Topic: Muslim Holidays
In Baltimore County, some Muslims are continuing a years-long push to persuade school officials to close schools for two of the most holy Islamic holidays — Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. Supporters say it’s only fair to close on these two days because schools are closed for the Jewish observances of Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashana, as well as the Christian holidays of Christmas and Good Friday.
But school officials — backed by state law — say it is illegal to close schools solely for religious purposes. Schools may be closed on a religious holiday only for "secular reasons." For example, schools may close if so many teachers are absent that administrators can't find enough substitutes to cover classes.
Dr. Bash Pharoan, president of the Baltimore chapter of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, and Rochelle S. Eisenberg, an attorney who has represented superintendents and school boards across the state, will answer your questions on this issue. Please submit questions (by posting a comment to this entry) by 10 a.m. Wednesday. Their answers will be posted next Monday.