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'Respect for Muslims': New York schools to close for Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha

New York schools' calendars will now be adding two Muslim holidays Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha as official off days, sparing the Muslim students a dilemma of choosing between their “school and religion”, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced.


'Respect for Muslims': New York schools to close for Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha

New York city: New York schools' calendars will now be adding two Muslim holidays Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha as official off days, sparing the Muslim students a dilemma of choosing between their “school and religion”, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña announced that New York City will become the largest school district in the US to recognize Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha as holidays on the official school calendar. 

In line with the announcement, all public schools will close on September 24 in observance of Eid al-Adha in the 2015-16 school year and for summer school starting in summer 2016, schools will close in observance of Eid al-Fitr.

Branding the move as “respect” for Muslims of New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that the change “recognizes our growing Muslim community and honors its contributions to our City”.

“Hundreds of thousands of Muslim families will no longer have to choose between honoring the most sacred days on their calendar or attending school. This is a common sense change, and ” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“We are committed to having a school calendar that reflects and honors the extraordinary diversity of our students,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña.

New York City with almost 1 million Muslims across the five boroughs, is home to a strong, vibrant and fast-growing Muslim community.

“Today, we have taken bold steps to advance our values of diversity and inclusion. By adding two Muslim holidays to the DOE school calendar, New York City is affirming that all students, including Muslim youth, are an integral and accepted part of our City,” said City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

The remarkable move may be seen as a welcome change after the Muslim community in New York has been subjected to extreme scrutiny in the aftermath of 9/11 attacks.

Also, recent terror attacks in Europe (on Charlie Hebdo in Paris and Sydney cafe siege) along with lone-wolf attack threats spouted by the ISIS' have re-shifted the focus on alertness and vigilance.

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