Opinion: “Pluralism Has Long Been an Important American Tradition”

December 14, 2005

Source: Sun-Herald.com


On December 14, 2005 the Sun-Herald.com reported, "More than a month has passed since the Hillsborough County school board reversed itself and reinstated Yom Kipper, Good Friday, and the Monday after Easter as official school holidays. The conflict began when a Muslim American, Ahmed Bedier, born in Egypt, decided to politely ask Hillsborough school officials to add some Muslim holidays to the school calendar. The school officials spent more than a year thinking about what to do. Eventually, rather than accept what is known as traditional American 'pluralism,' which includes respect for all faiths and cultures, school officials decided to ignore Bedier's request to give students time off for Eid Al-Fitr. Later they decided to eliminate the traditional Christian and Jewish holidays as well... When a total of 3500 emails poured in, with many people around the nation blaming Muslims for the decision, the school board quickly reversed itself and reinstated the Christian and Jewish holidays... America is known as a large 'melting pot,' where there is room for everyone, regardless of their beliefs, including 7 million peaceful Muslims. They are not about to convert to Christianity or to leave. School officials and others should not fear the fact they are here."