By Ross Barkan, Observer.com
With just three weeks to go before Election Day, Muslim leaders and activists gathered in Brooklyn to rally for Bill de Blasio today, hoping their various grievances with the Bloomberg administration would be addressed by a more sympathetic mayor.
Standing in a park just beyond the steps of Brooklyn Borough Hall, the front-running Mr. de Blasio indicated he was indeed willing to listen to the community’s concerns, including honoring Muslim holidays in public schools.
“You know, for Muslim-American children, public schools are overwhelmingly where they go for their education,” he said. “We need to respond to their needs and all children’s needs … We have to respect people of Muslim faiths by providing the Eid school holidays for children in our school system.”
Drawing cheers of “B. D. B.,” Mr. de Blasio also expressed support for the Muslim community’s ongoing resistance to stop-and-frisk and fines on immigrant-run small businesses.
“We will make sure that any actions by our police department are vetted properly and following constitutional guidelines,” Mr. de Blasio declared. “It is the law of the land if there ever was a law of the land. Our Constitution teaches us the respect of individual rights and liberties.” (Read more)