(NEW YORK, NY, March 4, 2015) – The Islamic Circle of North America’s New York Chapter (ICNA NY) today welcomed the designation of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha as official school holidays in New York City. In a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio, ICNA NY expressed its deepest appreciation to the Mayor and the Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña.

The Mayor and the Chancellor made this announcement at a public school in Brooklyn, where 36 percent of students were absent the last time Eid al-Adha fell on a school day.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said “This is a common sense change, and one that recognizes our growing Muslim community and honors its contributions to our City”. Chancellor Carmen Fariña said “Muslim students and their families who observe Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha shouldn’t have to choose between an instructional day and their religious obligations.”
NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said “Muslim New Yorkers are a vital part of this City. With almost 1 million Muslims across the five boroughs, New York City is home to a strong, vibrant and fast-growing Muslim community.”
ICNA NY’s President, Omar Ranginwala, stated that “I commend Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Farina for taking this very bold step”. He added “I believe this will not have a negative impact on school performance, rather it will have a positive impact on children, both mentally and socially. This will give them self confidence, increase their family values and of course, joy – which we all need.”
New York joins the states of Vermont, Massachusetts, and New Jersey that close its public schools in observance of Muslim holidays. ICNA Secretary General Tariq Rahman said “we hope other cities and states with significant Muslim students also follow this accommodation.”
ICNA urges all to send a thank you note by mail to the Mayor of New York:

The Honorable Bill de Blasio
City Hall, New York, NY 10007
or using this link:

ICNA New York Chapter’s Letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio-

The Honorable Mayor
New York City
Dear Mayor Bill de Blasio,
On behalf of the Islamic Circle of North America headquartered in New York City I would like to express our appreciation for your announcement that New York Public Schools will observe the two main Muslim holidays namely: Eid-ul Fitr and Eid-ul Adha.
We do understand that you have many pressing issues affecting New York City, yet you have taken the time to address this important issue that affects our New York Muslim Public School children. We also recognize that you are doing so at a time when there are so many anti-Muslim sentiments here in New York and the rest of the nation.
We thank you very much for your bold step and hope that many of our metropolises follow in your path.
We look forward to continued support.
Omar Ranginwala

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