Council Bill Would Urge Days Off For Two Muslim Holidays

This article is from the archive of The New York Sun before the launch of its new website in 2022. The Sun has neither altered nor updated such articles but will seek to correct any errors, mis-categorizations or other problems introduced during transfer.

The New York Sun

City Council members are calling on the state to give New York City children the day off from school on two Muslim holidays.

On Friday, the council will debate a resolution urging the state Legislature to pass a law declaring the Muslim holidays of Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha to be observed holidays in the city’s public school system.

According to the resolution’s sponsor, Council Member Robert Jackson of Manhattan, the issue is a matter of fairness, as Muslim students make up a significant percentage of the public school population.

“You have 10% of the student population out of 1.1 million children, so over 100,000 students, who are Muslim,” Mr. Jackson said yesterday in an interview. “There was a situation about two or three years ago where they held a big exam on one of the highest holy days and parents had to make a choice: Do I send my kids in to take this exam or do we celebrate our religious holiday? That should not be the case. It doesn’t happen on Christmas, it doesn’t happen on Easter, it doesn’t happen on other major religious holidays.”

Bills that would give city schoolchildren the day off on the two holidays have stalled in the state Senate and Assembly, failing to get out of committee.

Mayor Bloomberg said earlier this year that he opposes creating new school holidays. There are too few school days, he said, adding that such a move could encourage other local religious communities to demand that their holidays be recognized, as well.

Mr. Jackson said yesterday that he does not believe that giving students the day off and extending the school year are mutually exclusive issues. “If they need to add more school days, then let’s add more school days,” he said. “No one is saying we can’t increase New York City’s school year.”

The New York Sun

© 2024 The New York Sun Company, LLC. All rights reserved.

Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. The material on this site is protected by copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used.

The New York Sun

Sign in or  create a free account

By continuing you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use