BROWARD COUNTY COMMISSION PASSES RESOLUTION TO HAVE EID AS OFFICIAL DAY OFF
SoFlo Muslim community members have been making efforts to bring the matter of having days-off for Eid (Muslim religious holiday). There efforts bore fruit when the matter was not only included in Broward County Commission meeting on January 12, 2021, but a resolution was passed unanimously as well.
View the meeting proceedings below and listen to SoFlo Muslim community members and leaders Abbas Hachem (SFL Muslim Federation- Revenue), Naima Khan (Advisor MSA), Mishka Ahmed (Plantation resident), Shehryar Wahid (IFSF), John Mareno Escobar (community resident), Yunus Ismail (Treasurer Friends of Humanity), and Corey Shrear (EMGAGE).
Send a letter to the School Board of Broward County to declare Eid-ul-Fitr as day off: ATTENTION ALL BROWARD RESIDENTS Please join us in sending emails to Broward School Board Members to support the Muslim Community Request to have May 13th, 2021 as a Day Off. Click the link to send pre-drafted email in just 15 seconds: https://actnow.io/R4I87fu
SFL Muslim Community Urges Broward County School Board to add Eid holidays as Days-off to School Calendar
On December 15, 2020, the school board made the decision not to recognize the Eid Holiday after extensive discussions and accommodations for testing. The decision has greatly disappointed the South Florida Muslim Community as they feel it sends a message that Muslim Faith does not deserve the same respect as Jewish or Christian Faiths. To register our protest of the decision, South Florida Muslim Federation has sent a letter to the School Board of Broward County on behalf of the Muslim community. We urge that the matter be reconsidered and a favorable decision be taken devoid of any discrimination.
Please find below the text of the letter sent to School Board of Broward County.
January 5, 2021
School Board of Broward County
600 Southeast 3rd Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301
SUBJECT: Adding the Muslim Eid Holidays as a day off on the Broward County School Board Calendar (Concerns re Discriminatory Practices)
Sent via email to:
Dear Superintendent Runcie and the School Board of Broward County,
The South Florida Muslim Federation is an umbrella organization encompassing approximately 35 South Florida Muslim entities including Muslim Schools, Mosques, Civil Rights Agencies, Youth Groups, Women’s Groups, Social Service Agencies, etc. It has come to our attention that, despite years of efforts to have the Eid Holidays recognized in Broward County Schools, the Broward County School Board voted against including May 13, 2021 on this year’s calendar and May 3, 2022 on next year’s calendar as days off in recognition of the Muslim Eid-ul-Fitr. This Holiday is recognized worldwide and the Broward County School system includes many Muslim students.
For many years, the Broward County School Board has recognized several Jewish Holidays which should be recognized and respected. Those days are included on each year’s school calendar as days off for all students in Broward County. On December 15, 2020, when the school board made the decision not to recognize the Eid Holiday after extensive discussions and accommodations for testing, it was not only an inappropriate decision, but an apparent blatantly discriminatory decision. The Eid Holiday is equal in importance to the Muslims as Christmas is to the Christians or Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur are to the Jews. Not to recognize this religious holiday is outrageous and sends a message to the Muslim Students of Broward County and to the Muslim Community at large that the School Board refuses to give the Muslim Faith the same respect it gives other Abrahamic religions. This will not be tolerated by the South Florida Muslim Community.
College Board is well aware of the Muslim Eid Holidays as several states recognize the importance of including those Holidays as days off on their school calendars. They have therefore already accommodated the testing dates to ensure that they do not conflict with these very important dates or that there are alternative testing dates available to everyone.
The Broward County School Board has a Nondiscrimination Policy 4001.1 which specifically states:
“……THIS POLICY IS ESTABLISHED TO PROVIDE AN ENVIRONMENT FREE FROM DISCRIMINATION AND HARASSMENT BASED UPON AGE, COLOR, DISABILITY, GENDER IDENTITY, GENDER EXPRESSION, GENETIC INFORMATION, MARITAL STATUS, NATIONAL ORIGIN, RACE, RELIGION, SEX OR SEXUAL ORIENTATION.”
Your December 15, 2020 decision clearly violates your own antidiscrimination policy. We demand that the School Board of Broward County recognize Eid-Ul-Fitr and Eid-Ul-Adha annually and include them both as days off on EVERY school calendar. EidUl-Adha this year falls on the Summer Break; however, the dates change annually as it is in accordance to the Lunar Calendar. As such, there are years wherein both holidays will occur during the school year.
It is our understanding that your own Diversity Committee and the Human Relations Committee (HRC) have supported this request and have made several motions in favor of it. In addition, a Petition was started to recognize the Eid Holiday and it received over 2,500 signatures in a very short period of time.
If the School Board fails to properly address this issue, the South Florida Muslim Community will explore all options to move forward through all legal avenues until the Broward County School Board gives these major Muslim Holidays the respect they deserve and sends a clear message to its Muslim Students that the Muslim Faith is respected just as the Jewish Faith and the Christian Faith are respected and recognized in every school in Broward County. We look forward to your expedited resolution to this very important issue.
Samir Kakli Maha A. Elkolalli
President Community Outreach Chair