CONSIDER MUSLIM HOLIDAYS IN SCHEDULING MANDATORY TESTING sign now

Governor Pataki January 20, 2006


CONSIDER MUSLIM HOLIDAYS IN SCHEDULING MANDATORY TESTING

Muslim school-age children were placed in a difficult position when the Board of Education scheduled State testing on January 10, 11, and 12, 2006. On those days, Muslims all over the world celebrate Eid-ul-Adha, which is the second most important religious celebration for Muslims. Eid-ul-Adha marks the end of Hajj (Annual Pilgrimage to Mecca), culminating with the commemoration of Prophet Abrahamsthe patriarch of all three Monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam)sacrifice of his son Ishmael on the command of God (Allah). On Eid-ul-Adha, Muslim families offer special congregational prayer, celebrate, and visit each other. Eid-ul-Adha takes place on the 10th day of Dhul-Hiijah, the last month of the Islamic calendar. This year Eid-ul-Adha fell on January 10th, and as costumary in some Islamic communities, the celebration continued until January 13th. The mandatory NY State Testing this year coincided with a very important Muslim holidays, which caused many Muslim children to miss not only the congregation prayer, but also the Eid-ul-Adha celebration.

We, the congregants of Islamic Center of Long Island (ICLI) and concerned Muslim parents in New York State, believe that mandating our children to take State testing during this important holiday is at a minimum insensitive if not discriminatory. Christian and Jewish parents would not be asked to have their children attend school on Christmas or Yum Kippur let alone being mandated to take State testing. At present, there are more than 800,000 Muslims living in New York State. We believe you witnessed the growing number of Muslim residents in NYS even as early as the time of your visit to ICLI.

Therefore, we urge that you send a directive to the officials concerned to take into consideration Muslim holidays when scheduling any mandatory tests in their future planning. We request that you look into this matter thoroughly.

Sincerely,


Cc:
Mayor Bloomberg
City Chancellor

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Kent VaughnBy:
Nature and EnvironmentIn:
Petition target:
Governor George Pataki

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