Muslim Leader Asks Teaneck, N.J. District To Close School On 2 Muslim Holidays

Movement Appears To Have Legs And Support, But Won't Happen Right Away

TEANECK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — School districts have traditionally identified religious holidays for closing school. Now a Muslim leader is asking for equal time, closing schools on two Muslim holidays.

With north Jersey’s Muslim community growing in recent years, and Teaneck having two mosques, there is a call for the town’s schools to observe Muslim holy days, and close, reports CBS 2’s John Slattery.

“A lot of Muslims living in Teaneck, and it’s just natural we want our holidays to be recognized just as other faith groups,” said Waheed Khalid of the American Muslim Union.

Khalid and members of a local mosque said there are 300 to 500 Muslim families in Teaneck.

He wants the school district to close schools on two holidays called Eids — the first one at the close of Ramadan and the second two months and 10 days later, and he’s got support.

“I say, why not? We have Christian holidays, and there are Jewish holidays in there,” resident Inran Khaja said.

There’s even support from one 88-year-old Catholic, a Russian Jew and others.

“I mean, adding a couple of days for Muslim holidays, I don’t see a problem,” Danny Roman said.

In New York City schools, this was resolved by giving “release time … allowing students to miss class for a religious reason without being marked absent,” according to Margie Feinberg of the Department of Education.

Teaneck may consider the same remedy, but Khalid said it puts a stigma on a student who misses class, saying it’s not sufficient.

“That’s not good enough, makes you feel like second-class citizen,” Khalid said.

As for now, the Schools Superintendent Barbara Pinsak said the calendar is set for next year. Schools are required to provide 180 days of instruction. Pinsak said Muslim parents have not come to her to ask for the days off.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below …

  • Mohammed

    Perhaps we should all take a day off and draw some pictures of me doing funny things around the mosque.

    Who wants to play hide the infidel?


    Our Kids are about to have 10 days off for spring break, they have 10 days off for Winter break which is for the celebration of CHRISTMAS, a Christian Holiday, as well as New Years. so why not take 2 days from those 20 days we are already giving them and then there is no problem, no more missed days then what was already on the schedule. Or is it not about the amount of days????? its about the ignorance of the people in this world. Grown up Be fair, if they cant have their holidays then why should we have ours? you should probably take away independence day since you want to take away everyones rights to be equal!

  • ABCDEFG......

    That is a disgusting idea! If you want to live in the United States you do not need to come here and make demands. The children here in this country are taught to be tolerant in ways through their parents and need to know that education is not about what group of individuals get off what days of school. If you want to keep your children out of school then IT WILL BE and SHOULD BE considered an absence day as it is with other ethnic group who may want to keep their child or children out of class out of the standard Board of Education closure days . Our children need to have education and not an interruption of learning because of every single group that comes to this country. DON’T MAKE DEMANDS. HOW TOTALLY BRAZEN AND ARROGANT. Teach your children to be tolerant of being in the best country in the world and respect what you have here which is your freedom FOR ALL!

    • Chris

      Honestly, I am surprised at when you say, “The children here in this country are taught to be tolerant in ways through their parents.” From what I have observed from our society is that many Americans (like you) are intolerant. Also the children are educated in school that, “America is the land of the free.” There is the first amendment guaranteeing RELIGIOUS FREEDOM. I think you know less of your country than the world does.

    • ralph9831

      How arrogant, ignorant and intolerant of you. If you want to give kids days off for Christian and Jewish holidays then Muslims deserve the same privilege. The issues we are experiencing within the Arab and Muslim world are very complicated and require thinking beyond the shallow manner of, and I say this sadly, many Americans.

      • dakotahgeo

        Amen, Ralph!!! The bigoted faux christians want all the perks and benefits but are intolerant of anyone else having the same rights. They are not part of the problem… they ARE the problem!!! Holidays off for all religions… or none! Dakotahgeo, M.Div. Pastor/Chaplain

        • erik b

          I actually like your idea – Holidays off for NO religions. National Holidays ONLY! If your religion, whether it be Christian, Jew, Hindu, Muslim, or any other is celebrating a holiday, then YOU should take the day off from school or work. No need to shut down the WHOLE institution.
          Note: there are currently ten (10) US federal holidays: New Year’s Day, MLK Day, President’s Day/Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.

