The Hezitorial Reality Of the Faithful
A Dramatic Ploy Intentioned by Resolution Sponsor Yonkers City Councilmember Shanae Williams to Raise Her Name Recognition in Time to Peak for Her Midterm Re-Election Campaign Effort
Should Proposal Be Adopted the Financial Bereft Yonkers Board of Education Would Suffer a Loss of $2.4 Million School Aid Funding
YONKERS, NY — June 25, 2018 — Andalusia Islamic School Principal Abdelnasser Nofal advised the Yonkers City Council that there are many students of the Islamic faith that attend the Yonkers Public School District but they do not have the opportunity to adhere to their faith because they are not permitted to take off on the two official holidays in Islam, Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha. Eid Al-Fitr is celebrated at the end of Ramadan, a month of fasting during daylight hours. Eid Al-Adha is celebrated on the tenth day and lasts for four days, during which faithful usually slaughter a sheep and distribute its meat in three parts: among family, friends, and the poor.
Some Muslims want school officials to recognize their holidays suggesting that by not closing schools on those days prevents families from celebrating together. It must be recognized that during Ramadan, all Islamic nation’s throughout the world attend school during the work week. By comparing circumstances and traditions of other faiths adhered to in the United States with Islamic traction’s is anathema to the practices of Islam. Why then does the entire City Council suggest they are similar in any way? They are not. Christian tradition does not afford a day off for those students celebrating Easter. Easter always falls on Sunday and there is no school instruction on Sundays.
Those students who adhere to their faith, whether Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, or Buddhist are afforded to do so without penalty or demerit of any kind. each child must have a parent / guardian to send a letter to the principal / teacher as to the basis for which their child was absent on any specific holiday day.
Another rationale is that because Islam is based on the lunar rather than the Gregorian calendar, causing the dates adhered to by the Muslim faithful to fluctuate to a different day of the Gregorian calendar yea. This ever changing circumstance, as well as the need to have a moon sighting to bring about an official declaration of the day when a holiday is in affect, is an issue that even among Imam throughout the world discrepancies arise, despite due diligence give or take a day.
this year the end of Ramadan took place on June 15th. it was also the time when final exams would have taken place as would the New York State Regents examinations. In deference to the Muslim community those tests were not scheduled for that day even though neither day is officially recognized in New York State.
The Yonkers City Council Agenda stipulates there is “no impact” should adoption of two “holidays” be added to the present list of official holidays. the reality is that for every day the Yonkers School District is closed, whether because of inclement weather or other crisis, The reality is that for every day the Yonkers Public School (YPS) District is closed, the City of Yonkers loses $1.1 Million, equivalent to a loss in revenue of $2.2 million for those two days by the Yonkers Public School District.
On top of that, what would be the cost of teaching and ancillary positions if the minimum number of days required by the school year is not met and will be required to be extended two extra days? What will that cost the Yonkers Board of Education?
Yonkersites must be reminded that there is YPS District fund balance no longer exists. mayor Mike Spano’s FY 2018-2019 Proposed Budget has gained unanimous approval by the Yonkers City Council but it has yet to be endorsed by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
Accommodating the Muslim community would be very nice. The City of Yonkers cannot afford to do so. Should every holiday afforded all those who adhere to their religious beliefs be expunged from the YBoE calendar year?
Considering the failed collective effort by the Yonkers City Council membership in devising a revenue stream to diminish the anticipated future burden next year, and the silence of any intentioned and concerted effort to devise some prospects for remedy for next year.
Spending Yonkersites’ taxpayer money is neither an amenable or fiscally prudent prospect for Yonkers.