Students Push for Schools to Observe Muslim Holidays

By Katie Honan on March 28, 2014 10:29am 

 A family shops in Brooklyn to prepare for Ramadan last June. Students are pushing to make two of their holidays recognized by the mayor as official days off.
A family shops in Brooklyn to prepare for Ramadan last June. Students are pushing to make two of their holidays recognized by the mayor as official days off.
View Full Caption
DNAinfo/Stephanie Keith

JACKSON HEIGHTS — A group pushing to make two of the highest holy days in the Muslim calendar into official school holidays is set to meet Friday to gain support for their cause.

The Coalition for Muslim School Holidays has launched a city-wide effort to get residents and students involved in their cause, and say their work isn’t done despite support from Mayor Bill de Blasio.

They hope to gain more support at a meeting Friday at P.S. 69, on 37th Avenue, that starts at 6 p.m.

Hala Ibrahim, 13, is a member of the Muslim American Society near her home in Astoria and a youth organizer in the coalition.

Hala, a student at Louis Armstrong Middle School in Corona, thinks her absences to observe celebrate Eid,  impacted admission into her top high school choice, Francis Lewis.

“It was difficult for me to choose between my education or my faith celebration,” she said. “I was out for three days celebrating my holiday, and that's every single year.”

She said the group’s mission is simple — to have two of their holidays, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, made  an official day off from school.

“The message we're trying to send out is, how would you feel if you had to go to school on your holiday?” she said.

In June, the coalition is planning a rally in Central Park where they anticipate more than 10,000 people— both students and adults — will come to show their support.

De Blasio said in February on "The Brian Lehrer Show" that he was in favor of making Eid an official holiday for public school students.

Ibrahim said her group’s goal is to make sure the mayor keeps his promise.

“De Blasio said he could help us with this, and he has to keep his promise,” she said. “We're not asking for too much, we want it to be fair.”

The Coalition for Muslim School Holidays is meeting Friday, March 28 at 6 p.m. at P.S. 69, 77-02 37th Ave., Jackson Heights.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement