Mass. School District to Observe Muslim Holiday

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Public schools in Cambridge, Mass. will officially recognize two Muslim holidays next year.

In 2011, the schools within the district will close for one Muslim holiday yearly.
The first holiday to be recognized marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan. The other is known as Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice.

Should both days fall within the school calendar, the district will close for one of the days.

Cambridge School Committee member Marc McGovern, who advocated the policy, said it's important to avoid stereotyping Muslims as terrorists.

"This isn't about terrorism. This isn't about 9/11," he said. This is about a strong vibrant community in Cambridge that deserves to have a day recognized in the same way that we recognize two of the other major religions in the city."
The school board's decision comes after students from various religions made the request.  

"I think it's a good idea. I'm a religious person and I appreciate the religious opportunities that I have in this country. I think it would be good for other people to have the same freedoms," Abby Rothschild of Greenfield told Massachusetts television station WWLP. 

Cambridge School Superintendent Jeffrey Young said the Muslim population in the Boston area appears to be growing.

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