NYC Forced to Honor Islam on 9/11?

Posted: July 02, 200911:59 am Eastern http://wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=102842

By Aaron Klein © 2009 WorldNetDaily

Will the New York City school system be compelled to commemorate Islam on Sept. 11?

It has been widely reported the New York City Council passed a resolution Tuesday recommending the school system shut down to commemorate two of the most important Muslim holidays, however the reports did not note the holidays fall on Sept. 11 in some years.

The council vote, which was non-binding, is at odds with the opinion of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has said he is opposed to adding any more days off to the school calendar. Bloomberg, however, recently relinquished control of the school system to a newly appointed board of education, which could approve the holiday plan.

The Islamic holidays being considered for commemoration are Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr. The former commemorates the Islamic belief Abraham was willing to sacrifice Ishmail. The latter marks the end of the Islamic fast period of Ramadan. Jewish and Christian tradition relates Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son Isaac, not Ishmail.

Islamic holidays are set based on the lunar calendar, meaning the dates corresponding to the Gregorian calendar change each year. As first noticed by Andrew Walden, publisher and editor of the Hawaii Free Press Eid al-Adha falls on Sept. 11 in the year 2016, according to the accepted Umm al-Qura calendar.

Eid al-Fitr, meanwhile, will begin at sunset Sept. 9 and continue to sunset Sept. 10 next year. The dates, though, depend on the official citing of the new crescent moon as certified by the Saudi "hilal committee," which at times has shifted holidays by one or two days, meaning Eid-al-Fitr could technically also be celebrated on Sept. 11 in 2010.

The council's vote reportedly comes as the culmination of a three-year lobbying effort by U.S. Muslim groups, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR. The council resolution cited New York City's growing Muslim population as well as the fact that the system observes major Jewish and Christian holidays.

The resolution's advocates have cited a statistic claiming Muslims make up 12 percent of the city's public school students and, therefore, they deserved recognition.

Bloomberg told reporters before the vote that not all religions could be accommodated on the school system's holiday schedule, only those with "a very large number of kids who practice."

"If you close the schools for every single holiday, there won't be any school," Bloomberg said. "Educating our kids requires time in the classroom, and that's the most important thing to us."

While Bloomberg recently handed control of the school system to a new education board, the state Senate could take action to put the mayor back in control.

"Right now the degree of control the mayor has over the education system is completely unclear," Councilman G. Oliver Koppell, the only council member to vote against the resolution, told FoxNews.com.