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Schools accommodating Muslim holidays

Reader comment on item: Which Privileges for Islam?

Submitted by Roberta Becker (United States), Mar 15, 2005 at 09:37

RE: they can be accommodated, such as in the case of:
Schools and universities closing for the Eid al-Adha holidays.

I have attended public schools and universities all my life. I know of no public university that closes for Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur or Pesach, let alone other lesser known holidays. Not only were they never closed for Jewish holidays, but exams, programs, university life often conflicted with observing holidays including Shabbat to the extent that classes which may have been taken on weekdays had final exams scheduled on Saturday. And let's not even begin the liteny of sports programs, proms, even graduations ceremonies that get scheduled without regard for or perhaps ignorance of the Jewish calendar. I had to make special arrangements throughout my education to observe my religion. In high school I took a science class which was attendance based as we were growing and documenting crystal formation. Since during that first semester I observed Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Simchat Torah and Shimini Atzeret, my grade suffered from absences. It was a choice I made to observe my religion. I could have observed these holidays without problems by attending a Jewish day school but I wanted a public school education. The same thing happened 30 years later to my children, but again it was my choice. Muslims have the same choice to make. They can attend their own institutions or accept that there will be sacrifices to make to utilitze the public education system in America.

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