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Decision Not to Close Schools During Muslim Holiday Sparks Uproar in New Jersey

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The School District of Jersey City this week emphasized its “commitment to embracing diversity,” after a vote not to close schools for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha sparked protests in the local Muslim community.

The Jersey City Board of Education voted to not close schools during a meeting with parents last week on the basis that it will cause “undue hardship” to the thousands of non-Muslim parents who might not have any where to send their kids, NBC News reports.

“We feel alienated from the Board of Education, we feel alienated from this system,” Omar Abouelkhair told NBC, while another Muslim parent told the board that: “‘We’re no longer the minority, that’s clear from tonight. We’re going to be the majority soon.”

The board emphasized that students can continue to take days off for religious purposes without penalty, and that it would revisit its religious holiday policy later this year.

Eid al-Adha is one of the most important religious holiday for Muslims. New York City closed its schools for the holiday for the first time ever on Thursday.

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