NYC Muslims Want Holiday Equality

Undeterred by Mayor Bloomberg’s repeatedly stated opposition to adding more holidays to NYC’s school schedule, Muslim activists are using Rosh Hashanah today to again push for the addition of Muslim holidays.

Estimates of the number of Muslims in New York City range from 600,000 to 850,000. Their children comprise about 10-12 percent of the more than 1 million students in public schools. Current school policy permits students to take off religious holidays as an excused absence after submitting a written request signed by a parent. Public schools are closed on Christian holidays, including Christmas and Good Friday, and Jewish holidays such as Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The Coalition for Muslim School Holidays is seeking to add two more days off: Eid Ul-Fitr, the final day of the month-long fast of Ramadan (which happens to be this Monday); and Eid Ul-Adha, which marks the culmination of the Hajj, or annual pilgrimage to Mecca (and will be observed on Dec. 8 this year). Bloomberg has rebuffed the group’s efforts on several occasions, saying that students cannot afford any more days off, and adding Muslim holidays could open up the doors for other religions to make the same requests.

Bloomberg has the sole authority to make the decision, one that obviously could cause him tremendous grief with the city’s Jews. While I don’t think the government has any business recognizing ANY religious holiday, I’ll grudgingly admit it seems unfair to deny such a massive population of the city.

RELATED: There are nearly 2 million Jews in NYC, more than any city in the world.