NEW YORK–Some New York City Councilâ€™s members are urging the state to add the two Eid holidays to the school calender. But their campaign is being impeded by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and an attempt by the state legislature to stall a bill advocating the holidays. Several Muslim students testified last week at the City Councilâ€™s Committee on Education and stated that they missed out on valuable classroom instruction while they observe their religious holiday.
Mayor Bloomberg is of the view that adding more holidays to the school calendar would hurt instruction and can lead to adherents of other religions calling for similar holidays.
Zahida Pirani, a project director for the New York Civic Participation Project, noting how several cities in New Jersey have already made Muslim holidays official days off from school, said the city could do so without hurting classroom instruction. She predicted it would happen if the mayor were not the sole regulator of school policy.
â€œI believe New York City is organized around this in a very powerful way,â€ Ms. Pirani said during the hearing. â€œIf parents had a voice in this process, it would happen,â€ the Staten Island Advance reported.
Dayton mosque gets OK
DAYTON,OH–A controversial plan to build a mosque in a Sugarcreek Twp. neighborhood has been given the green light.
The Board of Zoning Appeals approved the plan at a meeting Thursday night.
The Islamic Society of Greater Dayton is planning to build the mosque on South Alpha-Bellbrook Road.
However, the mosque will be much smaller than what the group originally requested.
Their original proposal was rejected back in January.
Late Village Clerk honored by Mosque Foundation
BRIDGEVIEW IL–The Mosque Foundation of Bridgeview honored the later Village Clerk Daniel Green, for â€œlifelong service to the Village of Bridgeview.â€ Representatives of the Foundation presented a plaque in his honor to his wife Frances Greene.
Green, who recently passed away, was a resident of Bridgeview for over fifty years and held numerous offices with the village and park district, including building coordinator and trustee.
â€œIâ€™m going to hand it in the most prominent place I can find in the living room,â€ said Frances Green, who is very active in the village herself, and was visibly moved by the gesture from the Muslim community.
Texas A&M sued over alleged bias
Iraqi researchers Dr. Mundhir Ridha and Saeeda Ali Muhsen have filed a federal lawsuit against Texas A&M, alleging that while they were employed by the university, colleagues threw animal feces and urine on their prayer rug and routinely mocked and mistreated them.
The federal discrimination and retaliation lawsuit filed in Houston names A&M, several A&M divisions and five former coworkers.
It seeks unspecified damages.
Texas A&M spokesman Lane Stephenson declined to discuss pending specific litigation, but said A&Mâ€™s policy is not to discriminate against anyone.
The couple did research at the reproductive sciences lab at A&M.
They fled Baghdad about four years ago.
The Houston Chronicle reports that Ridha was fired after complaining in 2007.
The suit says Muhsenâ€™s contract wasnâ€™t renewed in 2008.