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Sunday, May 30, 2004

Atlantic City Schools Recognize Islamic holidays

via LGF
Newsday.com: ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) - Atlantic City has become the fourth school district in New Jersey to recognize Muslim holidays.

The city's board of education approved districtwide days off for Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, two sacred Islamic holidays, for the upcoming school year.

Previously, under state law Muslim students and teachers were allowed to take off Islamic holidays without being penalized. According to Superintendent Fredrick P. Nickles, about 560 of the city's 7,800 children are Muslim.

Board member Cornell Davis, who is Muslim, called the decision "courageous" in light of current tensions between Americans and Islamic extremists.

"It shows a lot of character about us as Americans," Davis told The Press of Atlantic City.

Eid al-Fitr, a festival celebrating the breaking of the fast of Ramadan, will be observed on Nov. 15. Eid al-Adha, a festival of sacrifice and pilgrimage, will be observed on Jan. 21.