The Muslim holidays of Eid al-Adha and al-Fitr will be added to the New York city public school schedule, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced, calling the approval “a change that respects the diversity of our city.”
For many years, Muslim families in New York City have sought official school closures in observation of Eid al-Adha and al-Fitr. The mayor, after discussions with city officials, declared the plan to close schools for Muslim holidays, as well as Lunar New Year, will move forward.
The city’s public school system is the largest in the United States, with 1.1 million students. Between 10 percent and 12 percent of those students are Muslim. The city’s schools already close in observation of some Christian holidays (Good Friday and Christmas) and Jewish holidays (Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur).
In a comment to the New York Daily News, de Blasio said, “It is complicated in terms of logistics and school calendar and budget, but it’s something I want to get done in a reasonable time frame.”
“Today, Mayor Bill De Blasio alongside the American Muslim community will announce the official addition of Eid al-Adha & al-Fitr to @NYCSchools holiday schedule, a change that respects the diversity of our city,” Linda Sarsour, executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, posted on her Facebook page.
“This is monumental as New York City has the largest public school system in the country with well over 1 million students. Muslim children will never again have to choose between their faith and their education. Today is a day that will go down in history. We did this for our children and the generations to come. Thank you New York City for making me even more proud to be a New Yorker.”