The German city-state of Hamburg plans to officially recognize Muslim holidays and improve Islam courses in schools. Many of the measures are already standard practice, but the agreement with Muslim groups is still viewed as a positive signal. Other states may soon follow suit.

It may be just a symbolic gesture, but the German city-state of Hamburg has garnered widespread praise for signing an official agreement with its Muslim community that guarantees Islamic holidays, religion courses in schools and burial ritual rights.

The deal, which must still be approved by the city's parliament, is the first of its kind in Germany. It was agreed to by representatives of Hamburg's Muslim and Alevi communities, whose holidays will gain the same status as non-statutory Christian holidays. On these days, people who wish to observe the holiday have the right to either use a vacation day or make it up another time.

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