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Gouthami Gadamsetty

Muslim students petition to have their religious holidays recognized.

Gouthami Gadamsetty, Reporter

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A new petition has been launched that supports the recognition of Muslim holidays during the school year throughout the US. It was introduced toward the end of last year and already has 5,000 signatures.

Schools across the country commonly take days off for holidays celebrated in Christianity and Judaism. However, Eid, a festival celebrated by Muslims, is yet to be recognized in much of the country. As the followers of the world’s second-largest religion, many Muslims support what the petition stands for.

Junior Mustafa Hamad said, “Being an American-born Muslim, I’ve realized Jewish and Christian holidays are given recognition by public and private schools, but every year, I have to choose between my education and my religion.”

The original petition was created by three young Muslim students from Virginia. Unfortunately, it did not reach its deadline in time and was canceled. On January 16, another petition with the same purpose was made. This petition had until February 15 to reach its 100,000-signature goal.

The main problem, sophomore Samah Maghjee said, is “Teachers don’t expect students to do homework on Christmas, but they expect us to complete all of the work we miss on Eid.”

Eid is the name given to both of the two main religious holidays celebrated in the Hijri calendar, which Muslims follow. Eid is a time when everyone in the community comes together to celebrate either the end of Ramadan, a month of fasting, with a feast, or Thul Hijah, the last month of the Hijri calender.

Many Muslim students are forced to stay up late to finish homework, despite being exhausted from their day spent celebrating one of their biggest religious holidays of the year.

Muslims continue to face other setbacks as well. Recently, a self-described “activist” in Volusia County sent in a complaint because the school’s World History textbook dedicated an entire chapter to Islam.

Junior Areesha Ahmad went to support the protest against removing the chapter from the curriculum. “There shouldn’t be a problem with it because other religions, such as Christianity and Judaism, have more than one chapter on it.”

Even with all the challenges that Muslims and the petition face, senior Nora Mohamed expressed, “It’s going to be difficult, but if everyone has a positive mind, it’ll work out.”

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