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The Muslim Link
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Middle Schoolers Petition the White House for Eid Equality PDF Print E-mail
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Community News - Community News
Written by Muslim Link Staff   
Friday, 03 January 2014 12:20

 

Sumayyah McTaggart, a confident homeschooled eighth grader, from Great Falls, VA along with her friend Iman Hazer of Dunn-Loring, VA take civics classes at Compass Homeschooling Enrichment in Oakton, VA. Fatimah Dandashi of Falls Church, VA, a seventh grader also has classes with the same civics teacher, Leila Leoncavallo.


Assigned a class project, two weeks ago, to petition the government about an issue that they were passionate about, the three formed a petition on the White House website. Inspired by the Montgomery County Equality4Eid campaign and concerned about attending class on Eid day the three friends decided to address the issue of recognizing Eid day on the calendar.


“We knew each other from the masjid. I used to attend the masjid that Fatima currently attends. We all ended up in the same civic class and petitioned the government to recognize our holidays in public school,” said McTaggart to the Muslim Link. Meeting at the public library, it took Hazer and McTaggart a few hours to put the petition together. Dandashi approached the paper for publicity to spread the word about their petition so they can collect the 100,000 signatures needed, before the January 16, 2013 deadline. Hazer is reaching out to interfaith coalitions.


“This year Eid Al-Adha. was on the day of science class, and I did have to go to school on eid,” says the homeschooler,”it was very upsetting, missing Eid prayer. I love hearing the khutbah and was upset [I had to go to school].” Fatima Dandashi has also faced the same dilemma- school on Eid day.


“We would hope that White House responds. We would all like to request Fairfax County to recognize Eid as a public holiday. We would like them to take the day off. The White House petition is an effort for publicity, to show the Fairfax county board of education how many people support the idea,” says McTaggart. Anybody who is religious would understand that struggle; they will receive our support if they have an issue, if [they] support us,” says McTaggart, wise beyond her years. The 13 year old loves to play soccer and plays for the Great Falls Soccer Club. She hopes that by the time her siblings are old enough for school they do not have to go to school on Eid day.


“The population of Muslims growing and it is not fair to have to choose between education and honoring your religious obligations,” she says.


The girls write that “our First Amendment not only forbids the favoring of one or more religions over others it also ensures that the government cannot restrict the free practice of religion. Muslims being required to attend school on Eid violates both.”


Their teacher thought it was one of the best causes that anyone had come up with and fully supports them. If you do too then show your support by signing the petition by January 16 at  http://wh.gov/l8f51.

 

Comments (14)
  • Munazza muhammad
    May Allah allow us to be successful and have off for our holiday
  • Najlaa muhammad
    Let's have off for our holidsy
  • Naima muhammad
    HOLIDAY EID OFF OF SCHOOL
  • Rehab
    Jak for your hard work
  • Rehab
    Good job
  • alex vir  - As Americans, not only as Muslims
    Salaams, and well done. Please be careful not to allow this issue to erode into a primarily parochial one, i.e., this is not about the rights of Muslims first; it is about the rights of all Americans first: Move forward as Americans, not only as Muslims in America. In doing so we can help define what it means to be "American," not just a minority in America. JAK.
  • Mohammad Siddique  - Parent
    The holidays are way over due.
  • Abdul Ouhane  - P r
    Soon inshallah
  • s ali  - school holidays are a local matter.
    In Massachusetts the school may not be closed but some are. It depends on the number of muslim students. The higher the percentage of students for a holiday ( or teachers) then the school is closed. Students have the right to stay home for any religious obligation and make up class time. They need to also explain holidays and obligations to their specific teachers. so they begin by syaing I cannot come on this date and this date as it is a major religious holiday for me.
  • Ada Ahmad  - IA
    INSHALLAH they will approve this
  • Anonymous  - hello
    good job guys
  • khalid mahmood  - well done
    aslamoalleocm Mashallah you kid s are doing an exceeelent job May Allah reward you .. Khalid
  • ABDUR,RAHMAN
    MAY ALLAH BLESS EVERY ONE OF YOU THIS IS A GREAT BLESSING WHAT YOUR DOING
  • Nazmun
    May Allah make this happen
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