Sumayyah McTaggart, a confident homeschooled eighth grader, from Great Falls, VA along with her friend iman Hazer of Dunn-Loring, VA take civics classes at Compass Homeschooling Enrichment in Oakton, VA. Fatimah Dandashi of Falls Church, VA, a seventh grader also has classes with the same civics teacher, Leila Leoncavallo.

Assigned a class project, two weeks ago, to petition the government about an issue that they were passionate about, the three formed a petition on the White House website. Inspired by the Montgomery County Equality4Eid campaign and concerned about attending class on Eid day, the three friends decided to address the issue of recognizing Eid day on the calendar.

“We knew each other from the masjid. I used to attend the masjid that Fatima currently attends. We all ended up in the same civic class and petitioned the government to recognize our holidays in public school,” said McTaggart to the Muslim Link. Meeting at the public library, it took Hazer and McTaggart a few hours to put the petition together. Dandashi approached the paper for publicity to spread the word about their petition so they can collect the 100,000 signatures needed, before the January 16, 2014 deadline. Hazer is reaching out to interfaith coalitions.

“This year Eid al-Adha. was on the day of science class, and I did have to go to school on Eid,” says the homeschooler, ”it was very upsetting, missing Eid prayer. I love hearing the khutbah and was upset [I had to go to school].” Fatima Dandashi has also faced the same dilemma- school on Eid day.

“We would hope that White House responds. We would all like to request Fairfax County to recognize Eid as a public holiday. We would like them to take the day off. The White House petition is an effort for publicity, to show the Fairfax county board of education how many people support the idea,” says McTaggart. Anybody who is religious would understand that struggle; they will receive our support if they have an issue, if [they] support us,” says McTaggart, wise beyond her years. The 13 year old loves to play soccer and plays for the Great Falls Soccer Club. She hopes that by the time her siblings are old enough for school they do not have to go to school on Eid day.

“The population of Muslims growing and it is not fair to have to choose between education and honoring your religious obligations,” she says.

The girls write that “our First Amendment not only forbids the favoring of one or more religions over others it also ensures that the government cannot restrict the free practice of religion. Muslims being required to attend school on Eid violates both.”

Their teacher thought it was one of the best causes that anyone had come up with and fully supports them. If you do too then show your support by signing the petition by January 16 at  http://wh.gov/l8f51.

Update: The petition is currently at 32,000 signatures. Please help them get to the 100,000 goal by tonight, Jan 16th, 2014. Since posting this anti-Muslim hate sites have linked to my news article, originally published in  the Muslim Link. Masajid listservs have become active and have been urging congregates to sign the petition. Several media outlets have also reached out to cover the story.

Aren't you super proud of our Muslim youth?

51 Responses

  1. Dzafar

    Hopefully this will make us all respect each others rituals. & belief. Also would be nice if we have prayer places in important places specially at airports.

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  2. Farhan

    Muslims have right to get their demand and they deserve to get holidays on the occasion of Holy Eid in each place

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  3. IRENA BINTI IDRIS

    Eid ul Fitri and Eid ul Adha are happy celebrations just like Christmas Passover or the New Year. I think it is only fair to allow Muslims to celebrate it like other religions. Islam is practiced all over the world and it is only fair for our Muslim brothers and sisters in the US to enjoy it too. Pray and ask help from Allah swt for this gift. Trust in the will of Allah. Love and hugs from a sister across the miles in Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia.

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  4. Basmah

    Oh no.they need 60,000 more signatures . Only 2 days left
    Why didn’t I hear about this earlier :(

    If each one of us spreads this message and gets atleast 10 from our acquaintances , I think we could reach the target inshAllah.

    JazakumAllah khair sisters!

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  5. Vicki

    I am neither Muslim nor Christian, but I believe that under our Constitution everyone’s religious preferences and thus holidays granted by governments, including at least public schools, should grant religious holidays equally to all faiths. If there are already “too many holidays” given during the school year, then we should decide whether we should cut back on other non-religious observances instead. Many people do not observe Memorial Day and/or Veterans Day as they used to years ago, but rather use them as “free vacation days” to head to the beach, etc. with no honoring of those persons that sacrificed themselves for our freedoms. Additionally, Columbus Day is observed by some government organizations though not others. Perhaps we should consider trading these holidays, and possibly also New Years Day, in order to be consistent with the “new reality” that the United States is no longer a “Christian only” country. I signed the petition!!!!

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  6. Rania hamdy

    Yes Muslim people should be off on holidays to celebrate like other religion

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  7. boubakar traore

    It s a good idea to support that case so we all muslim can get day off in our holidays.

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  8. mamadu barrie

    Is a Freedom country, finally islam religion have there holidays on the board as other religion.

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  9. imani k gavin

    Salaam walakum
    Its really sad that we Muslims been fighting for our holiday which is rightfully ours, you have Christmas, passove, easter, And you are against ours , I don’t understand why this is the most holiest days for us, When our children need to be able to celebrate their religious beliefs like every one else. AS A MUSLIM COMMUNITY COMMUNITY WE NEED ALL THE SUPPORT FOR OUR MISSION TO BE ABLE TO CELEBRATE OUR OWN HOLIDAY! !!

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  10. Ange

    Why would we consider celebrating Muslim holidays in the United States when Christian holidays aren’t celebrated in the middle east? Stop persecuting Christians before you ask us to celebrate your holidays…..

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  11. Ange

    Maybe not, but do you really think it’s fair for Muslims to disregard other faiths and then ask for their holidays to be recognized? THAT is NOT how it works as far as I’m concerned.

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  12. tieba

    IT IS ABOUT TIME WITH OVER 9 MILLION MUSLIM, “MORE THAN JEW’, THAT WE HAVE RECOGNITION AND HOLIDAY AT STATE AND FEDERAL LEVEL. WE ONLY NEED TWO: EID AL FITR AND EID AL ADA.

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  13. Asif Husain

    Yes, surely, Muslims should be given their holdays. Atleast Eiful Fitr and Eidul Azha should be declared holidays.
    All the Muslims across globe support this.

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  14. Mangbe meite

    It would be nice to have this holiday for some of the students that don’t celebrate different holidays. Thank you.

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  15. mamadou Diallo

    It is very nice to have that every that help for this one love god bless Amen

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  16. M zaini

    Please make it is this fair for muslim in the USA and thank you every body for supporting us.

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  17. F Momin

    Finally, there is a petition to recognize Islamic holidays nationwide! There is a need for 100,000 signatures… we haven’t even hit the 7,000 mark yet. All signatures are due February 15th, 2014. Please make an account and sign both petitions. It will take only a few minutes of your time. Insha’Allah, everything will work out in time.

    Sign both of the following petitions:

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/recognize-muslim-holidays-throughout-school-year/x1DqFc2t

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/support-movement-having-muslim-holidays-recognized-school-year-throughout-united-states-america/hXwCfYPc

    And forward these links to any and everybody who will sign it.

    *Name has been changed to comply to our Comments Policy*

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  18. abdul kadir saleem

    Thank you sisters and brothers or supporting Muslim holiday in tae U.S.A. My wife and myself this petition happily .

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  19. abdul kadir saleem

    May Allah bless all people including Muslims in America . I support the petition with my family.

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