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Muslim Leader Wants Teaneck Schools Closed For Religious Holidays [Poll]

Should the district add two days off for religious observances?

A local Muslim community leader has asked Teaneck’s Board of Education to add two school days off for Muslim religious observances.

, said he wants the district to close on two holidays called Eids, according to an article in the Teaneck Suburbanite.

"There are a substantial number of Muslim families in Teaneck with children who attend the public schools," Khalid said in the report.

Khalid estimated there are about 300 to 500 Muslim families living in Teaneck. The township is home to two mosques, and North Jersey's Muslim community has grown significantly in recent years

The Board of Education’s policy committee would discuss the request and could form a committee of local community members to review various religious holidays, said Trustee David Diuguid.

"It is important to know what the holidays mean to various groups and how it would affect the district to add more holidays," Diuguid said at the March 14 school board meeting.

Trustee Margot Fisher said the district could find ways to recognize the religious holidays without closing school.

Schools are required to provide 180 days of instruction, said Frank Belluscio, a spokesman for the New Jersey School Boards Association. The state Department of Education also uses a list of religious holidays students must be given excused absences for.

“Typically school districts close schools for such a holiday if a large enough percentage of students or staff is likely to be absent,” said a school board association survey of religious holiday closings.

Board of Education President Ardie Walser said the district did not collect data on student religions.

According to the school board association’s survey, the most common closings included Christmas, Good Friday, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

“Ramadan lasts for a month; it would be impractical to close for that long! It would be better to have identified Eid as the holiday. Calendar issues are very difficult, and usually seem to hinge on adult needs, not student needs,” said one survey response.

A 2007 New York Times article noted schools in Paterson and Prospect Park closed on Muslim holidays, including Eid al-Fitr. Atlantic City also opted to close school for the two holidays. 

Eid al-Fitr is a festival celebrating the end of the Ramadan fast, while Eid al-Adha is festival of sacrifice. The festival has drawn large crowds and elected officials to the Teaneck Armory. 

Information about religious holidays in school districts around New Jersey is attached to this article, as provided by the New Jersey School Boards Association.

The Department of Education's list of official religious holidays can be found here.

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proud to be a muslim May 15, 2012 at 02:31 AM
Do you have any proof that the Qur'an teaches hatred and intolerance? Please don't generalize about the Qur'an.
Robert J. May 15, 2012 at 05:09 AM
How come nobody commented on my demonstrations in Europe remark ? I guess because it's true & can't be denied. I saw the film clips of it & it was disgraceful.
Robert L. Friedman May 15, 2012 at 09:44 AM
Take a look and London and Paris for your validation of this 7th century lunacy. First it is a mosque, then a whole neighborhood, then rewriting what schools teach, then a Sharia zone with no music. Yes Islam the religion of tolerance just take a look how Christians are treated in Egypt. Who is kidding who.....such a tolerant group. Think I'll ask to build a synagogue in Cairo or maybe in a Muslim neigborhood outside of Paris.
Lisa Dee May 22, 2013 at 05:02 AM
Days off from school to show respect to people who show no religous tolerance anywhere in the world, the horrible way they treat women, Muslim countries are not the poorest in the world by accident,even with all that oil. Call it what it is a "cult" death to all non believers,Christians, Jews . They exploit our freedoms smile and will happily kill us.
Robert L. Friedman May 22, 2013 at 05:33 AM
Exactly LIsa, the agenda of the Islamists is clear. For those who have commented herein who under some misconception that the Quran preaches peace and tolerance suggest taking a reality check. The CAIR and the Muslim Brotherhood program of subversion of Western civilization is clear. Don't fool yourselves. Which of you is willing to believe that one of these so called peace loving Muslims won't be radicalized and strap on a suicide vest?

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