Shamsi Ali. photo:
Shamsi Ali. photo:

New York, 14 Jumadil Awwal 1436/5 March 2015 (MINA) – New York City  recognizes Muslim holidays Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha as official school holidays starting in September, Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carmen Fariña said Wednesday.

Alhamdulillah (Thanks be to God), today the mayor officially announced the decision, as part of respecting Muslim rights in the country,” Imam of the Islamic Center of New York, Shamsi Ali, told Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA), Wednesday night.

In the upcoming 2015-2016 school year, schools will close Sept. 24 for Eid al-Adha so that thousands of Muslim families in the city can observe the day, de Blasio said.

While Eid al-Fitr, which falls over the summer in 2016, will be designated a holiday for those attending summer school. New York City schools will not lose any instructional days as part of this change to the calendar.

“This is a common sense change and one that recognizes our growing Muslim community and honors its contributions to our city,” de Blasio said as quoted by nydailynews.

The city joins other districts in Vermont, Massachusetts and New Jersey that close their public schools in observance of Muslim holidays.

Other holidays observed in city schools include Rosh Hashanah, Columbus Day, Thanksgiving, Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Memorial Day.

Christmas and Easter — like the Chinese New Year in 2015 — happen during longer recesses in which students are off from class.

The city will make up the lost instructional day for Eid al-Adha by adding another day of class at another point in the school year.

New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña says the change reflects and honors the extraordinary diversity of the 1.1 million students enrolled in the largest U.S school district.

“Muslim New Yorkers are a vital part of this City. With almost 1 million Muslims across the five boroughs, New York City 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.(L/R04/P3)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)