City gives kids day off for two Muslim holidays

The day is theirs: Mayor DeBlasio announces that public school students will get two Muslim holy days off from school. Hizzoner dropped the news at PS-IS 30 in Bay Ridge, a school nestled in the neighborhood’s burgeoning Muslim commuity where more than one-third of students were absent during the last major Islamic holiday.
The Brooklyn Paper
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Public school kids will get the day off from school during two major Muslim holidays — Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha — starting this summer, according to Mayor DeBlasio, who announced the new holidays at PS-IS 30 in Bay Ridge on March 4.

“Hundreds of thousands of Muslim families will no longer have to choose between honoring the most sacred days on their calendar or attending school,” DeBlasio said.

The school on Fourth Avenue and Ovington Avenue sits in a section of Bay Ridge with a growing Muslim community, and more than one-third of the school’s population was absent the last time Eid al-Adha fell on a school day, according to the mayor’s office.

Attention to the holidays will foster understanding by continuing to bring Islamic tradition into mainstream culture, a Muslim leader said.

“The Majlis Ash-Shura [Islamic Leadership Council] of Metropolitan New York welcomes this latest affirmation of the will and hope of Muslim New Yorkers, who continue during difficult times to claim our place in American society, by demanding equal rights and recognition for our faith community,” said Imam Talib Abdur-Rashid, the group’s president. “This is now evidenced anew by the establishment of Muslim school holidays on the NYC DOE calendar. Our children and all New Yorkers are the victors in this long struggle. We are grateful for all who worked with us in producing a more fair and equitable society for us all to live in as neighbors.”

Schools will not lose any instructional days, the mayor said.

Eid al-Fitr is a feast marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan, during which observant Muslims fast from dawn to dusk, and typically falls in the summer. Eid al-Adha commemorates Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son to god and typically takes place in the fall.

Muslim community groups have been lobbying the city to grant days off on the two holidays for years.

State legislators passed a bill in December letting schools close on Chinese New Year and other religious holidays where observance would preclude many kids from going to school.

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at or by calling (718) 260–8303. Follow him on Twitter @JustTheMax.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Boris from Bay Ridge says:
More support for repressive belief systems. Our society should move in the opposite direction and eliminate public support for nonsense like this.
March 5, 2015, 11 am
Vinnie from Bay Ridge says:
I disagree with De Blasio ' s proposal. We will see how it plays out.
March 5, 2015, 6:55 pm
Mark from Manhattan says:
Let's all pat ourselves on the back and congratulate ourselves on how progressive we are. We have given additional support to one of the most repressive belief systems on the planet.
March 5, 2015, 10:23 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Allowing for this can lead to a slippery slope of fewer school days especially when other religions will start demanding that some of their days should be holidays as well as an act of fairness.
March 6, 2015, 3:42 pm
Rubin from Sunset park says:
Mabel Tov!
March 8, 2015, 5:41 pm
Indira says:
Oh, and not one Hindu, Sikh or Bhuddist holliday? Clearly he's all over the middle east and everyone else doesn't matter!
March 9, 2015, 8:08 am

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