In a place with as many squabbling nationalities as New York City, it is becoming harder to accommodate the gaggle of ethnic groups that want their specialness recognized. Schools are a major battleground, where foreigners often seek to maintain their culture rather than assimilate to American values.
On the current controversy of Muslims wanting their religious observances to become school holidays, Mayor Bloomberg sensibly noted, "When you have a city as diverse as we do, with virtually every religion known to man practiced, if we closed school for every single day there wouldn't be any school."
Council Member Robert Jackson of Manhattan, who is Muslim, and 12 co-sponsors introduced a resolution this year calling on the state to require that New York City students be given days off for the Muslim holidays of Eid Ul-Fitr, typically in October, and Eid Ul-Adha, which falls in December this year.
"Parents have had to make a decision on whether or not to send their students to school on the holiest day of the Muslim calendar, celebrating the month of the fast of Ramadan, or to send their kids to take a test," Mr. Jackson said in an interview. "That type of situation should not be."
A 2004 Columbia University study estimated that 102,000 Muslim children attended city public schools, making them about 10% of the city's student population.
[Mayor: Muslim Holy Days Shouldn't Be School Holidays, New York Sun, March 7, 2008]
That 10 percent figure is attention getting, since that is the proportion of Muslims in a country that an Israeli scholar warned against as being troublesome. Apparently that number is the tipping point in school systems as well.
LIFE can become untenable when the Muslim population of a non-Muslim country reaches about 10 per cent, as shown by France, a Jewish expert on Islam says.
[Limit Muslim migration, Australia warned, Sydney Morning Herald, Feb 16, 2007]
"Gimme, gimme," is the first phrase every immigrant learns upon entering the foolishly generous USA, and more so with the Sons of Allah.