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Muslim Holidays Spark School Dilemma
by Lori Gross
New York City school kids may soon have some extra days off. A resolution supporting the inclusion of two Muslim holy days as school holidays passed nearly unanimously through City Council last month, but the mayor is less than enthused. That the State Senate bill supported by the resolution is ambiguously written isn't helping matters.
Eid ul-Fitr, which celebrates the close of the Ramadan month of fasting, and Eid ul-Adha, which commemorates Abraham's near sacrifice of his son Isaac, are several days each, but only the first day of the two holidays call Muslims to an obligatory mosque service. The holidays are based on a lunar calendar, so they occur at different points in the year, sometimes overlapping with the summer or other school vacations.
"One of the problems you have with a diverse city," the mayor said last week, "is that if you close the schools for every single holiday, there won't be any school."
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