As Muslim Americans, We Believe That Eid Should Be Made A National Holiday

As Muslim Americans, We Believe That Eid Should Be Made A National Holiday

If Christmas, then why not Eid?

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By Eeman Uddin and Safa Ghaya

Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha are two very important religious holidays celebrated by Muslims worldwide. Eid al-Fitr comes at the end of the holy month of Ramadan which is a holy month in which Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. During this month, Muslims hope to strengthen their relationship with God through many different ways. Eid comes on the first day of the 10th month in the Islamic lunar calendar and celebrates the end of fasting.

Eid al-Adha is another Islamic festival to commemorate the willingness of Ibrahim (also known as Abraham) to follow God's command to sacrifice his son. Eid Al-Adha takes place on the 10th and last day of the Hajj, the celebration of holy pilgrimage to Mecca, in the 12th month of the Islamic lunar calendar.

The celebration of Eid is a celebration for each an every Muslim as it is an important part of their religion. From the food, parties and gifts exchanges millions of Muslim anticipate the coming of Eid.

Al-Hassan as-Sibt says: "The Messenger of Allah ordered us to wear the best clothes we could find for the two Eids and to apply the best perfume we could find and to sacrifice the best animal we could find."

However, unlike other religious holidays such as Christmas, the dates for Eid vary and because of this, Eid has and will continue to land on school days. As a Muslim that has been born and raised in the United States, I have had to miss school because I do not get the day off to celebrate my religion. There are many Muslims who aren't able to celebrate because they do not get the day off from school or work.

In 2015, the White House declined the petition to name the Muslim celebration of Eid al-Fitr as a national holiday. The awareness of this holiday was brought on as a result of an online petition created in which over 100,000 people signed in order to persuade the U.S. government to make Eid a national holiday. At the age of 13, I was sent this petition and chose to sign it. Three years later this issue is still relevant.

As Islam continues to grow and spread in the United States, it is important to understand the significance behind these two celebrations as well as acknowledge it. Activists like Linda Sarsour fight for this acknowledgement in states around the world. For example, protests and petitions in New York's public school systems have unwrapped more than just religious inclusivity and further opened the gates to cultural understanding.

Fueled by the current administration's obvious bias to anything anti-Muslim, people all over the United States realize the necessity of Eid as a national holiday now more than ever before.

Christianity may be the majority religion in the United States, however, that doesn't mean that there can't be a national holiday for Eid or Hanukkah as there is for Christmas. Many argue that the only reason Christmas became a national holiday is because it has become secularized and that the United States is in fact a secular nation that doesn't institutionalize religious holidays. However, that statement seems entirely paradoxical. First of all, while it may be that the U.S. is a secular nation, Christianity and further CHRISTmas, the literal celebration of Christ's birthday, are completely secularized.

Second of all, the fact that the U.S. claims to be a secularized nation should also be a even bigger reason for them to acknowledge that within its borders lies a diversified population with different beliefs and cultures aside from Christianity.

We're not asking for the government to embrace Eid as a religious national holiday representative to America as a whole, but rather to embrace it as a national holiday acknowledging and recognizing the growing Muslims living in America.

If officials are scared that it will take away time from educational opportunities in school, know that celebrating and learning about other people's cultures and religions is one of the most valuable forms of educational opportunity. Let us take action in our own communities by calling up our local representatives (find out who your local representatives by clicking here) and changing a system that is not representative of the place we call home: America.

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https://twitter.com/hashtag/eidinnyc

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Stop Yelling At Me For Being Conservative

What you shouldn't say to millennial Republicans.
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Society today has a funny way of making Republicans seem like the scum of the Earth. The funniest thing is that it's actually not funny at all — it's an ignorant, rude way to treat people. See, America these days seems to be all about treating everyone fairly. That is, until differing opinions come about. How dare we Republicans view economics and politics differently? How dare we have our own opinions? How dare we identify as Conservative people, even as young adults?

So, without further ado, here are some things that I, a millennial Republican, am beyond tired of hearing.


"You're just a college girl, what do you know about politics?"

Yeah, I'm a basic white girl. I wear Converse to class and my sorority's letters are on my rear windshield. Guess what, though — I do my research. I've been following the presidential campaigns for months now. I've watched the debates, read the articles, visited the websites and studied the polls. I may be in a sorority and I may wear Converse, but I know what I'm talking about when it comes to this stuff. So, if you ask for my opinion, be prepared to hear a well-thought-out, educated answer.

"You only believe what your parents raised you to believe."

No, actually. My parents raised me to understand the value of hard work. They made me get a job when I was 16 years old so I could learn how to budget, save and provide for myself. My parents did not teach me to rely on other people to get what I want. My parents did not teach me to accept handouts. Therefore, I believe that success comes from hard work and dedication. I believe that each individual is responsible for his or her own success (along with his or her own property and obligations), hence why I identify as a Conservative.

"You're voting for him?!"

Yeah! I am! Funny, I thought we were all entitled to our own opinion. It turns out this is my opinion, and [insert candidate] has my vote. Cool how that works, huh?

"The GOP candidates this time around are horrible."

