Eid al-Fitr as a National Holiday?

The Muslim Community’s Outreach for Adopting Eid as a National Holiday

Under the Bill Clinton’s administration, the American government placed a great emphasis on religious freedom and tried to distinguish the Muslim radicals from regular Muslims.

“Under the Bill Clinton’s administration (1993-2001)

  • Vice President Albert Gore became the highest ranking US official to visit a Mosque
  • After President Bill Clinton’s speech on religious freedom, Friday prayers are held regularly in the U.S. Capitol building for Muslim staffers, federal employees, and other Muslims in the area.
  • A crescent and star is displayed on the White House lawn alongside a menorah and Christmas tree
  • Held an Eid celebration in the White House” 1

Many Muslim Americans considered the adoption of Eid as a national holiday, as an efficient way of gaining “symbolic recognition” of Islam in American society; that would create a concrete political and social platform.2

Muslims’ Grassroots Movement

Pedestrians walk past Muslims, who offer prayers during Eid al-Fitr, outside a Mosque, outside a Mosque, in Paris, Friday, Sept. 10, 2010. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

A lot of actions have been carried out by the Muslim student groups on many college campuses, especially the Muslim Student Association (MSA). As a result, the entire Syracuse University officially closes on Eid. Other  Muslim associations and organizations also work at both local and national levels to gain recognition of Eid in the United States. 3

  • “The American Muslim Council (AMC) in Washington D.C.: a nonprofit, sociopolitical organization established in 1990 that works to promote ethical values among Muslims and the educate voters about the electoral process.
  • The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC): a bipartisan organization that also concentrates on voter education, helping Muslims understand the issues and how to make political decisions within the context of Islam.” 4

There have been several political movements among Muslim American activists to adopt Eid as a national holiday —

Eid al-Fitr as a national holiday of the United States?

Of Course! Why Not? No, Not Yet…
  • Now Muslim Americans’ influence increased both politically and socially within  the American society. It is extremely hard to disregard their biggest holiday.
  • Why don’t we just enjoy more days off from work and school by adopting Eid as a national holiday?
  • By sharing the mood of celebration, people will be able to debunk their negative stereotypes about the religion of Islam and gain a better understanding of Islamic culture in general.
  • If we recognize Muslim holiday, what about other (significantly or relatively) underrepresented ethnic or religious groups’ holidays? How do we determine which one to adopt?
  • Ramadan varies from each year due to the Islamic Lunar Calendar. How should we determine Eid as a national holiday if the date always varies?


→ Introduction to Eid al-Fitr 

→ Islam and Eid al-Fitr

→ Celebrating Eid on different continents

→An Interview with Muslim American

If you want to learn about this section, please visit my colleague  GaYoung’s page.  


  1. Hasan, Asma Gull. American Muslims: the New Generation. New York: Continuum, 2000. 153. Print.
  2. Hasan, Asma Gull. American Muslims: the New Generation. New York: Continuum, 2000. 154. Print.
  3. Smith, Jane I. Islam in America. New York, NY: Columbia UP, 2010. 133.  Print.
  4. Smith, Jane I. Islam in America. New York, NY: Columbia UP, 2010. 134. Print.

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