Friday, December 24, 2004

Muslims Demand School Holidays In Maryland

Nancy Grasmick
Filed from Tamassee, South Carolina.
In Maryland, Muslim organizations have been demanding that schools close in order to observe two of Islam's holiest days. They have been attending school board meetings in large numbers and speaking out in regards to their wishes.

These groups have been saying that as schools are closed in observance of Christian holidays, then so should they be closed in observance of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, and Eid al-Adha, which commemorates the Koran's account of Abraham's sacrifice of a ram in place of his son Isaac.

In response to these Muslim groups, a 22-member ad-hoc state committee (composed of education and community leaders) has been studying the possibility of closing Maryland public schools in observance of these Muslim holy days, and the other day the members sheeple of the panel unanimously voted to recommend that local school districts be authorized to observe two "floating" holidays that could be tied to "world recognized" religions that are practiced in the communities that the schools serve. This recommendation has been forwarded to State Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick for analysis.

The superintendent appointed all of the committee members. As the Superintendent has held her position sinecure since 1991, our guess is that she will not want to "stir-up" a controversy, and thereby threaten her "position." Therefore, approval of the committee's recommendation will be automatic.

We here at the 'Wonks thought that would be an equitable solution for all. We applauded the fact that these Muslim groups had correctly used the process, and had obtained what many people would think is a satisfactory result. That's what democracy is all about. Rule by the majority, with respect for the rights of the minority.

But as you might guess, there is more to this story.

Bash Pharoan, who is President of one of these groups, the Baltimore County Muslim Council, says that even though its a step in the right direction, it's still not enough.

His Council wants all Maryland schools to close in official observance of the two Muslim Holidays, or the schools should not close in observance of any religious holiday. We assume that would mean Christmas and Easter.

Not surprisingly, the various local school boards have been reluctant to go along with the demands of these Muslim organizations. And predictably, the Muslim groups have not been slow to accuse the boards of racism, religious discrimination, etc.

Isn't that what is so idiotic about our current system? In this present atmosphere of Political Correctism Run Amok any minority group can earn be given its rights special privileges simply by accusing those that do not automatically agree with them of racism or discrimination.

The use of the "R" and "D" words by these special-interest groups only serves to cheapen the process, and taint whatever gains they do make toward achieving their goals.

They should be a ashamed of the poor example that they are setting for their children.