US politician who previously denounced Islam now wants Muslim holidays to be recognised
Last year, shortly after Republican Ed Durr was elected to New Jersey's state senate, one of his old tweets resurfaced in which he denounced Islam. Last week, the same man introduced a resolution to officially recognise two Muslim holidays.
This change of heart occurred, according to a recent report by Politico, after Selaedin Maksut, the head of the Council on American-Islamic Relations-New Jersey held a meeting with the politician in November.
Maksut reportedly didn't expect anything specific to emerge from the meeting, particularly from someone who had described Islam as a "false religion" and a "cult of hate". In the end, it made Durr a champion for an important cause of America's Muslim community – recognising Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha holidays.
"I was really touched that it came from an organic thought, that he took it seriously when I was describing my work, and he took that opportunity to extend that olive branch," Maksut said, according to the Politico report.
Though the resolution is being welcomed by many in the Muslim community, it does not go as far as similar resolutions issued by Democrats, which seek to make these holidays officially observed by the state and allow for days off at schools. Durr's resolution simply recognises the existence of these holidays, which would allow for local proclamations.
"The one [resolution] the Democratic Party put forward never passed," Maksut said, according to the website.
"There's a large Muslim population [in New Jersey], but it's not large enough to, I guess, make the argument. The resolution is [a] middle ground. It makes the argument easier at a local level for Muslims to advocate for the day off in their own municipalities."