City Adds Two Muslim Holidays to Public School Calendar
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday that in September, schools will close for the Muslim holidays of Eid-al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr.
The mayor delivered the news at PS/IS 30 in Brooklyn, where 36 percent of students were absent the last time one of the holidays fell on a school day.
De Blasio, who expressed support for adding the holidays during his campaign, says families of all faiths deserve to be together for religious celebrations.
"This is about respect for the families of this city. Families are the fabric of our city, they're the core of our city, all families deserve respect, every kind of family deserves respect," De Blasio said.
Muslim and non-Muslim New Yorkers who spoke with NY1 say the move to recognize the holidays is a positive change.
"Muslims are part of the fabric of this country, we make our country proud, and today New York City made us proud," said Linda Sarsour of the Arab American Association of New York.
"We're not an outcast, we're just as much a part of this community as any other faith," said Jeremiah Ross, a student at the Islamic Leadership School.
"America is a big melting pot, so why not. Freedom of speech, freedom of equality, and that's what works in America, so God bless," said one New Yorker.
The first holiday will be marked on September 24th this year.
The second falls during the summer, and will be designated a holiday for kids in summer school.