(Photo by Flickr user Cédric Boismain, used under a Creative Commons license)
In 1682, William Penn founded the city of Philadelphia as a bastion of religious freedom, free from the religious persecution the Quaker experienced in England. In 2016, the city of Philadelphia announced it will recognize the Muslim holidays Eid al-Adha and Eid ul-Fitr in its schools.
As of this week, the Eids will have an official place on the calendars of the school district and the government, allowing Philadelphia Muslims and their children to appropriately observe the religious holidays.
The announcement followed a push from local advocates, most notably the Philly Eid Coalition. The coalition worked with Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr. to get a resolution urging the recognition of the holidays adopted by City Council. At the time, Mayor Jim Kenney said the decision would come down to cost.
Ultimately, the city decided it would cost more oppress religious freedoms.
“The announcement today is a major victory for fairness and cultural inclusion in Philadelphia,” said Michael Rashid, founder of the Philly Eid coalition, in a statement. “The announcement also demonstrates the power of alliances. I applaud Mayor Kenney and Superintendent [William] Hite on working with us to get this done today.”
But that’s not all: Kenney also announced the creation of the Mayor’s Task Force on Cultural Inclusion, dedicated to ensuring the city better accommodates the rights of its citizens’ cultures.
There are approximately 400,000 Muslims in Philadelphia, according to the Philly Eid Coalition.-30-
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