Diane L. Moore on Muslim holidays in NYC

March 9, 2015
Diane L. Moore on Muslim holidays in NYC

Religious Literacy Project director Diane Moore appeared on New York's The Takeaway, with John Hockenberry, discussing NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio's decision to include the Muslim holidays on the public school calendar. Students will now take off for Eid al-Fitr--the celebration that marks the end of Ramadan--and Eid al-Adha, which commemorates the Prophet Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son. An estimated 10% of New York City students are Muslim.

Dr. Moore noted that it is a mistaken assumption that public schools are neutral in the face of religion. Rather, she highlights that "Christianity is always protected because of the structural dimensions of our calendar ... and of our weekly schedule."

By recognizing and accommodating students' and teachers' religious needs--acts that are both constitutionally protected and legally required--Dr. Moore underscores that this allows us to be attentive to representing American diversity "in a way that can only enhance communities and make them stronger."

The Politics of Religious Holidays and School Breaks - The Takeaway1.81 MB