It doesn't take an idiot to see that none of the Republican candidates are the ideal presidential candidate. It also doesn't take an idiot to see that the same thing can be said of the Democratic candidates. Here's the reality: There never has been a perfect president, there never has been a perfect presidential candidate, there is no perfect president, there is no perfect presidential candidate, there never will be a perfect president and there never will be a perfect presidential candidate.

"You're so selfish."

Define selfish. I want my money to be my money and I want my rights to be my rights; I was unaware that that labels me as "selfish." I am confident that I can survive without the government's help.

"But don't you care about the old people/the kids/the environment/the homeless people/etc?"

Yes, I do. What I don't like is that my hard-earned money gets taken from me and used for other things. I'm not against helping out, don't get me wrong. I would love to donate to charities to help children and homeless people and the planet, that is if I had enough money to do so. Sadly, that money gets taken from me through taxes (Which could be considered forced donation, if you ask me. How is that fair?).

"But what about the minorities? You're just racist."

No, I'm not racist and yes, I do care about the minorities. I believe diversity is one of America's greatest qualities. What bothers me, though, is that society changes the meaning of "fair" when it comes to minorities. Yeah, it would be fair for us to all be able to pay our own medical bills and whatnot. Do you know what else would be fair? For even the members of minorities to get jobs and earn their way to success just like I'm trying to do. If illegal immigrants want to come to America, then they can go through the citizenship process, get a job and contribute to society. If they want to be treated equally, they need to start viewing themselves and treating themselves as working American citizens who pay the same taxes, get the same jobs and fight the same daily battles that we fight.

"You're hateful and/or heartless."

Nah. What I am is honest, self-sufficient and confident that other people can be honest and self-sufficient.

"You're ignorant."

Again, no, I'm not. As I've said several other times throughout this article, I know what I'm talking about and I can justify what I'm talking about. If anything, you're ignorant for accusing me of such things.

"You're crazy if you'd vote Trump over Sanders or Clinton if he's the chosen GOP candidate."

Please enlighten me on how this makes me "crazy." In this upcoming election, I will be voting for the candidate chosen by my political affiliation. The Republican Party's only strong opposing candidates include a self-proclaimed Socialist and a woman under FBI investigation. What I would consider "crazy" is if I voted for Sanders or Clinton over Donald Trump, just because Trump has offended some people before. (And no, this is not me saying I'm a loud and proud Trump supporter. In fact, Cruz has my vote either until he's elected into office or until Trump is chosen as the GOP candidate.)

Side note: I've heard the people, who hate Trump for being mean, say meaner things than that man ever has. A very wise man (Jesus, in John 8:7) once said, "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone."


What you should be saying to me is "Thank you," because I'm voting for freedom. I'm voting for civil liberties. I'm voting for constitutional rights. I'm voting for the will to succeed. I'm voting for the reward for hard work. I'm voting for the things that will actually help America keep prospering.

So, here's what I'll say to you: You're welcome.

Cover Image Credit: Kristi Russell

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That One Time I May Have Shot An Ex-Police Officer

Yeah, you heard me.

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In England, we don't really have guns, maybe hunting guns but I think it's pretty rare. Anyway, point is, barely any guns. I have never seen a gun, shot a gun, I don't even know anybody that owns a gun so as an exchange student in Oklahoma it's a novelty to visit a gun range.

I was pretty nervous about shooting but the instructor was super nice and told us how to hold the gun and load it before we went into the range. He also let us ask any questions we had about guns and explained the process of getting a gun in Oklahoma and he said he had visited Europe and was talking about England, and how he used to be a cop and opened his own gun shop. Basically a really really nice guy, which honestly makes harming him ten times worse.

We went into the range and we were shooting a 22 caliber and another guy at the range, I'm assuming a regular, asked if we wanted to fire his revolver so of course, we said yes.

This gun was definitely heavier and the trigger was super hard to pull but he kept his hand on the gun whilst I struggled with the trigger and then I fired it.

I heard a bang and I heard a yell.

I turned around and he was holding his thumb and there was blood dripping onto the floor. At this point, I thought I had shot him, so you can imagine the sheer level of panic that I was feeling.

The color drained from my face and I was frozen solid and all I could say was, "are you okay?" which was answered with a "Ma'am, put the gun down."

Basically, I'm freaking out and I look over at the lads for some form of reassurance, which was met with them looking equally as freaked out as me. So I asked,

"Do we need to call someone?"

"Yep. We are definitely gonna have to call someone"

So at this point, my nerves were shattered and I had no idea what was going on or what the procedure is for this sort of thing. I mean, the guy also took it like a champ and barely even winced and kept repeating "little lady, you're fine" – safe to say I did not feel fine nor did the situation, in my eyes, look at all fine.

Luckily the regulars knew what to do and took him to the ER so we were left in the store with another regular shooter.

Everyone else went back out to shoot but I didn't feel like assaulting/ shooting/ potentially murdering anyone else so I decided to sit this round out and talk to the woman that stayed with us and he called and said it wasn't me, something came off the bullet or gun and went into his hand- so no I didn't actually shoot him and he was going to be okay.

The point of this now very funny story is that whilst guns are cool they're also pretty dangerous.

I have no idea how someone can participate in these mass shootings because I didn't even shoot someone, only thought I did, and it was probably the most terrifying moment of my life.

So, if you are around guns, have fun, be safe and try not to send your instructor to the ER.

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