New York becomes first major city government to observe Muslim holidays

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

( New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that his city’s public schools will now close in observance of the two most holy days of the Muslim faith, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.

While New York City is not alone is recognizing the Muslim holidays, with other municipalities in Massachusetts, Michigan, and New Jersey giving their students off on those holidays, New York—with its 1.1 million schoolchildren—is the first major metropolitan city to do so. 

The move also fulfills a campaign promise by de Blasio, who said it was a “matter of fairness” that the Muslim holidays be recognized. 

Estimates of the Muslim population of New York City range from 600,000 to up to 1 million, the New York Times reported. 

For years, New York City has recognized major Jewish holidays such as Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Passover. Like Jewish holidays, the Muslim ones will change year to year because the Muslim calendar follows a lunar cycle.

Posted on March 5, 2015 .