Washington, DC — On Aug. 9, 2022, the San Francisco Board of Education adopted a resolution officially recognizing two Muslim holidays, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. The resolution was a result of local high school students’ hope for equity and hard work, which garnered around 800 signatures and went through an established Board of Education process for approval. On Aug. 18, 2022, an attorney sent a letter threatening to sue the school board if it does not rescind the resolution.
The following is a statement from Muslim Advocates Senior Policy Counsel Sumayyah Waheed:
“We celebrate the students who rallied their community and successfully won recognition, not only of Eid, but of their own identities and civic spirit. American Muslims face so much harmful hate, discrimination and even violence for simply going about their day in public life. It’s genuinely brave and inspiring that these students set out to make a positive change and that their community responded with so much support and enthusiasm.
We also applaud the San Francisco Board of Education for acknowledging this amazing achievement and urge them to avoid rescinding their resolution recognizing Eid. Adopting the resolution sent a needed message of support to the students who organized the petition and to the community who supported it. Adopting the resolution also helps alleviate intolerance based on race, religion and national origin in San Francisco schools. Conversely, having a public agency in one of the most progressive cities in the nation targeting students and a whole community will not only be demoralizing and offensive, but could also lead to more bullying in schools and across the city.
This story has been a rare, inspirational victory for a local Muslim community that is largely Black, Asian, Latino, Yemeni, immigrant and working class and that normally faces so much intersecting discrimination and hardship. Repealing this resolution would send a harmful message that civic engagement is a bad thing when Muslims do it. Instead of tearing down one community’s hard-won fight for inclusion, we call on the school board to focus on building up and recognizing all communities.”
Muslim Advocates is a national civil rights organization working in the courts, in the halls of power and in communities to halt bigotry in its tracks. We ensure that American Muslims have a seat at the table with expert representation so that all Americans may live free from hate and discrimination.