SHAFAQNA – Muslim American Society in Yonkers have advocated for adding the two major Muslim observances to the school calendar.
Some Muslim-Americans want school officials to recognize their holidays by closing schools, Lohud reports.
Abdelnasser Nofal, principal of the Andalusia Islamic School at 380 Walnut St, told the City Council that not having public schools closed on the holiday ending Ramadan and the Feast of Sacrifice prevents families from celebrating together.
“We have many students who are attending the [Yonkers’] schools who cannot freely celebrate because they have exams. They have to attend school. They cannot skip, especially at this time of the year,” Nofal said.
This year’s celebration of the end of Ramadan, on June 15, was in the midst of finals and the New York State Regents Examinations. While the state does not officially recognize Muslim holidays, no regents were scheduled for that day.
It isn’t the first time that members the community and the Muslim American Society have advocated for adding the two major Muslim observances to the school calendar.
New York City and New Rochelle’s public schools already give these days off to students.
These holidays follow a Lunar calendar and do not always fall on the same days throughout the year. Schools would not have to close when these observances fall during the summer vacation, Nofal argued.
Most City Council members appeared to support the request.
Yonkers City Council President Mike Khader advocated for a resolution to add the holidays to the calendar.
“If we talk about diversity and celebrating it then we also have to act on it,” Khader said.
The City Council is scheduled to vote on the resolution to ask school officials to give students the Muslim holy days off on Tuesday.
Even if the City Council approves of this resolution, school officials will still have the final say.
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