Muslim students in a central New York school district will be able to celebrate `Eid Al-Fitr for the first time with the holiday now being officially recognized by the district.
“It adds meaning to our celebration,” Parent Steven Mustafa Abdel-Aziz, who helped lead the push for the schools to recognize the holiday and give students a day off to celebrate it, told Syracuse.com.
Starting from this year, `Eid Al-Fitr will be a day off for all students and staff Thursday in the Jamesville-DeWitt schools.
Abdel-Aziz’s efforts started early in 2020, presenting a petition signed by more than 2100 people.
The district then decided to build the holiday into its calendar starting this year.
“Islam is the second-largest of the three monotheistic religions in the world,” the petition read. “Just as our school system acknowledges Christian and Jewish holidays, we request that the JD school district recognizes Muslims holidays in an equivalent manner.”
The Islamic Hijri Calendar is a lunar one, thus the observance of `Eid Al-Fitr revolves throughout the seasons.
A growing number of American school districts have begun to recognize the Muslim holidays.
Earlier this year, Lewiston Maine added the Islamic holidays to the public schools calendar, allowing Muslim students to celebrate their holiday normally.
The Baltimore County Board of Education approved unanimously in November, 2019, to close public schools for students on `Eid holidays when they land on a school day.