Last year at this time, it was little more than an unformed “vision.” Bill de Blasio, New York City mayor and champion of all things liberal, expressed his fervent hope that some day public schools in the Big Apple would honor the city’s scant Muslim population by closing for the holidays of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.
Today that dream became a reality. Hiz Horror tweeted:
Today we’ll announce the addition of Eid al-Adha & al-Fitr to @NYCSchools holiday schedule, a change that respects the diversity of our city
— Bill de Blasio (@BilldeBlasio) March 4, 2015
So what’s wrong with another couple days off? The kids, if asked, would say “nothing.” They relish as much time away from the odium of the classroom as they can get. For parents who work, it’s a little bit more of a hassle, especially for those with younger elementary school-age students, who need to be picked up and dropped off.
But if de Blasio’s goal is, as stated, to respect diversity, he is missing the boat. As noted last year, the Association of Indians in America has been petitioning for years to get the city to recognize its festival of lights, Diwali. And while the Hindu population of New York isn’t quite as “robust” as the Muslim population, followers of Islam account for only 2.4% of all observers of religion in New York County, which embraces Manhattan island. The percentage for all five boroughs is even lower.
In truth, diversity has nothing to do with de Blasio’s edict. His support for Muslims resides in his belief, shared by Barack Obama, that Muslims are the target of widespread discrimination. Last month, the mayor went so far as to demand that a 92-page report on Islamic terrorists be struck from the city’s website because it promotes discrimination against Muslims.
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