Saturday, September 27, 2008

Is It Possible?

The debate that's been around for so many years: should NYC schools be closed for Muslim holidays? As a Muslim myself, this debate has very real implications for me. We Muslims face this dilemma every year: should we go to school or should we skip a day to celebrate our holiday? It is often not a big issue to miss one day of school but for some reason we get unlucky with the day the holidays, Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha, fall on. I always seem to have them on the day of a test or some big project. A friend of mine in middle school would go to school because he didn't want to mess up his prefect attendance record, a matter of pride for some students.

Muslims make up 10% of students in NYC, or over 110,000 students. Such a big population of students should get recognition for their holidays, especially when their religion is the second largest in the world and America. And something is finally being done about this issue.

On Friday, the [City Council] will debate a resolution urging the state Legislature to pass a law declaring the Muslim holidays of Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha to be observed holidays in the city's public school system.

According to the resolution's sponsor, Council Member Robert Jackson, of Manhattan, the issue is a matter of fairness...( Benjamin Sarlin, The Sun)
It is intriguing to see that something is finally being done to try to give students the day off. The problem though comes from two directions; the Muslim calendar follows the Lunar calender so there so no 100% garantee that the predicted day of the holidays are accurate (though with modern technology it most likely is) and two more holiday days off means a longer school year. I personally have simply missed school for the holidays and have caught up with work missed later but it would be nice for the Muslim religion to get the recognition. And I am sure my friend from middle school would appreciate being able to finally celebrate the holidays.