Rabat - The Mayor of New York city Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday that public schools in his jurisdiction will now observe two Muslim holidays, Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr.
Rabat – The Mayor of New York city Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday that public schools in his jurisdiction will now observe two Muslim holidays, Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr.
The policy will begin in the coming school year. “This is a common-sense change,” de Blasio said Wednesday, “and one that recognizes our growing Muslim community and honors its contributions to our city,” reported the New York Times.
New York City’s school already recognizes several Jewish and Christian holidays. It’s now time for Muslim students who make up about 10 percent of the student body in the city’s public schools (according to a 2008 study by Columbia University) to enjoy the holidays of their parents and ancestors.
According to the New York Times, at least six school districts nationally have granted days off for the major Muslim holidays. They are: Cambridge, Mass.; Dearborn, Mich.; Burlington, Vt.; and Paterson and South Brunswick, N.J.
The former mayor of New York Michael R. Bloomberg rejected the idea before, claiming that students needed more time in schools, not less. However, his successor Bill de Blasio pledged as a candidate in 2013 to close schools on the two Muslim holy days.
Asked if he was concerned about a right-wing backlash to his decision to include Muslim holidays on the city’s school calendar, Bill de Blasio said “People who will criticize it, I think, should go back and look at the Constitution of the United States,” Mr. de Blasio said. “We are a nation that was built to be multi-faith, multicultural.”