US declines to declare national holiday on Eid

Published: December 13, 2015
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President Obama talks to a guest during an Iftar dinner celebrating Ramadan in the State Dining Room at the White House on June 22. PHOTO: AFP

President Obama talks to a guest during an Iftar dinner celebrating Ramadan in the State Dining Room at the White House on June 22. PHOTO: AFP

US President Barack Obama declined to declare the Muslim holidays of Eidul Fitr and Eidul Azha a national holiday after more than 100,000 people signed an online petition calling for the designation.

President Barack Obama “understands the importance” of the three-day event that marks the end of Ramadan – but said it’s up to Congress to make the call, the White House’s said in response to a petition on its “We the People” site.

“Proposals for new permanent federal holidays are typically the province of Congress,” the White House added.

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Congress has designated 10 federal holidays each year, icnluding New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr Day, Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The White House’s response came after the petition created in September garnered more than 100,00 signatures prompting federal ministers to review it and issue a response.

“There is a large population of Muslim people in the US and the two holidays that are celebrated are not recognised in calendars to mark these special days,” the petitioners wrote. “Students are missing out on school, people taking time off from work; this is all because these holidays are unknown.”

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The White House also observed that states, cities and school districts can set their own holidays and that employers can make accommodations to employees in line with their religious occasions.

New York City’s school district became the largest in the nation earlier this year to recognise Eid as an official holiday.

The article originally appeared on USA TODAY.

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Reader Comments (16)

  • ajeet
    Dec 13, 2015 - 2:43PM

    Give them an inch and they would want a mile.Recommend

  • Stranger
    Dec 13, 2015 - 3:46PM

    Well done . Why should every one and his bro declare a hol for this festival. Recommend

  • Aakashvaani
    Dec 13, 2015 - 3:52PM

    Intolerant USA. Saudi Arabia has national holidays for Christmas, Hannukah, Gur Purab and Diwali…..huhRecommend

  • Mohsin
    Dec 13, 2015 - 4:59PM

    Eid should be a national holiday after all Hanukah is a holiday. They should hold a protest in Washington. Recommend

  • Pops
    Dec 13, 2015 - 5:28PM

    It’s a Christian country, why should they?

    Then the Hindus would want Diwali off as well and all the other minorities.Recommend

  • SEAsian
    Dec 13, 2015 - 6:31PM

    Is this even a serious news story? Recommend

  • Nil
    Dec 13, 2015 - 7:14PM

    Obama should declare “Holi” and “Diwali” as national holiday. However it’s my personal wish and not compulsion. Being “Hindu” minority it is most important to me that at least we have freedom of religion also we may allowable to build temple in foreign surface or may allowable to arrange any kind of spiritual religious programs and that is enough for me. However if suppose majority have not any issue to declare these two festives as US national holiday then we should appreciate them.Being Hindu We should be thankful to majority Christians that they have accepted us, and allow us to practice our religion and too is sufficient.Recommend

  • G. Din
    Dec 13, 2015 - 7:26PM

    @ajeet:
    “Give them an inch and they would want a mile.”
    Extend a hand for a hand-shake and they will rip off the whole arm from the socket.Recommend

  • Yasin
    Dec 13, 2015 - 8:31PM

    It is a clear sign of anti Islam bigotry. Muslims have a divine right to have their ways. The sooner the world understand this, it will be a better place for all the people to live in peace and harmony for all time to come.Recommend

  • Ol' Al
    Dec 13, 2015 - 10:43PM

    I don’t see the harm…but if they were to not give them the holiday they would complain, if they do then somebody else will complain as well. People just want their own customs and traditions recognized, but when it comes to others’ they don’t care Recommend

  • Sara
    Dec 13, 2015 - 11:58PM

    Um correction it is NOT a Christian country.. Church and state is separated remember that Recommend

  • Sara
    Dec 14, 2015 - 12:00AM

    Um it’s NOT a Christian country.. Church and state is separated.. remember thatRecommend

  • numbersnumbers
    Dec 14, 2015 - 4:34AM

    @Mohsin:
    FYI, Hanukkah is NOT a national holiday in America!Recommend

  • Another Indian
    Dec 14, 2015 - 6:16AM

    How can US be this intolerant??? Obama should prepare to deal with the sqall of American intelligentia rushing to return their awards….Hope they form a queue unlike in India. Recommend

  • Sane Khan
    Dec 14, 2015 - 9:37AM

    Oh well!
    No holiday, get back to work.Recommend

  • Naresh
    Dec 14, 2015 - 11:13PM

    From the Articvle : New York City’s school district became the largest in the nation earlier this year to recognise Eid as an official holiday.
    .
    This will cause more Harm than Good. The Non-Muslims who do not get their Religious Holidays will be upset as also New York’s Christians who are aware that most Islamic Countries may not have Christian Holidays.
    CheersRecommend

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