Muslim Parents Angry After Schools Refuse To Close for Muslim Holiday
A decision by the Jersey City Board of Education drew anger from a large showing of Muslim parents when it decided to not close all of the schools in the district for a last-minute request to honor Eid al-Adha, a Muslim holiday.
According to WNBC-TV, the school board had originally planned to close the schools but had second thoughts when representatives of the Jewish community asked why didn't get any days off for their own religious holidays.
When it became obvious that the board was not going to honor the Muslim holiday with a closure, some angry Muslim parents threatened to walk out.
Some, like Omar Abouelkhair, expressed their anger by saying, "We feel alienated from the Board of Education, we feel alienated from this system."
In defense of the board's decision, board member Gerald Lyons told the crowd: "Doing this at this point on six days notice for this upcoming holiday is going to cause undue hardship on 5,000 to 10,000 people who are going to have to scramble to get coverage for their children."
One Muslim woman, in what sounded like a taunt, exclaimed to the audience, "We are no longer the minority. That's clear from tonight. We're going to be the majority soon."
Lyons assured those attending that the district's children could still take days off without penalty for religious purposes.