          So, if your religion has a Holy Day, take the day off. You will have to make up the material missed, but this is in the name of eternal salvation, right?


            But you are talking Federal Holidays, Christmas is a religious holiday for the Christians. so It should not be listed as a “federal” Holiday, Lets be fair, if we get off for Christian holidays, and some schools close for Jewish Holidays then it is only fair to Celebrate the 2 days they are asking for as well. they are not asking for the entire month of Ramadan, Just 2 days.

    • dakotahgeo

      How arrogant and intolerant YOU are!!! I’m surprised you know this much of the Alphabet!!! Educate yourself… FAST! If you want respect, SHOW respect!!

  • Richard Schnaittacher

    I would hope that some of the comments above would be made in a more civial tone, since many are made with a force that implies violence. I do not have a priactical solution for the issue of Muslim holidays, although this issue, for alll practical purposes, will llikely be determined by sheer numbers of a growing Musliim populationand the political pressure they are able to exert on the school system.

    Regarding Muslims as immigrants, let us first recognize that American is a land of immigrants and none of us except perhaps native Inidans have the right to complain about others who come to here, in the hopes of leading a better life with all the benefits and responsiblitiies that living in a democracy entails.

    My own personal experience invovles travel in the Arab world and I admit that I am very happy to return to the USA which is a much more open society than any in the Arab world. At the same time, I believe that most Muslims share our values and wish to live in peace and harmony with their neightbors. We should not paint them with the same brush as the reliatively few violent extremists in their midst any more than we should decry any other group in America for the exitstnece of neo-Nazis and other extremeists in our midst.

  • Wind Talker

    Is there real inter-faith compatitbility?

    Islam: Covert or die by the sword.

    Mat 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
    Luk 16:13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
    Luk 16:14 And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him.
    Deu_8:19 And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish.

    King Soloman, the wisest King was snared by his 700 wives:
    1Ki_11:4 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.
    1Ki_14:9 But hast done evil above all that were before thee: for thou hast gone and made thee other gods, and molten images, to provoke me to anger, and hast cast me behind thy back:

  • Rocco

    lets honor all the holidays of all ethnicities in NY. That we we wont have any more school days. As it is the kids learn squat anyway. No school means more uneducated Americans and more jobs go to China.

    Who wins…the teachers and unions…they get paid for doing nothing…as it is they do nothing anyway (at least most of them…)


  • PETE

    Now, ten years after 9/11, the Muslims are slowly coming out of their holes, spreading their garbage all over Europe and the USA. They want their own holidays, their own schools, their own Mosques for their own people, who mentally still live in the Middle Ages. We did not invite these people to come to the US. They came because they wanted the same lifestyle we Americans enjoy. They want the cake and eat it, because their contributions to Western Culture, OUR culture, is ZERO. First, pay us back through your gratitude for the lifestyle we provided to you and your brood, which we achieved only through many years of our own hard work. Then, if you still want to be a Muslim first and an American second, move to the Mojave Desert into a tent and have fun with your sheep, the way Mohammed told you to, or get the hell back from where you originally came from!!!

    • Chris

      Do you even hear what you’re saying? What is “their garbage?” Please sir do not disgrace America because you are clearly proving the world’s viewpoint on American stupidity.
      Trivia: Did you know Thomas Jefferson owned a Qur’an and referred to it whilst writing the Constitution of this country?

      • curtiscakes

        Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence not the constitution. He bought a Quran to gain insight into Muslim thinking, not to reference it while working on the constitution he did not write. For discussions sake assuming that he did reference it, what parts of the constitution were inspired by the Quran?

    • dakotahgeo

      Peter, you are an arrogant ass!!! As an ordained Christian minister, I say if you want respect, SHOW RESPECT!!!
      There is absolutely nothing wrong with the Muslim holidays being respected and honored, just as Jewish holidays are honored. Get a life, Sagebrush Sam!! Time to come in off the prairie!!!

      • PETE

        If this is all you have to say then you are the ideal candidate to join the Mustard Muslims in their tents in the Mohave Desert. They may have left you a couple of sheep for your fun!

