Montgomery Public Schools in Maryland had a choice: add a school day off for Muslim holidays, the way they are reserved for other major faiths, or strike mention of all such holidays from the school calendar.
Guess which they chose?
Christmas and Easter have been stricken from next year’s school calendar in Montgomery County. So have Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah.
Montgomery’s Board of Education voted 7 to 1 Tuesday to eliminate references to all religious holidays on the published calendar for 2015-2016, a decision that followed a request from Muslim community leaders to give equal billing to the Muslim holy day of Eid al-Adha.
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Students will still get those days off, but they just must pretend that it has nothing to do with the Jewish or Christian faiths.
Does that make sense? Why not just designate one Muslim holiday as well?
It would not have been too hard to do. When I lived in the Boston area for a year recently, our kids got out of school for Jewish, Christian and Muslim holidays, which is much different than what we’ve long experienced in the Myrtle Beach area and South Carolina.
Or is this decision primarily about the fear caused by extremists who do ugly things in the name of Islam?
And why are we comfortable most places in this country giving special recognition to a couple of the world’s major religions, but not all?