Feb 28, 2006

No Muslim days off for Baltimore schools

It's my understanding that public schools initially closed on the Jewish High Holidays because a lot of the teachers took those days off. But Baltimore County Muslims claim they're being discriminated against.
Baltimore County Muslims point out that schools close for two Jewish holidays.

"The recommendation tells everyone that the board has fear of Muslims, and it is unfair," said Bash Pharoan, president of the Baltimore County Muslim Council.

Jewish leaders say Mr. Pharoan is attempting to politicize the school calendar, which schedules closures only for holidays that cause low attendance rates countywide.

"There are individuals trying to create friction between the Muslim and Jewish communities, and Mr. Pharoan is one of them," said Arthur C. Abramson, executive director of the Baltimore Jewish Council.

Mr. Pharoan said his group, which has about 100 members, seeks "equal treatment" for the county's approximately 40,000 Muslims. "Our students really feel left behind," he said.

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