Groups call for NYC schools to recognize Muslim holidays

Hundreds of Muslims gathered in New York City to demand the city recognize Muslim holidays in public schools the same way Christian and Jewish holidays are recognized.

The group is calling on New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to specifically recognize Eid ul-Fitr and Eid al-Adha in public school system. Currently, 12% of the children in New York City public schools are Muslim.

When a child has to decide between practicing his faith or her faith and spending that day with their family or going to school and taking an exam is very troubling for that child. So, it’s impotent to understand that we’re trying to recognize that these holidays are important for the kids,” said Bahir Mustafa of the New York Civic Participation Project.

Bahir argued that there is a strong Islamophobic political climate in the US and that many simply want to avoid the issue.

On June 30,, 2009 the New York City Council voted 50-0 to recognize Muslim holidays. The vote was not on a law, but a resolution to show solidarity with the Muslim community.

Mayor Bloomberg argues that the schools are simply too diverse to recognize all holidays.