When I converted to Islam at age 16 back in 1989, I never thought much about taking off from school to attend Eid al-Fitr, the prayer and celebration that occurs on the day after the monthlong fast of Ramadan. To me, missing school to observe this religious holiday just seemed like something I had to do. But many Muslim students today see things differently. In a quest for equal treatment, some students of the Islamic faith are pushing for public schools to close in observance of Eid al-Fitr just like schools already close for Christmas. And in cities like Bridgeport, Connecticut; Iowa City, Iowa; and Detroit, Michigan student efforts to have schools close in observance of the Eid have begun to prevail. Amaarah DeCuir, an American University researcher who specializes in Muslim student issues, explores some of the deeper reasons behind school districts’ decisions to close for Islamic holidays.

Also, Tazeen M. Ali, an assistant professor of religion and politics, profiles a women’s-only mosque in Los Angeles, and Ken Chitwood, a journalist fellow at the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at the University of Southern California, illuminates some of the ways in which the broader Islamic community celebrates Eid al-Fitr.

Also today:

Jamaal Abdul-Alim

Education Editor

Several school districts across the country will close in observance of Eid, a holiday that marks the end of Ramadan. FatCamera/E+ via Getty Images

Students lead more public schools to close for Islamic holidays

Amaarah DeCuir, American University

School districts throughout the nation are beginning to heed calls to give students and teachers a day off in observance of the Eid al-Fitr, a major Islamic holiday held at the end of Ramadan.

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