion. speaking in reference to muslim holy days. all other children get to stay home and celebrate with their families and the muslims deserve the same right. speaking of seperation of church and state, what about the methodist church. by the way jesus was muslim and if i have to chose what the book of john… Read more »

Rachael
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Rachael

Dr. Eowin what school did you graduate from? itseem to me as if your school had a holiday every day. i mean, if you are a teacher you should be smarter and if you are a doctor in medicine you really should not be praticing medicine without a licence and another thing is that you are suppose to be boardregistered in the state that you practice in. any ways its clear that you dont like islam because if someone says a word of insult infavor of islam you want to band them but if they say a word of insult… Read more »

Rachael
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Rachael

Dr Eowyn if you were really a doctor you would not jepodse your career by making racious comments about muslims. would you like to come to the arabic baptis church with me ?

Rachael
Guest
Rachael

ku hu wal la hu ahad Allah u samad lam ulid wa lam u lad
wa lam ya kul la ku fu wan ahad
a u du belahi meni shatan ni rajim