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Opinion : Is it time to make Eid a public holiday in the UK?

| June 15, 2018

Today, Friday 15th June 2018, is Eid al-Fitr which for Muslims throughout the world is the celebration marking the end of the month long fast of Ramadan.

From Tuesday 21st August 2018 to Saturday 25th August 2018 it will be Eid al-Adha which is also called the ‘Festival of Sacrifice’ and is the second of the two Islamic holidays celebrated worldwide each year. Eid al-Adha is considered the holier of the two.

Throughout High Wycombe thousands of people celebrate Eid and many services in the town partially closed down.

A friend of mine tried to book a taxi but as a result of Eid the number of taxis was dramatically reduced with many services suspended. Many of the towns corner shops also closed for the day and there was lots of parking in the residential streets indicating that people had taken the day off work.

We are supposed to be living in a multi-cultural society yet Eid is not recognised as an official public holiday. Surely it’s time this was changed?

What about making Diwali a public holiday too?

I fear double standards may be at work here and while the Christian festivals are marked the special days of other religions are simply ignored.

Here in the UK we have very few public holidays, most of the holidays we do have occur around Spring and Easter. In my opinion its about time some more holidays where created spread throughout the year. Adding Eid and Diwali to the public holiday calendar would surely be a good idea.

What’s the point of the rest of the community trying to go about their daily business only to find no taxis, shops closed and other essential services affected? Surely it would be far better for everyone to have the day off rather than having people trying to struggle through?

Many of my Muslim friends need to use a day of their precious leave to take time off work to be with their families for Eid yet the Christians have a Bank Holiday given to them for free and don’t have to use annual leave to take time off work. Is this fair?

One service that does operate as normal on Eid is the bin collection service. However refuse collection closes down for Christmas yet the Muslims have to be hum bungled with putting their bins out and taking them in on their religious festival.

My good self would not want to bother with the bins on Christmas day so why should the Muslims have to mess about with dustbins on their religious day?

How can there be a fully integrated multi-cultural society when one section of the community is given public holidays for their religious celebrations while the rest of the community have to fend for themselves?

So many things have moved on in the UK since the 1970’s yet major sections of the community are still not recognised in the calendar of public holidays which must surely be wrong?

I’m all in favour of having Eid as a public holiday then everyone is treated equally, indeed the sooner it happens the better.

Anyway, there’s just time left to wish all those celebrating today a Happy Eid for 2018.

What do you think?

My blogs are published every Tuesday and Friday evening around 8.00pm here on the WycombeToday.com website.

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