This is Shariah creep and before you read the news from Montgomery County, please visit Janet Levy’s good piece today at American Thinker (Under Allah with Sharia for all) about how Sharia/Shariah comes in on little cat feet because almost everyone is too afraid of being called a racist or an Islamophobe if they should speak up. (Just ask Grover Norquist who understands the power of that word—Islamophobe).
From the Washington Examiner (hat tip: Cathy):
Montgomery County officials are considering closing schools for two Muslim holidays next school year.
At-large County Councilman George Leventhal asked school leaders in a letter to shut down campuses for Eid-ul-Adha and Eid-ul-Fitr, days when Muslim students and residents usually pray, feast and visit with family. Currently, Montgomery County Public Schools system offers excused absences to these students.
But the school-aged Muslim population is growing, Leventhal told The Washington Examiner, and it’s unfair that the schools close for certain faiths’ observances and not others.
No school system in the Washington suburbs currently closes for Muslim holidays like Eid-ul-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, or Eid-ul-Adha, which commemorates the willingness of biblical figure Abraham to sacrifice his son for God.
Irma Hafeez, director of the Montgomery County Muslim Council, said her organization is starting a letter-writing campaign and hopes to gather signatures to support closing schools on the holidays. She estimates that Muslims make up 3 percent of Montgomery County.
Ms. Hafeez says MoCo is 3% Muslim but I’m thinking perhaps this is a stretch. The Association of Religious Data Archives (ARDA) actually puts the Montgomery County population of practicing Muslims at an estimated 12,206 in ten congregations. I didn’t dig into the survey data but I found it interesting that those doing the census must not have minded asking someone if they were a Catholic (or any of the long list of religious groups in the county) but they ESTIMATED the number of Muslims (or mosque leaders refused to give them any data).
When we check the census figures for MoCo we see that the entire population of the county in 2010 was 971,777. If I am doing my math correctly (check me!) that means the Muslim share of the population is only about 1.2%.
But, what is even more interesting is if you go to the data base that shows the change in the Muslim population for MoCo over the years 2000 to 2010, one notes that the number of practicing Muslims dropped by 33%!* In 2000, this data base estimated the Muslim population at over 18,000. So, Leventhal could be wrong when he projects that the Muslim population is growing in Montgomery County.
Read more about George Levanthal, here, an early director of CASA de Maryland and surely heavily involved in the Sanctuary Movement responsible for high populations of Salvadorans in Montgomery county.
See also this related post about the proposal to teach Arabic in Maryland Public Elementary Schools. I don’t know if this is still an on-going campaign by Muslim political activists in the state. Does anyone know?
* The estimate for practicing Muslims dropped in the last decade for MoCo, but contrast that to the numbers in this post I wrote at my other blog recently where the number of practicing Muslims in the Buffalo, NY area increased by a whopping 242% over those same ten years—primarily from legal immigration.