The Jersey City Board of Education last week voted down a proposal to take off a day of school for Eid al-Adha, an important Muslim holiday.
Muslim attendees who wanted the day off for everyone at the schools showed up at their meeting.
Things became heated, and one official urged security to “take charge of the situation.” At least one person was escorted from the meeting.
One Muslim parent said: “We feel alienated from this Board of Education, we feel alienated from this system.”
Another added: “We’re going to be the majority soon.”
Islam is in fact the world’s fastest growing religion and is expected to grow from 1.6 billion to 2.76 billion by the year 2050, according to Pew. That means almost one third of the world’s population by 2050 will be Islamic, according to CNN.
Jersey City Board Member Gerald Lyons suggested that closing the schools with only six days notice would cause “undue hardship” on 5,000 to 10,000 parents, who would not have anywhere to send their children.
Also, Lyons reminded parents that children can take the day off as an excused religious absence with no penalty.
Others mentioned that the important Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are not days off for the schools.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio decided last March that the city’s schools would have the holiday off, and this is the first year they will.
What do you think of the Muslim parent’s claim that “we’re going to be the majority soon”? Should the Jersey City Board of Education have chosen to give students the day off?
BCN editor’s note: This article first appeared at Western Journalism.