        • dakotahgeo

          Normal response from a radical extremist Pootriot!!!


      PETE, You have serious issues, First of all we need to look with in when it comes to 9/11 as well, there is way more to it then what was shown, and If you blame all Muslims for 9/11 then I guess it is all Christians that are at fault for the Timothy McVeigh bombing of the same towers…. and then all Christians for the sexual abuse of children that happen in the Churches they are suppose to be safe in and all men for the abuse of the children that happen in the schools they are suppose to be safe in, You need to educate yourself, stereotyping is one of the main problems we have here in the wonderful country, and this is a Country of immigrants, they do not need to be invited here by us, they do not have to pay us back anything, all they have to do is what the rest of us have to do, work, pay our bills, be respectful {which you need a lesson in} and live our lives. so why don’t you so to that Desert and pitch a tent. They have the same rights as the rest of us. they have the right to FREEDOM of RELIGION, so they deserve their, Mosques for their people just as the Christians deserve their Churches for their people. GROW UP, and get over your self!

    • RiverdaleBob


  • howard

    at this point just make a statement and remove holidays from the school year and name them for a teacher or leader in replace the holidays that are there now

  • abdo ali

    Who killed Lord Jesus

  • The Realist

    That’s it. I propose ZERO school closures for RELIGIOUS HOLIDAYS. If every group gets holidays added to the school calendar, there won’t be any days left for actual education.

    • dakotahgeo

      In a way, that has some logic to it. Declare December as a month off from school and add a month in July!


    NO WAY!!!

  • F*CK 1010

    if they want their holidays – go back to the garbage nations they came from.

    • erik b

      OK. You want Christmas off? Take your a#% back to Rome!

      • dakotahgeo

        Thank yo,u, eric!

  • georgia

    I am a wica ..I want my holidays off too.

    • dakotahgeo

      That could probably be arranged!

  • Jerseyjoey

    This is a liberal disgrace, OK, im a minority i would like March 14th a school holiday, the birth date of the Third Reich At Potsdam Church 1933. Well , islam attacked America and so did the Third Reich so whats the difference then Liberals, what goes round comes round.

    • Chris

      Islam didn’t attack America. A person needs common sense to know that. And I’m a Republican.

      • Charlie

        islam DID attack America, just like it’s been attacking Europa for centuries!! Quit being so naive, you’ll be living under sharia law soon enough with thinking like yours…….

        • Chris

          Do you even know the religion? Do you know Islamic ideals? I don’t think so. This is why The world believes Americans are stupid. Please go read a book on Islam from a Muslim.

          • Jake

            You need to separate the extremest Dogma from the religion, My Christian religion can be seen as violent and extremest due to racism, xenophobia, and its own laws. We are all sons of Abarham and there for all brothers in faith. I do not agree with extremist of any religion, LUKE 6:37 Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
            I pray for forgiveness of all. Friend and foe. That is the most important teachings of Jesus. Christians have not been so peaceful over the years, My religion has endorsed slavery, murder, wars, genocide, and political warfare. I do not let that destroy my faith. I remember to try to make sure it never happens again.

        • dakotahgeo

          You are so mis-informed. Islamic EXTREMISTS did the dirty work, not the normal, everyday, hard-working Muslim majority! Scheesch!!!

    • Jake

      When did the Third Reich attack America? Not until we declared war on Germany after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. The Nazism is a ethos, not a religion. Also in America it is not illegal to be a Nazi. I disagree with Nazism and Fascism in general, but I live in the greatest country of the world. The UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
      Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances
      If you want to live in a place that does not respect the freedom of others go live in a Fascist State.

  • Dimsum Harry

    I want 4 extra days off so I can celebrate ummmm let me see, ah yes stupidity.

  • Tim

    Do they really need school? I thought everything was learned by the 15th century.

  • Very conservative

    Liberalism is a mental disorder.

  • Lou Bracate

    F Muslim holidays…

    • Charlie

      My sentiment exactly!!!!

  • Nick

    Do the school children get to strap on bombs and go ALLAH LA LA BOOM!! ?

  • cygon

    sure, we’ll soon have schooil until end of July. In the midwest school was done by memorial day.

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