Push for day off school for Muslim holiday

June 30, 2010 2:45:38 PM PDT
The attempt at diversity is taking a new track. There's now a proposal to include the Muslim holiday of Eid, the last day of Ramadan and one other day as official New York City school holidays.

More than 150 Muslim students, parents and their supporters went to City Hall, to say they want citywide school holidays for two Muslim religious observances.

"I want the Mayor to know everyone has rights and we want our holiday off," said student Anas Shuaib.

City Council Education Committee Chair, Robert Jackson, sponsored that resolution. "Over 12 percent of the city's 1.1 million school children are Muslim, and our children deserve to have their holiday like everyone else," he said.

Rally organizers say 95 percent of Muslim students attend public schools. The issue became controversial when the all-important state standardized tests were given on one of the Muslim holidays. Many children and their families stay out of school for the observances.

Supporters of the Muslim school holiday were not pleased about the mayor's answer today. "This city will do everything it can to protect Muslim's rights to get together and practice their religion, we just cannot have any more school holidays," Bloomberg said.

There are plans to push for legislation that would mandate Muslim school holidays.