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May 07 2013

OMG! Muslims Want Days Off for Holidays!

The Worldnutdaily has an article sure to spur much outrage in its readers, noting that the Council on American-Islamic Relations is petitioning a school in Maryland to add two Muslim holidays to its calendar of days off from school for teachers and students.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations is helping petition a Maryland school district to add a pair of Muslim holidays to its calendar of school closings.

An organization called Equality 4 Eid Coalition, which is sponsored by CAIR’s Maryland chapter, is seeking signatures to petition the Montgomery County Public School system, or MCPS, to close on the Muslim holidays of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. The first holiday marks the end of the month of Ramadan, and the second marks the Hajj pilgrimage, the dates of which change every year because of the Islamic lunar calendar.

The MCPS includes over 200 elementary, middle, senior high and alternative schools, and already closes for some Christian and Jewish holidays.

“Montgomery County Public Schools close for Christmas, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah and Passover,” the petition itself states. “However MCPS doesn’t close on the two annual Muslim holidays of Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha. It’s time to treat Muslim staff and students equal to those of other faiths by closing schools on these holidays.”

Seems reasonable, doesn’t it? Not to the wingnuts, of course, who are literally drowning in Christian privilege. Every benefit, to them, must go only to Christians (and Jews, but only through the magnanimity of Christians). And right on cue, their clueless readers unload:

We are NOT a muslim nation and will never be in my lifetime because I WILL fight it tooth, nail and bullet!

Well that’s kind of true. We are not a Muslim nation and never will be, and you won’t even need to fight about it. And this proposal has precisely nothing to do with the object of your irrational rage.

That’s not assimilation. It’s offensive.

But not nearly as offensive as your stupidity.

34 comments

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  1. 1
    Brett McCoy

    If I recall, the reaction here in MD for the Jewish holidays was similarly met with outrage many years ago, especially because they traded it off for some other national holidays (like Veterans Day and Columbus Day), which they would likely have to do for the Muslim days.

  2. 2
    jenny6833a

    The solution is simple: abolish all religious holidays.

  3. 3
    dugglebogey

    These people and their war on Ramadan!

  4. 4
    richardelguru

    Hey!!

    Extra days off!

    Religion’s. Greatest. Contribution. Ever.

  5. 5
    raven

    Wait till the Pagans demand their holidays.

    IIRC, they are Halloween, the equinoxs, May day, and the Soltices. At the least.

  6. 6
    alanb

    Back in olden times when I was a student in Montgomery County the schools were open on Jewish holidays, but we never got anything done because none of the teachers wanted to handicap the Jewish students by teaching or doing anything important while they were out. If a significant number of your students or teachers are going to be on holiday, it is good educational policy to close the schools.

  7. 7
    CaitieCat, getaway driver

    Probably not as simple as that, actually; i expect you’d see sufficient cases of Christmas-contemporaneous-”flu”-infection among staff and students as to make schools functionally useless anyway, because you’re not going to end them in the private sector, and all those students and teachers have families who would be off.

    Personally, I’d like to see every fringe religion in the world push for their holidays to be made school holidays, so we can move toward recognition that it’s a silly reason to not be educated for a day, but I doubt we’ll see the end of them in any foreseeable future, barring some god or gods coming forward to insist they don’t exist, and vanishing in a puff of logic.

  8. 8
    CaitieCat, getaway driver

    Especially Hindus. Man, you’d never have to go to school again, if we got to have all the Hindu holidays on top of the Abrahamic religions’ days. Plus there’d be a lot of cool spice-throwing and stuff, which has to be better than pepper-spraying, which is more likely to be found on a campus these days.

  9. 9
    baal

    Abolish religious holidays and grant folks a right to 5 days off per year at employer / school expense to take off. Bingo, problem solved. Religious folks might complain that they have to use those days for religious events while I’ll have it as free time but I think it’s on them how they spend their free time. I’m also of the general opinion that smokers shouldn’t get more break time than non-smokers.

  10. 10
    philboidstudge

    “Literally drowning” in the Joe Biden sense of literally.

