Maryland County: No School Holiday for Eid ad-Adha, and None for Christmas, Yom Kippur Either

Rather than close schools for Muslim holiday, Montgomery County scrubs references to Christian, Jewish ones.

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Rush hour traffic in Montgomery County, Maryland.Credit: Washington Examiner file

In response to local Muslim parents' campaign to make Eid al-Adha a school holiday, the board of education in Maryland's Montgomery County has voted to delete the names of all religious holidays, including Christmas and Yom Kippur, from next year's school calendar, The Washington Post reports.

Instead, major Christian and Jewish holidays on which schools are closed will be listed simply as days on which there is "no school for students and teachers."

Eid al-Adha, the Feast of the Sacrifice, will not be one of those days – though Muslim pupils who stay home for the holiday receive an excused absence.

Muslim parents in Montgomery County, which has some 1 million residents and is one of America's richest counties, objected to the decision.

“By stripping the names Christmas, Easter, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, they have alienated other communities now, and we are no closer to equality,” said Saqib Ali, co-chair of the Equality for Eid Coalition.

However, board members who voted for the move indicated that the reason they didn't want to close schools on Eid al-Adha was that the number of Muslim students and staff was relatively small, compared to the large proportion of Christians and Jews.

Still, board member Michael A. Durso, the lone "no" vote against seven in favor, said, "No matter how well-intentioned we are, it comes off as insensitive" Muslim families.