Obama Turns Down Muslim Holiday Request

Congress is the one that establishes federal holidays, says White House
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 12, 2015 7:55 AM CST
Obama Turns Down Muslim Holiday Request
President Barack Obama.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The good holiday news: President Obama has signed an executive order that makes Christmas Eve a half-day for federal employees. The bad: Obama will not make the Muslim holy days of Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr federal holidays. The White House said so after a We the People petition asking for that very move crossed the 100,000-signature threshold, the mark that forces a White House response. How the petition read, in part: "There is a large population of Muslim people in the US and the two holidays that are celebrated are not recognized in calendars to mark these special days."

USA Today reports on the White House's stance: "Proposals for new permanent federal holidays are typically the province of Congress." Congress has, at this point, established 10 federal holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. If you're not familiar with the holidays, Eid al-Adha commemorates Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son; Eid al-Fitr celebrates the end of Ramadan. (More holiday stories.)

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