(BOSTON, MA, 10/6/15) – The Massachusetts chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MA) today welcomed a decision by a Boston-area high school to begin allowing students excused absences to observe weekly congregational prayer services, or “Jummah.”
That decision came after CAIR-MA contacted the school administration about complaints that students were not being allowed to attend required congregational prayers on Fridays. The new arrangement aligns the school with practices observed at thousands of public and private schools across the country.
“It’s encouraging to see greater accommodation being provided within the public education system for Muslim students,” said CAIR-MA Executive Director Dr. John Robbins. “As a former public high school teacher, I recognize the need to balance religious accommodations with ensuring that students are able to learn effectively, and in this case I think we’ve done so in a way that’s works for all parties.”
He said students may now be excused from the final hour of school on Fridays with a note from parents, who will also coordinate with the students’ teachers to work out an appropriate way for the students to make up any work missed by the absence. Students and/or parents will be responsible for transportation to the weekly services.
Robbins added that CAIR offers a booklet, called “An Educator’s Guide to Islamic Religious Practices,” designed to help school officials provide a positive learning environment for Muslim students.
SEE: An Educator’s Guide to Islamic Religious Practices
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR-MA Executive Director Dr. John Robbins, 617-862-9159, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, email@example.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Nabeelah Naeem, 202-341-4171, firstname.lastname@example.org