  11. 11
    Mobius

    ZOMG!!! Sharia! Sharia!

    When in trouble
    When in doubt
    Run in circles
    Scream and shout

  12. 12
    Alverant

    The problem with floating holidays is what happens to the minority. How can you have school when 99% of the students and faculty are on vacation? I think we should require a certain number of days each semester and let individual districts set their own calandars. This may not be the best solution, but I see it as being the most practical. Ideally each district will try to fit the winter and spring breaks so they cover multiple holidays to include as many people as possible. This would require some maturity and empathy from the school board, but I did say this was an ideal solution.

    I’d also try to extend Thanksgiving to include the days before and after the date for those who have to travel, like me.

  13. 13
    Marcus Ranum

    And, in the spirit of The War on All That Is Holy, maybe we can call them “days off” not “holy days”

  14. 14
    ambulocetacean

    Let’s not forget the Buddhist public holidays. For starters we’re talking the full moons of the third, sixth and eighth Thai lunar month, and the first waning moon of the eighth.

    And that’s just for the Thais — you’ll need to pencil in at least three times as many dates again to accommodate the Sri Lankans!

  15. 15
    acroyear

    Actually, the ‘abolish all religious holidays’ kinda is the right idea. Schools should start with all federal holidays off. Throw in Black Friday, then throw in spring break (that coincidentally is on Easter Week to keep the wingnuts happy) and that’s it. Period.

    Now, if a parent wants their child home on a religious holiday, fine. File it *in advance* and treat it as an excused absence.

    The last piece, to avoid religious discrimination: religious holiday absences, when filed in advance, do not count against a student’s perfect attendance record unless the student did not make up any missing tests or assignments.

  16. 16
    kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

    Especially Hindus. Man, you’d never have to go to school again, if we got to have all the Hindu holidays on top of the Abrahamic religions’ days. Plus there’d be a lot of cool spice-throwing and stuff, which has to be better than pepper-spraying, which is more likely to be found on a campus these days.

    And music and dancing, and above all, FOOD.

    As opposed to most judeo-xian and muslim holidays, in which you’re supposed to be fasting, sober, praying and miserable, Hindu ones are generally fun.

  17. 17
    sanford

    This is the first I have heard of closing schools on jewish holidays. ( I am jewish by the way) They didn’t do that in Chicago when I lived therein the 50′s. In Illinois or at least in the Chicago area Columbus and Lincolns brithday are holidays. I am with a few other posters here that they should abolish days off for religious holidays. Schools take winter breaks during Christmas and New Years day, so I am ok with that that. And I suspect most school districts make spring breaks around the Easter Holiday so they don’t have to cancel school on Good Friday. Thanksgiving would probably be the hardest day to get rid of as everyone would just blow off school and work any way. This

  18. 18
    JustaTech

    All of Passover? I think that must be a mistake, Passover is a whole week, and all of my Jewish friends in Maryland (private school in Baltimore) came to school every day. The high holy days, sure, we all got those off, but unless Passover conincides with Spring Break, I wouldn’t think so.

  19. 19
    timgueguen

    How much religious activity actually goes on during supposed religious holidays in the US anyways? In my part o Canada at least it’s gotten to the point in recent years that the only day that virtually all commercial activity ceases is Christmas Day. Even Easter Sunday seems to be one where most of the big malls and chain places like Walmart and Sears are open. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone like the Brick, a large Canadian furniture store chain, tries to open on Christmas Day eventually.

  20. 20
    Modusoperandi

    YOU MUSLINS HAVE THE FREEDOM TO CELEBRATE WHATEVER PAGAN “HOLIDAYS” YOU WANT, AS LONG AS YOU CELEBRATE THEM ON CHRISTMAS AND EASTER LIKE REAL AMERICANS!

  21. 21
    Drew

    I have to agree with the sentiment of some who’ve already posted,

    The answer should just be to eliminate the closings for all the religious days the school is closed on.

