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September 5th, 2010
07:54 PM ET

American Muslims nervous about Ramadan's end coinciding with 9/11

For Muslims, the end of the holy month of Ramadan is typically cause for celebration, with three days of feasting and socializing after a month of daytime fasting.

This year, though, many American Muslims are greeting Ramadan's end with a measure of worry, as the holiday coincides with the anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks.

"Most Muslim communities will be reluctant to have something that's perceived to be celebratory on 9/11 even though we're not celebrating 9/11," said Ibrahim Hooper, National Communications Director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

"There's a whole cottage industry of Muslim bashers now who would seize on that," he said. "Unfortunately, these are the times we live in."

With many American Muslims already feeling intense scrutiny over the controversy surrounding a proposed Islamic center and mosque near New York's ground zero, many mosques and Islamic groups are dramatically altering their usual plans for Eid ul-Fitr, the end of Ramadan holiday.

In the United States, most mosques are expected to celebrate the holiday - typically called Eid - this Friday, September 10, though some may celebrate it a day later - Saturday, September 11 - because of their interpretation of the lunar cycle. Ordinarily, festivities - bazaars, potlucks, bowling alley parties - would extend for three days, following more solemn prayers on the morning of Eid itself.

The Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno, California recently announced that it was cancelling its Eid carnival, originally scheduled for Saturday.

"The decision to cancel the Carnival was due to the recent increase in the levels of hostilities against Islam and Muslims following the proposal to construct an Islamic Center in lower Manhattan," a statement on the center's web site said, "and to deprive extremists from the opportunity to claim that American Muslims are celebrating 9/11."

Eid has never coincided with the anniversary of the September 11 attacks before. Because Muslims follow a lunar calendar, the holiday falls roughly 11 days earlier with each passing year.

The Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, which made national headlines after the site of its future mosque was vandalized last month, has decided against scheduling any festivities for Saturday.

"It's a sad day for us as Americans and it's a sad day for us a nation and we don't feel it would be right to celebrate on the anniversary of 9/11," said Abdou Kattih, vice president of the center's board of directors.

Kattih, who says his brother-in-law was headed to an appointment near New York's World Trade Center on the morning of the 9/11 attacks but got stuck in traffic, says he would never schedule festivities on September 11.

In lieu of celebrations, many mosques are planning open houses next weekend in hopes of strengthening ties to their communities, according to Naeem Baig, vice president for public affairs at the Islamic Circle of North America.

"The anti-Muslim wave we are witnessing is really affecting the Muslim community," Baig said. "Some fear violence against their Islamic center. Rather than be afraid, we're encouraging them to be open and to let people come to their Islamic centers."

The Islamic Circle of North America normally schedules its annual Muslim Family Days at Six Flags amusement parks around Eid, but was careful this year to avoid scheduling any on September 11.

In most cities, Muslim Family Day will be either September 10 or 12, Baig said.

A coalition of influential Muslim groups, meanwhile, has announced a national day of service for September 11, aimed largely at burnishing the image of American Muslims at a sensitive time.

"All eyes will be on us this Eid and on 9/11," reads promotional material for the event. "...But can you imagine the power of a headline or TV news story that features American Muslims as citizens, giving back to our country?"

"On September 11th, let's show that we can rise above prejudice and hatred and be the kind of conscientious citizens who give back to our country by through a national 'Muslim Serve' campaign," the materials continue.

The event is being promoted by CAIR, the Islamic Society of North America, and the Muslim Public Affairs Council, among other organizations.

CAIR's Hooper said that some mosques fear attacks because of Eid and the 9/11 anniversary next weekend. He said his group is encouraging mosques to request stepped-up patrols from local police and to review security procedures.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Faith Now • Holidays • Houses of worship • Interfaith issues • Islam • Mosque • Ramadan

soundoff (690 Responses)
  1. oladollar

    press is the major cause of these issues. there was an incidence that occured in nigeria early this year, a cab driver, drove his car passed the airport gate and ran into under a waiting plane ready to take off. when this issue was reporting by the press, they said a cab driver because he was a christian, had it been that he was a muslim the head line would have been different. the head line might go as; a muslim cab driver or a muslim terrorist. press, why are you like this.
    stop causing chaos in the world and stop giving islam a bad name.

