Postponing soccer game a sign of religious respect

New York City schools shut down yesterday in observance of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.

It’s the first time the school system shut down for a Muslim holiday, as it has for Christian and Jewish religious holidays.

Most schools in Minnesota aren’t there yet, but there was a first in West Fargo, N.D., in acknowledgement of the holiday, the Fargo Forum reports.

A high school soccer game between West Fargo and Fargo Shanley-Oak Grove was postponed last night for the observance.

“I think it’s just something to be aware of as our community becomes more diverse,” West Fargo head coach James Moe said. “It’s something to be thinking about as we get into it, and for the guys to approach us about it as well. Sometimes, it is important that the high school kids take care of some of those communication pieces as well.”

Shanley is a faith-based Christian school whose superintendent had no problem with the postponement of the game until next month.

“We understand the importance of religious holidays,” Blessed John Paul II Catholic Schools Superintendent Michael Smith told the Forum. “Our community is based on these celebrations. Therefore, we completely respect West Fargo’s decision to honor the religious holidays their community deems important.”

“I think it shows the character of the school and coaching staff and the players there,” Moe said of Smith’s agreement to postpone the game. “I think it’s just that mutual respect for players and for different cultures, and I think it was a show of respect for the guys and the diversity we have in the community.”