Muslim Groups Petition White House To Recognize Islamic Holidays

Two groups of Muslims are petitioning the White House, calling for public schools to recognize Muslim holidays. One of the petitions is posted on the White House's "We the People."  It has over 30,000 signatures so far. 

"With the growing population of Muslims in the United States of America...we believe it is high time that Muslim holidays are recognized by schools throughout this nation," reads the petition. "Muslim school children and staff deserve the same benefits afforded to the followers of other faiths. We call on President Obama to support this petition and advance the inclusiveness of our great nation." 

Islam has relatively few holidays, compared to most other religions. Traditionally, Muslims celebrate just two major festivals - Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha. However, the idea is gaining traction in school districts in areas where there is a high Muslim population, such as in New York City.  Muslim students already have days off from school in areas such as Dearborn, Michigan, near Detroit.

Critics says it is another attempt for Muslims to seek special privilege in America.  Meanwhile, for a petition to get an official response, it must get 100,000 signatures about one month after being posted. The first of the two recent petitions was started by three middle-school students from Virginia in December, but it failed to gain enough signatures. Several other previous attempts failed as well.