    September 13, 2010 at 12:16 pm |
  2. RightTurnClyde

    Which holy day is when they decide which kid to blow up this year? Or which wife to behead?

    September 11, 2010 at 1:56 pm |
  3. RightTurnClyde

    If they want to be Americans then they ought to be more concerned with Thanksgiving than Ramada Inn

    September 11, 2010 at 1:45 pm |
  4. hassan abul

    "The anti-Muslim wave we are witnessing is really affecting the Muslim community,"

    Evryone including the media is trying to make it appear that muslims are the oppresed one....how pathetic!!!
    Wait till islam gain a foothold in america....with your first muslim president....barack hussein

    September 8, 2010 at 4:22 pm |
  5. daniel

    Don't any of you posters realize their final goal? They want to overthrow 234 years of American history and convert the United States of America into an Islamic lead country? Please research their previous practices in the middle east and other non-muslim run countries.

    September 8, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
  6. jack

    muslims say Oh we beleive in love & peace, but when a christian marry a muslim woman the muslims will kill him instantly but is ok a muslim man marry a christian.

    September 8, 2010 at 10:08 am |
    • Kate

      @jack

      You don't know jack

      Sorry, had to be said.

      September 8, 2010 at 3:08 pm |
  7. Someone

    You people are stupid. Why do you think every Muslim is a terrorist? Those terrorist idiots who were in plane were retards. They are individual people. They do what they want. Other muslims didn't sent them to blow WTC. I'm 12 year old and I'm smarter than half of you idiotic immature Americans who are already grown up. If one muslim kills christian, everyone will call all muslims a terrorists. If some guy who call himself a muslim and he hates christians doesn't means all muslims hate christians because real muslims respect other religions. One more thing, if some american christian terrorist blew up WTC, would you call all christians terrorists? I don't think so. Why don't you only blame those two retards who were in plane instead of all muslims? I can't believe 12 year old is much more mature, smarter, calmer than half of americans who hate muslims. You people make me sick. My parents always teached me to respect all religions, you "GREAT MIGHTY" Americans should do the same thing. Idiots...

    September 8, 2010 at 7:48 am |
  8. got a bad cold

    okay i don't mean to be mean or anything but you do have to realize that people have to inventually die and events much worse than 9/11 happened in other countries and many times it was america who was the killing people for no reason. i hate to see that people think american lives, especially american white lives are worth more than other people's lives. if this had been in new orleans or a predominately black city and the victims were black, then no one would care as much (whites, well the selfish ones, racist people are selfish).

    the crazy thing is that people still aren't told about the motives of the attackers and documents proving who did it are probably not even available to the people.

    and so what eid falls on this day. that means nothing. you have to be an idiot to think that muslims will be celebrating 9/11 because muslims aren't a monolethic entity. they didn't even know about 9/11 happening.

    September 7, 2010 at 10:53 pm |
  9. pitung

    It is good that Muslim leaders aknowledged that celebrating EID on 9/11 is not a good idea. Why not opposing the mosque building 2 blocks from our sacred ground?). This will definately eliminate the tension between the Muslims and all of us!

    September 7, 2010 at 7:43 pm |
    • Kate

      @pitung

      Oh yes, I completely agree, if only Muslim leaders protested against the building of an Islamic Community Center 2 blocks from Ground Zero (6 blocks from where the Towers actually stood), then the entire divide between Christianity and Islam would just fade away and we could all dance around a camp fire singing the coca-cola song!

      Not.

      Just sayin'

      September 7, 2010 at 8:06 pm |
  10. Yasmina

    @jspitzer..i wish more people were like you!!

    and AGAIN...RAMADAN will END wednesday or Thursday NOT Friday or Saturday! I have to agree...VERY poorly researched article!!! And we wonder how so much MISINFORMATION about our BEAUTIFUL, Loving religion gets out there!?! And yes, JESUS is mentioned a great deal in the Qu'Ran...he was a very important prophet in our religion as well!!

