It's teacher hunting season!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Incredulous Bloomberg piousness on WTC mosque, in contradiction to his intolerance on Eid holidays

New York City's mayor Michael Bloomberg can be counted on to take the hypocritical high road, backing one principle while disrespecting an individual or a community.
Remember when he crassly was impatient with the wheelchair-using journalist who dropped his voice recorder, and how he took the holier than all road of claiming that showing the slightest patience was impeding the business of marriage equality?

This month we have the mayor being tolerant and intolerant to the same community, the Muslim New Yorkers. He took the high principles road this week, commenting on the fracas over a religious house of worship (specifically, a Muslim mosque) near the 9/11 World Trade Center site where Saudis crashing commercial jet-liners into the Twin Towers.

On Monday July 12, the mayor rightly opposed proposals to investigate the proposed mosque near the World Trade Center site.

Yet in the last month the mayor has repeated his refusal to grant a mere two religious holidays to one of the three largest religious communities in New York City.

The opening fraction of the June 30, 2010 NY1 story ("Group Makes Push For Muslim School Holidays") on the rally for school closings for two Eid day closings, Eid-ul Adha and Eid-ul Fitr begins:
NEW YORK CITY – A group of Muslim parents and their supporters gathered Wednesday on the steps of City Hall where they called on Mayor Michael Bloomberg to recognize Islamic holidays on the school calendar.

The coalition of religious, immigrant and labor groups is asking the mayor to honor a City Council resolution calling for two Muslim holy days -- Eid-ul Adha and Eid-ul Fitr -- to be added to the school calendar.

Group Makes Push For Muslim School Holidays
The resolution passed last year, however Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel Klein say there is not room for more time off during the academic year.

The group says the fact they were considering pushing back the first day of school to accommodate Rosh Hashanah indicates that there is flexibility in the system. They also say having no Islamic holidays discriminates against the city's 100,000 Muslim school children.

"Twelve percent of the New York City's 1.1 million school children are Muslim. And our children deserve to have their holiday like everyone else," said City Councilman Robert Jackson.

Too many holidays? Nonsense!! The Christmas holiday, Christmas, is the cause for at least five consecutive days off for that holiday. Plus, occasionally, there is another day or two off for Christian observance: Easter Monday or Good Friday. We already have at least three days off each year for Jewish holidays. So, to argue that two days off for two Muslim holidays is excessive, that is just incredible. France's Agence France Presse has a video story, "US schools ponder Muslim holidays" on this issue. To my mind, we just look plain intolerant by refusing to extend the same respect to Muslim students and staff that we extend to Christian students and staff.
The mayor's biased and inconsistent refusal is obviously grounds for a constitutional, civil right challenge. He can't pass the buck on this issue. The city council has OK'ed this proposal; all stonewalling responsibility lies with King Michael.

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