Controversy after Jersey City schools decide not to give Muslim holiday off
Tempers flared as the Jersey City school board voted against closing schools for a Muslim holiday on Thursday.
A motion to close school for the holiday of Eid al-Adha was voted down after four hours of discussion, according to NBC 4 New York.
"We feel alienated from the board of Education, we feel alienated from this system," Omar Abouelkhair said, according to the report.
Many from the Jewish community felt "left out" because the schools were not off for Rosh Hashanah or next week's Yom Kippur, according to the report. The resolution would have extended the school year by one day.
The school board ultimately voted the resolution down, according to a post on its Facebook page. NBC said it was because of the short notice for the request. Parents of several faiths replied:
Maysoon Awwad: In Union (Township) we are off for the #Jewish holidays! It means we should start close schools for Muslim holidays too because now I feel we Muslim are discriminated against!
Isadora Tang: Very disappointed by this —children of all faiths and cultures should have the ability to celebrate and observe their most important holidays without being absent (and affecting their attendance record) from school.
Ronnie Massaro: If the schools are going to close for Muslim holidays then why not for Greek holidays?
Sindy S. Caraballo: I was surprised to hear that their request was not to have their children at home to celebrate the holiday and have an excused absence, but their request is to shut down Jersey city Public school every year for this holiday. Not taking into contact the other non Islamic families that work and children are in school. They used bits and pieces of our Constitution, their Bible, other religions and everything they could use. The decision was not going to be made last night but after an outburst by members of the Islamic community. The board made it known that it was short notice and it's unfair to other people to do this now. Maybe in the future this is going 5o to be something they could do.
Ivonne Delgado: Yes, very unfair ... Then how about the Three Kings Day ... which is a big thing for some? How about 911? And we could continue ...