(Gothamist) Mayor Bill de Blasio announced this morning that the Muslim holidays of Eid al-Adha and al-Fitr have been added to the NYC public school schedule, calling it “a change that respects the diversity of our city.”
During the Bloomberg administration, the City Council approved adding the holidays, but Mayor Bloomberg was against the measure, saying in 2008, “The truth of the matter is we need more children in school. More, not less,” and “When you have a city as diverse as we do, with virtually every religion known to man practiced, if we closed school for every single day there wouldn’t be any school.”
Before he took office, de Blasio had voiced his support of adding Muslim holidays to the school calendar (FWIW, Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota agreed). Earlier this year, Lunar New Year was officially approved as a school holiday.
Linda Sarsour, executive director of the Arab American Association of NY, posted on Facebook, “BREAKING NEWS: We did it. Today Mayor Bill De Blasio alongside the American Muslim community will announce the official addition of Eid al-Adha & al-Fitr to @NYCSchools holiday schedule, a change that respects the diversity of our city. This is monumental as New York City has the largest public school system in the country with well over 1 million students. Muslim children will never again have to choose between their faith and their education. Today is a day that will go down in history. We did this for our children and the generations to come. Thank you New York City for making me even more proud to be a New Yorker. I thank Allah for allowing me and my colleagues to see the fruits of our labor. #eidinnyc”
WCBS 2 reports, “Once added, the mayor’s office says New York City will become the largest school district in the nation to recognize the two holidays on the official school calendar. One will be observed Sept. 24 and the other, which falls over the summer, will be designated a holiday for those attending summer school.” De Blasio will be holding a press conference later today to discuss the news. One question: Is Diwali next up?
—Courtesy of Gothamist