Pennsylvania’s largest city of Philadelphia announced this week that it will add two Muslim holidays to its school calendar.
The Philadelphia School District says it will mark the two major Muslim events, Eid-ul-Fitr, celebrated in thanks for the month-long observance of Ramadan, and Eid-ul-Adha, celebrated in remembrance of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son for God, as holidays in the 2017-18 calendar.
The motion will affect Philadelphia’s 134,538 public school children who will be given a day off for each sacred event. Since the 2016-17 calendar has already been issued, Muslim students and staff will be given excused absences on those days in the coming year. Starting with the 2017-18 academic year, the district will send the holiday days to the School Reform Commission for a vote to include them in the general calendar.
With 65 mosques and more than 200,000 Muslims out of a population of 1.5 million, Philadelphia boasts the one of the highest number of Muslims in the country.
“Since the start of my term as mayor, I’ve been committed to working to make the city a more diverse and inclusive place for all. I’m grateful to the stakeholders and leaders [who] stand with me today to advance inclusion in the many ways that residents practice their faith and religion,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “Philadelphia's history is based on being a place where religious freedom is part of its founding ethos. Our city was built on the idea that while we may be different in nationality and ethnicity, the city welcomes all to worship and practice the faiths of our culture or our choosing.”
“William Penn established Philadelphia as a city for religious freedom,” said Councilman Curtis Jones, who introduced the resolution. “Today we continue our founder’s creed by the recognition of the EIDs for our Islamic community.”
@phillydotcom the more days off from brainwashing camp, the better— Save The World Radio (@SaveTWRadio) May 31, 2016
@PoliticsNation Must be a significant number of Muslim taxpayers in Philadelphia. Only way politicians pay attention to something like that.— Gene Johnson (@gene423) June 2, 2016
@PoliticsNation Good it goes with Saint Patrick day, Columbus Day, Christmas Easter, Martin Luther King etc. etc. etc. open minded sense.— danieltravis (@danieltravis) June 2, 2016
“In this election cycle of unprecedented anti-Muslim bigotry, Mayor Kenney and the City of Philadelphia are to be commended for not being intimidated by the fear-mongering voices of hate and division,” said Jacob Bender, executive director of the Philadelphia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Considering the fact Philadelphia was recently named as the “Angriest Place,” perhaps this initiative will instill some tolerance in its residents.