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In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Press Release

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Know Your Eid Rights as a Student


In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful


For Immediate Release


(10/13/13) Why do so many Muslim students find it normal to attend their respective universities or colleges on the only two holidays that Islam asks them to observe? Many students who hear this question are going to respond with, "But, I have a midterm coming up in a few days and I can't miss lecture" or "It's not that big of a deal, I can celebrate another time."

It is imperative to remember that Eid is a time of rejoicing, renewed spirituality, and a time to connect with loved ones for Muslims all around the world. It is a time where all Muslims (men, women, and children alike) are told to gather with their fellow Muslims brothers and sisters to commemorate a special day. It is a time where family, friends, and communities reconnect and rekindle the spirt of Islam. We are blessed to have rights in the United States that allow Muslims to have accommodations if an exam falls on a religious holiday (see policies below). It is our responsibility to let those around us know that today, we are observing a religious obligation and celebrating a religious holiday.

It is time for Muslims to actively seek their rights as students.

Furthermore, if you do chose to attend classes/stick with your midterm on Eid, please let your professors know that despite it being your religious holiday, you are choosing to attend their lecture or take that exam. Students who are attending school are undermining the importance of Eid and the legitimacy of the excused absence that other Muslim students have in missing class. Case in point: Mohamed emails his Professor telling him that in observance of his holiday he needs accommodations for his midterm. Then Fatima shows up to the midterm on the day of Eid. What do you think is going on in the professor’s mind? It weakens the student community's voice and ability to assert its rights.

Now to facilitate things for you, here is a sample email to send to your professors:

Dear Professor ______,

I hope this email reaches you in the best regards. This Tuesday, October 15th is the start of the Muslim Holiday called "Eid ul-Adha,” which marks the end of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. In fact it is one of the two holidays that Muslims observe in the calendar year. In observance of this important holiday, I will not be able to attend [lecture, discussion, etc...]. I would sincerely appreciate it if I can make further accommodations with you to understand the content of the lecture I will be missing in your office hours. If you have any questions about this holiday or any concerns, please let me know.

I hope this does not cause any inconvenience.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

[Your name]

After you have emailed your professors, and everything has been cleared--go celebrate! Make Eid a special day with your family and friends.  Eid is a deeply spiritual holiday meant for us to always remember and praise Allah (swt). There is no excuse for not being a part of the joyous day and to partake in the specific, obligated worship prescribed for that day.

If you are going to go to work/school, that is your personal choice.  However, we pray that you can still make it a day full of generosity, bliss, and an occasion to remember God.

The following are written codes for Privates, UC's, and Cal States with regards to exams on religious holidays:

Private Schools
EDUCATION CODE
SECTION 94355
94355.  (a) As a condition of doing business in this state, each postsecondary educational institution governed by Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 94700), and each organization the administers educational testing for use in the admissions process by any public or private postsecondary educational institution, shall, in administering any test or examination, permit any student who is eligible to undergo the test or examination to do so, without penalty, at a time when that activity would not violate the student's religious creed.
(b) This requirement shall not apply in the event that administering the test or examination at an alternate time would impose an undue hardship which could not reasonably have been avoided. In any court proceeding in which the existence of an undue hardship that could not reasonably have been avoided is an issue, the burden of proof shall be upon the institution.
(c) This section shall become operative on January 1, 1997.


CSU Policy
The Trustees of the California State University shall require each state university, in administering any test or examination, to permit any student who is eligible to undergo the test or examination to do so, without penalty, at a time when that activity would not violate the student's religious creed. This requirement shall not apply in the event that administering the test or examination at an alternate time would impose an undue hardship which could not reasonably have been avoided. In any court proceeding in which the existence of an undue hardship which could not reasonably have been avoided is an issue, the burden of proof shall be upon the institution.

EDUCATION CODE
SECTION 89320
89320.  (a) The Trustees of the California State University shall require each state university, in administering any test or
examination, to permit any student who is eligible to undergo the test or examination to do so, without penalty, at a time when that activity would not violate the student's religious creed. This requirement shall not apply if administering the test or examination at an alternate time would impose an undue hardship that could not reasonably have been avoided. In any court proceeding in which the existence of an undue hardship that could not reasonably have been avoided is an issue, the burden of proof shall be upon the institution.
  (b) As used in this section, "undue hardship" means an action requiring significant difficulty or expense, when considered in light of the following factors:
  (1) The nature and cost of the accommodation needed.
  (2) The overall financial resources of the facilities involved in the provision of the reasonable accommodations, the number of persons employed at the facility, and the effect on expenses and resources or the impact otherwise of these accommodations upon the operation of the facility.
  (3) The overall financial resources of the covered entity, the overall size of the business of a covered entity with respect to the number of employees, and the number, type, and location of it facilities.
  (4) The type of operations, including the composition, structure and functions of the workforce of the entity.
  (5) The geographic separateness, administrative, or fiscal relationship of the facility or facilities.



UC Policy
EDUCATION CODE
SECTION 92640
92640.  The Regents of the University of California shall develop policies and procedures to ensure that each campus of the university, in administering any test or examination, permits any student who is eligible to undergo the test or examination to do so, without penalty, at a time when that activity would not violate the student's religious creed. This requirement shall not apply in the event that administering the test or examination at an alternate time would impose an undue hardship that could not reasonably have been avoided. In any court proceeding in which the existence of an undue hardship that could not reasonably have been avoided is an issue, the burden of proof shall be upon the institution.


If you would like more information about these topics or want to schedule an interview with MSA West, please email our Communications Director, Meena Malik, at communications@msawest.net.


Sincerely,

Haidar Ali Anwar

President | Muslim Students Association West

www.msawest.net | Unite.

 
Questions? Comments? Contact the Communications Director, Meena Malik , at communications@msawest.net 
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