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July 6th, 2010
11:18 AM ET

Should New York schools close for Muslim holidays?

[cnn-video url= http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2010/07/05/muslim.school.holidays.cnn%5D

After Imam Khalid Latif, a chaplain for New York University and the New York Police Department, wrote a Belief Blog piece arguing that New York schools should close for important Muslim holidays, CNN invited him on air.

Latif makes an interesting case in the interview: that American Muslims are trying to develop their own contemporary identity and that steps like closing schools for major Muslim holidays would help that process. The implication is that an Americanized Islam–modern and moderate–would benefit all Americans.

Latif was interviewed over the weekend by CNN's Don Lemon.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Islam • Leaders

soundoff (186 Responses)
  1. Desi

    Oh BTW, You give them the holiday and soon they would ask for their law to be the law of the land.. Did you read about the woman who is waiting to be stoned to death in Iran? And that is by THE LAW, not by some little tribal court..

    July 6, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  2. John Adams

    "The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity."

    July 6, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  3. Napoleon Bonaparte

    "Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet."

    July 6, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  4. Thomas Jefferson

    "Question with boldness even the existence of God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear."

    "Religions are all alike – founded upon fables and mythologies."

    July 6, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
  5. Benjamin Franklin

    "the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion"

    July 6, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
    • McCluck

      now if only that had actually happened.....

      July 6, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  6. mark

    No religious holidays for any religion, period. Remember the separation of state and church. No government sponsored religious services anywhere, anytime. Government is to remain secular!

    July 6, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  7. Fan of Bob

    I'm really impressed with how Bob has doggedly addressed so many factual errors and misconceptions without showing hostility, or even much frustration. He presents a good model for civil debate.

    July 6, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
    • McCluck

      Its pretty easy to pick apart others arguments. I would love to see Bobs seemless argument but he hasnt done that (im sure he is capable). He has only scrolled down the list and attacked the easy ones.-Something most get bored of after their first couple of weeks on the message boards. Although some of my opinions are in line with Bob, i am not as impressed as you seem to be. This is Bob isnt it.-lol

      July 6, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  8. David

    As long as public schools refuse to offer a comparative religion course, maybe there shouldn't be school breaks for any religious holidays. Maybe we'd end up with fewer grossly uneducated bigots, too.

    Just because you go to church every week does not mean that America belongs to you. Your ancestors were probably murderers and rapists. (Look them up in any modern history book.) Why do you feel you have the right to be in this country when others do not? What makes you so freaking special?

    You people need to grow up and stop the hatred.

    July 6, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  9. Big Bob

    Geez, Bob!

    What a little contrarian you are! The Natives of North and South America were conquered. The Spanish seem to get a pass, but the Anglos sure as heck don't. Islam is as foreign to the American Culture as the White man's was to the Natives.
    So please, allow it to learn from Native history on how not to be subdued. Islam wants to rule the world, always has. The methods to do this have changed. It will be done through demographics and will be helped along by blind, self-hating, do-gooders like yourself. Listen to what the Islamists themselves say. They admit it all the time! The masses behind them will bide their time until the outcome is more certain. Then which horse do you think they'll back. The infidel west? I think not!
    We have built the most equitable, sophisticated culture in the history of humanity. I myself, am quite proud of that.
    And stop ragging on people who would like a little reciprocity from Muslim lands. Wouldn't a moral equivalance guy like yourself embrace something like that? Or is tolerance only a one-way street?

    July 6, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
    • KS_WIS

      Big Bob put "little" Bob in his place! hah! You go big Bob!

      July 7, 2010 at 2:35 pm |
  10. Desi

    Yeah Right! It sounds really good to yourself Bob ! To be secular and all that. I come from a country where muslims are 50% of the population. And believe me, it is ugly. You give them one holiday, they would ask for Friday being counted as weekend (as it is their prayer day).. Look at all the countries in middle east, they dont even have holiday for christmas (that, when 90% of their revenues come from the oil they sell to West , which BTW is christian). In ramadan days, you cannot eat in office (since cafetaria does not serve food) and you can not eat if your colleague is a moslem who is fasting.
    Very few restaurants would serve lunch and u really can not even mention eating or drinking lest it offends your moslem colleagues.
    And you want holidays for these people.? Learn from my country. We gave them a place to put a foot and they have taken over the whole house.
    I would say keep the national holidays as it is. No need to show the moslems that we are honring their wishes,. You dont know these people. They would soon be asking for more..

    July 6, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  11. David

    Keep taking names, Bob! :o)

    July 6, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
  12. Don

    Islam is not a religion. Islam is a cult. No Islamic holiday should ever be celebrated by free nations.

    July 6, 2010 at 4:22 pm |
    • McCluck

      I think they are all kind of creepy...

      July 6, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
  13. FREE SPEECH

    Schools should be free of american choice!

    July 6, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
  14. Jon

    Thank you Bob, for injecting some sanity into this otherwise thoughtless chain of hateful messages.

    July 6, 2010 at 4:11 pm |
  15. Brian in Toronto

    The schools should be given x number of days off for holidays and the schools in conjunction with the community and the Parent-Teacher Association should decide what those days should be. If there is a large enough group that wants to take a certain day off that should be fine as long as everyone knows that every important date to them is not going to be recognized .

    The article did not mention replacing National Holidays so try to calm down and take a deep breath.

    July 6, 2010 at 4:06 pm |
  16. Reality

    Once again, when Imam Khalid Latif demands that the koran be rewritten without the Gabriel myths and the passages that male Muslims dominate women and the world in general by any means then and only then will we listen to him.

    July 6, 2010 at 3:51 pm |
  17. McCluck

    As long as my religion gets holidays I am fine with that. Pink unicorn day is once a month. If ANY religion gets a holiday recognized by the government so should my religion. In my opinion it is an excellent alternative to other religions and deserves to be recognized. -here is why…

    -They have just as much proof for their existence.-pink unicorns I mean.
    -The leaders of the church of pink unicorns is not affiliated with the protection of pedophiles.
    -There have been few deaths and wars in the name of the pink unicorns
    -They didn’t kill Galileo and various people who didn’t agree with them.
    -They don’t have a hoard of complete idiot bigots following them who have found a way to justify their hatred by cherry picking and quoting scripture out of context.
    -As of yet, there are no pink unicorn extremist groups.

    Most important: They are much prettier and smell like cotton candy.

    There you have it. Any made up thing deserves holidays if other made up things get them…OR WE COULD SIMPLY CHOOSE TO IGNORE NONSENSE. I like our current system that isn’t supposed to recognize religious holidays and only winter breaks and the like. Have a nice day!

    July 6, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
  18. Jay

    I say give it to the Muslims. But only under one condition: for each Muslim holiday we recognize here in America, all other Muslim countries need to recognize a Christian holiday. It's only fair.

    July 6, 2010 at 3:33 pm |
  19. Ronald

    I like Bob's comments...why doesn't anyone respond to him? Hahaha...maybe 'cause you don't have an answer? Yay for "Bob"!!!

    July 6, 2010 at 2:38 pm |
    • JayZ

      Love his comments too. They are right on teh money. More Americans should be "reviewing" our own history before making ANY statement about the US founded upon Christian views. Bob's factual comments are amusing and dead on. Go Bob!!!!

      July 6, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
  20. Frank

    No way. This is crazy offensive that it's even an option

    July 6, 2010 at 2:33 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.