Muslim teachers in UK forced to take unpaid leave to celebrate Eid Al-Adha

LONDON, 22 July 2021, (TON): Muslim teachers at a school in southeast England are excited to celebrate Eid Al-Adha but because of a school policy, it is going to cost them.

Staff at Arbour Vale School in Slough were forced to take unpaid leave to observe the second most important festival in the Islamic calendar this week, British newspaper Metro reported.

The teachers are allowed only one paid day off to celebrate non-Christian religious festivals as most use it for Eid Al-Fitr, the celebration that comes after Ramadan.

The teachers are fighting against the rule, but have to do it carefully as the school has also introduced a strict new policy forbidding teachers from speaking to the media.

One teacher told media “I feel very strongly about this and I am going to speak up.”

It is not about the pay; it is about the principle. But they do not want to understand and they do not want to know. If anybody puts anything on social media then it is either a disciplinary or they are sacked.

Anthony Bardos, the GMB union branch secretary for Slough, said being forced to work on Eid was comparable to being made to work on Christmas Day. Bardos said he has represented some workers who were denied leave completely.

Not allowing teachers to speak to the media has only agitated the situation.

“They are trying to gag the staff so they cannot talk about this issue or any other issue and it is really disgusting,” Bardos said. “This is something we are really going to be pushing strongly for.”

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