(NEW YORK, N.Y., 10/18/15) - The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today welcomed an announcement by the Syosset School District that its public schools will observe the Islamic holidays of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, as well as the Hindu holiday Diwali. Syosset is the first of Long Island's districts to recognize these holidays.
[NOTE: Eid al-Fitr, which comes at the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan, is the first of the two major Muslim holidays. The second holiday, Eid al-Adha (EED-al-ODD-ha), comes at the end of the Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca. Some 10 percent of New York City public school students are Muslim.]
In a statement, CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher said:
"Like other parts of New York, Long Island's diversity is growing. By voting to include Islamic and Hindu holidays on the school calendar, the Syosset School District is properly recognizing the strength of its plurality and the need to be inclusive. We hope other Long Island school districts follow Syosset's example in permitting students to celebrate religious holidays without having to miss class."
She further noted that CAIR chapters nationwide have worked to have school districts recognize Muslim holidays. In March 2015, CAIR-NY welcomed Mayor Bill de Blasio's announcement that New York City's public schools would recognize Islamic holidays.
CAIR offers a booklet, called "An Educator's Guide to Islamic Religious Practices," designed to help school officials provide a positive learning environment for Muslim students.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.
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CONTACT: CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher, 646 665-7599 / 917-669-4006, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR-NY Director of Strategic Litigation, Albert Cahn 571-766-6273, email@example.com, CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, firstname.lastname@example.org