The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

New York (United States) (AFP) – School children in New York are likely to get two extra days off to mark the biggest annual Muslim holidays if the city’s next mayor gets his way.

New York schools currently have mandatory holidays for the Christian festivals Easter and Christmas, and the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Passover.

But the school term often clashes with Islam’s biggest festivals of Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr, forcing Muslim children to choose between religion or study.

Democratic candidate Bill de Blasio, the frontrunner in the race to be mayor, has told Muslim voters that New York should respect everyone’s faith.

“That’s why we have to respect people of Muslim faith by providing the Eid school holidays for children in our school system,” he said Wednesday.

It was unfair, de Blasio said, for Muslim children to have to decide between observing the religious holiday or sitting for an exam that could fall on the same day.

“They can’t do both under our current system,” the mayoral candidate added.

“We try to make sure that with children of other faiths they don’t have to face that conundrum and it shouldn’t happen to Muslim children either. It will take some time to resolve, but I know we can do it.”

Opinion polls give de Blasio a huge lead in the race for the November 5 election. The next mayor will formally take office on January 1, 2014.

His main Republican party opponent, Joe Lhota, has also indicated support for granting Muslim school holidays.

At a campaign stop in Brooklyn, Lhota acknowledged that New York’s Muslim population was rising.

“Their religion needs to be respected as all other religions are respected,” he was quoted as saying by the New York Daily News.

Thirteen percent of New York school children are Muslim.

In 2008, the city administration passed a unanimous resolution calling for two days’ holiday for the main Muslim festivals, but it has never been implemented.

Current Mayor Michael Bloomberg opposed the move on the grounds that it could invite a flood of similar requests.

“We need more school days, not less,” he has said.

AFP Photo/Emmanuel Dunand

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

After the Anti-Defamation League again called for Fox News host Tucker Carlson's firing due to his promotion of the white nationalist "great replacement" conspiracy theory, Carlson's first response was to tell a podcast interviewer, "Fuck them." His second was to use his prime-time show to blame a Jew for the resettlement of Afghan refugees in "your" neighborhood, echoing the apparent motivation of the alleged perpetrator of the 2018 Pittsburgh synagogue massacre.

Keep reading... Show less

Dominic Pezzola, center rear with grey beard, confronts Capitol Police officer outside U.S. Senate Chambers.

Photo from U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

The next time that right-wing gaslighters—whether Tucker Carlson or other far-right pundits, or Republican congressmen—try to valorize the insurrectionists who attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6 by depicting them as harmless protesters, it might be helpful for everyone to review the case of Proud Boy Dominic Pezzola, charged with conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, assault, and multiple other felonies.

Keep reading... Show less
x
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}