  22. 22
    iknklast

    Jenny @2: That’s the best answer. Right now, it seems like children in our town are out of school more days than ever before, and adding more days off isn’t going to improve learning. But, as a teacher, I do have to say – we need days off. Otherwise we’d kill the little dears (and I teach college! I can only imagine what it’s like in the K-12 system). So why not a few secular days to take off, days everyone could be part of? We already have labor day – that’s a good one. I have no beef with MLK day or President’s day. How about adding a science day? An English Lit day? An algebra celebration day? Those would be suitable things for a school to celebrate.

  23. 23
    iknklast

    Of course, maybe instead of English Lit, we should have World Lit day – much more inclusive.

  24. 24
    Alverant

    I want Talk Like A Pirate Day, Pi Day, and Tau Day off too.

  25. 25
    heddle

    jenny6833a,

    The solution is simple: abolish all religious holidays.

    And the simplest solution is, once again, the preferred solution. It seems so obvious.

  26. 26
    Peter B

    Alverant @12

    My sister works as a substitute teacher for the San Francisco public schools. Chinese New Year is a school holiday. It’s pragmatic. Otherwise there would be 60% absence that day.

    I remember being told that one rural school district takes a two week break for string bean harvest. It’s pragmatic. Otherwise there would be 60% absence those weeks.

    Leave it up to the school district.

    Assume that the parents told the school that their children would be involved in religious activities those days. Along with “please help us prevent our children from missing important school work.” This would go a long way to preventing problems.

  27. 27
    wpjoe

    Adding the 2 holidays seems perfectly reasonable. Then tack a couple of days on in June or August. The MCPS should go ahead with this. I wonder what kind of reason they could give for not adding the holidays. Any reason for refusing to add the holidays would be offensive and unconstitutional. In my state in the US midwest, nobody gets Good Friday or Easter Monday off. So they could axe those two. (BTW, I’ll take Halloween as a holiday over Easter any day). After the Eid holidays are added and there is an uproar, maybe a reasonable solution could be instituted that would determine holidays not by religious observances or at least not named and set by them (see Winter Break, Spring Break).

  28. 28
    Rossignol

    YOU MUSLINS HAVE THE FREEDOM TO CELEBRATE WHATEVER PAGAN “HOLIDAYS” YOU WANT, AS LONG AS YOU CELEBRATE THEM ON CHRISTMAS AND EASTER LIKE REAL AMERICANS!

    If we let them Muslins have holidays, soon the Satinists will be demanding theirs!

  29. 29
    lofgren

    The solution is simple! Have school ONLY on religious holidays! All other days are for eating the infinite pies baked by faeries and ice cream shat by gnomes! This plan should work perfectly, since it is about equally practical as some of the others in this thread.

  30. 30
    Matrim

    @5> it’s technically the 31st-1st, as Samhain goes from sunset to sunset.

    @18> they probably just mean the first night of Passover when the Seder occurs.

  31. 31
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @RichardelGuru #4

    Hey!!

    Extra days off!

    Religion’s. Greatest. Contribution. Ever.

    Religions only/b> contribution ever, at least to my life.

  32. 32
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    Oop, HTML fail.

  33. 33
    eric

    @6;

    If a significant number of your students or teachers are going to be on holiday, it is good educational policy to close the schools.

    I agree. We could compel attendence according to some very strict schedule that does not acknowledge any religious observances, but really, if you’ve got a school year of 180 days to fit into a 365-day year, that seems pretty spiteful. IMO its perfectly reasonable for even the public system to accommodate religious observance days, at least to the extent that the system can do so without impacting the number of in-class days.

    If at some point you have too many proposed holidays, Then you have to pick between (a) prioritizing some over others via some non-sectarian criteria, or (b) abolishing all of them. (B) strikes me as being too ‘cut off your nose to spite your face,’ so I’d personally be fine with (a).

  34. 34
    dontpanic

    Towel Day (May 25th)!

    Also,

    throw in spring break (that coincidentally is on Easter Week to keep the wingnuts happy)

    If only, districts could agree on a schedule. My family deals with 3 school districts (K-12 for my son and my wife is an adjunct professor at 2 CCs). This year is the first in the last eleven that all three have lined up their spring break for the same week. Some standardization would be appreciated….

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