    September 7, 2010 at 2:50 pm |
  11. Yasmina

    @Wzrd1
    "I can only reciprocate what I received in Qatar on MY religious holidays from the Arab locals. I was wished Merry Christmas more times there than I EVER received at home!" Shukuran Bezaff!!! Thank You! Coming from someone in the military, who has ACTUALLY been over there, it means alot!
    It is amazing to me just how ignorant other people in the world can be. So much misinformation has been put out there, mainly by the U.S. MEDIA!!! From the 72 virgins thing, so us celebrating 9/11 by fasting...all i can say is "DO YOUR RESEARCH BEFORE YOU OPEN YOUR MOUTH"!!! REAL research....read a qu'ran, you'd be surprised what is/and is NOT in it. dont believe everything everyone tells you.

    September 7, 2010 at 2:42 pm |
  12. Hussein

    Why burn the Quran,why blame all Muslims because some extremist did what they did.Moderate muslims are going about their business and they too are opposed to the extremist and condemn what they do.Stop these intolerance,hypocrisy,racism and double standards.Practise what you preach.Hasbunallah wani'mal wakil

    September 7, 2010 at 1:04 pm |
  13. Muslim Girl

    What's the big deal about this I am an American Muslim ,and i honestly want to say something to all other muslims .Go head and celebrate Eid (Eid Mubarak ) why are we making a big deal out of it ? You want the big celebration go back home and have it !! There is no need to be offending anyone here .We came to live the american dream not to make americans change their way of thinking

    September 7, 2010 at 9:52 am |
  14. jspitzer

    I won't include a link this time to an Islamic Calendar, so hopefully they will post my comment.

    This article should be retracted. Eid will not fall on September 11 on any Islamic Calendar. It will either be the 9th or the 10th, this article was not well researched. Check any site that lists the dates for Ramadan. The author should be ashamed for not doing their homework.

    September 6, 2010 at 11:07 pm |
  15. Jusus

    Jesus Christ I have a hard enough time keeping up with Christmas and Easter,

    September 6, 2010 at 6:58 pm |
  16. reality check

    To the people who seem to be so tolerant should look at what is happening in West Bengal and other parts of India. When the muslim population get to a certain point, they start to harass the local who have lived there for thousands of years. temples are attacked, when annual processions are held they attack the participants etc. Just like in Kashmir, they harass and threaten the non-muslims until they are forced to leave. Which then becomes nearly 100% muslim. How is that Saudi Arabia is allowed to build mosques and send Korans around the world, when it is a crime to bring a bible into Saudi Arabia.
    Open your mind and you will see that muslims are a one way street.
    This whole mosque near ground zero, I propose that to we start to work towards building a huge multi-faith temple in Mecca. That would also help to have the highway signs removed from way to Mecca that say "Muslims only".
    Lets see if any of the muslims or their supporters will also push for some churches and temple to be constructed in Islamic Nations. When you have buildup of muslim areas in Western countries, you will see the same results. If any of you liberals actually are fair minded enough to check facts, you will find that as time passes majority muslim countries become more muslims as no-muslims are forces out.

    September 6, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
    • jspitzer

      Saudi Arabia does not represent Muslims. The same way that Israel does not represent Jews, Christians, or Muslims. The same way that the Vatican does not represent Christians.

      So, let's repeat today's lesson. Saudi Arabia represents the Saudi Arab Tribe. Arabs make up roughly 20% of Muslims worldwide, Saudi Arabia at best represents 2-3% of Muslims.

      To add to that, New York does not represent the United States.

      September 6, 2010 at 11:11 pm |
  17. AGA

    September 6, 2010 at 4:04 pm |
  18. AGA

    Please!
    http://www.quranexplorer.com/quran/

    September 6, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
  19. AGA

    http://www.quranexplorer.com/quran/

    September 6, 2010 at 4:01 pm |
  20. nobody999

    My last post was not problematic, please post it.

    September 6, 2010 at 2:57 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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.