New York, NY —
Members of the city's Muslim community are expressing optimism about Mayor Bloomberg's choice for a new immigrant affairs commissioner. He appointed an education adviser from his administration named Fatima Shama, who speaks five languages - including Arabic - and whose father is Palestinian. Linda Sarsour, with the Arab American Association of New York, expects Shama to push for Muslim holidays in public schools.
SARSOUR: Being a commissioner might give her more power in that area and I think she can be a stronger advocate.
The mayor has opposed adding Muslim holidays to the school calendar.
Shama replaces previous immigrant affairs commissioner, Guillermo Linares, who now works for Bloomberg's re-election campaign.
Linares also dropped out of a run for an open City Council seat in Northern Manhattan.