Daily Mail: Tempers flared at a school board meeting in New Jersey when a room crowded with Muslim parents learned that schools will remain open during the upcoming holiday of Eid- al-Adha. Parents and children who took part in the heated debate that broke out during last week’s school board meeting in Jersey City screamed in rage and some openly wept.
At one point, a young woman in a purple head scarf took the microphone and addressed the board, telling them with a sneer: ‘we’re no longer the minority, that’s clear from tonight. We’re going to be the majority soon.’
The Jersey City Board of Education had initially proposed to close local schools September 24 allowing Muslim children to observe the holiday, and the City Council unanimously voted in favor of the closure two weeks ago.
However, during the contentious four-hour meeting held last Thursday, the board ultimately voted to keep Jersey City schools open so as not to cause disruptions for non-Muslim families, reported NBC New York last week.
‘Doing this at this point on six days’ notice for this upcoming holiday is going to cause undue hardship on 5,000 to 10,000 people who are going to have to scramble to get coverage for their children,’ board member Gerald Lyons told the crowd.
Eid al-Adha, also known as the Feast of Sacrifice, is the second of two religious holidays celebrated by Muslims around the world marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
A Jewish parent who attended the meeting said that some in his community felt they were being discriminated against because the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur were not on Jersey City’s official school closure list.
Board members pointed out that Muslim students who choose to take Thursday off to observe the Feast of Sacrifice will not be penalized.
The school board is expected to review its religious holiday policy later this year.
In New York City, schools will be closed for Eid Al-Adha for the first time as a result of a calendar change that was put in place by Mayor Bill de Blasio back in March.
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