The War on Christmas continues as Muslims in the Montgomery County School District in Maryland successfully strip the Christian holiday from the school’s calendar. In addition to this measure, the schools will no longer recognize Easter or Yom Kippur to satisfy unhappy Muslim parents and students.
The controversy began when the Muslim community put pressure on the school board to include the Islamic holiday Eid al-Adha on their calendar. Their claim was that Eid al-Adha was a religious holiday that was just as important as Christmas is to Christians and Yom Kippur is to Jews.
Students who followed the religion complained that, just like Christmas, Eid al-Adha was about spending time with their family. However, when students missed a day from school, they would find themselves buried in homework and falling behind their classmates.
The board responded by saying the holidays recognized on the school’s calander were not about honoring or accepting a religion, nor were they about giving children time to spend with their families. Instead, the school was considering the high absentee of students and faculty members on the Jewish and Christian holidays.
The Muslim community’s Eid al-Adha simply did not warrant a school closure because, historically, absenteeism was not any higher or lower on that day. Dana Tofig, public information officer for school district, said, “The absentee rate on Eid holidays, when they’ve fallen on a school day, haven’t been considerably higher or lower than it is on any other given day.”
For this reason, the school district simply couldn’t justify adding Eid al-Adha onto their calendar as a recognized holiday.
Montgomery County Schools superintendent Joshua Starr offered a compromise. recommended that the names of every holiday be removed from the school calendar.
In a 7-1 vote, Yom Kippur, Easter, and Christmas will be removed from the school’s calendar and in their place, “Winter Break” and “Spring Break.” Charges of discrimination against the Montgomery County School Board from the Muslim community have made it so that no side is happy, and everybody loses.