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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' • Holidays • Houses of worship • Interfaith issues • Islam • Mosque • Ramadan

soundoff (690 Responses)
  1. RufusVonDufus

    You deserve whatever you get!

    September 5, 2010 at 8:59 pm |
    • Arrr!

      look! a rufusvondufus! GET HIM!

      Arrr!

      September 5, 2010 at 11:04 pm |
  2. Marg

    I think it is really nice that some Muslim communities are chosing to be sensitive to celebrations on 9/11. However, as a Christian, I think I would be really annoyed if I couldn't conduct my normal celebrations due to some Christian extremest's activities. I think American Muslim's are totally within their rights to continue celebrating however they like, whenever they like. They are not the ones who attacked on 9/11, so why should they have to feel any more sorry for it happening than anyone else? It reminds me of "white guilt", which irritates me too. Just because you share some similarities with a group of people who did bad things, doesn't mean you have to be included in that group's guilt. Hold your head up high, American Muslims. We are all individuals, some good and some bad. We all deserve to be given respect.

    September 5, 2010 at 8:58 pm |
  3. logan

    ....funny how the Muslims are turning the tables and making 9-11 about THEM and THEY are the victims.....Islam is not a religion, it is a way of life and ALL Muslims must get involved in Jihad when called to do so. If they don't, they are not real Muslims.

    September 5, 2010 at 8:57 pm |
    • MrsFizzy

      Well they are just damned if they do and damned if they don't aren't they?! If they hold their celebrations like normal someone will accuse them of celebrating Sept. 11 (of course they will) and if they say let's be sensitive about it to try & avoid backlash – oh it's all about them being the victims. What complaints do you have about their day of service?

      September 5, 2010 at 11:11 pm |
    • George

      Welll, if Logan says so, it must be true! Dope...

      September 6, 2010 at 12:17 am |
  4. Just a regular Joe

    Xugos... you make more sense than most of the postings here tonight. Hold the high ground/ideals, and don't be distracted by eccentric comments of lunies or uninformed people. My guess is that most Americans appreciate most of your thoughts. America is for ALL people – of ALL religions... as long as we all remember that we are Americans FIRST.

    September 5, 2010 at 8:57 pm |
    • Jeem

      @Just a regular Joe

      I am human first, American second.
      As part of an autonomous collective, I reserve the right to judge the actions of my country for myself and act accordingly.
      I will not be a f*king robot that is BS'ed into doing bad things. I will do my best to remain my own person.
      I love America and the freedoms I have here, even though most of them are being infringed now and then / here and there.
      America is a haven for ALL religions, yes, but most of those religions also violate the equal rights of others, so that needs to stop.

      September 5, 2010 at 9:26 pm |
  5. Mike in St. Louis

    Bush IS to be blamed, along with Fox News-RNC-TV and the Tea Party for their irrational hatred of Islam. Do not Tar & Feather a whole religion because of the actions of a VERY small minority

    September 5, 2010 at 8:53 pm |
    • Haters

      Wake up!!!

      September 5, 2010 at 9:34 pm |
    • Fred

      Mike, your mindset makes me believe you will easily be converted to the religion when the time comes. They prey upon confusion and fear.

      September 5, 2010 at 10:04 pm |
    • Aysha

      Amen!

      September 6, 2010 at 12:34 am |
    • Rick

      Gosh Mike – I was going to say the same thing to you – but your words beat me to it!

      September 6, 2010 at 1:35 am |
    • Indian Hindu

      minority-- to me it seems that the entire islamic religion doesnt believe in peace towards non-muslims

      September 6, 2010 at 7:27 am |
      • AGA

        you are mistaken
        for answers please visit : http://www.whyislam.org

        September 6, 2010 at 8:14 pm |
      • AGA

        'the entire islamic religion' – you shudnt generalize
        in Islam we are tought to love everyone including non-muslims so please dont make assumptions based on the actions of some people.
        for answers to misconceptions about islam
        please visit http://www.whyislam.org

        September 6, 2010 at 8:17 pm |
  6. Alvin

    Ever since 9/11, muslims have always been seen as extremists. To me, it's felt as if there's a force behind this. The hijacking, the crashing of the planes and the accusation of it relating to Islam and muslims. All i could say to my muslim sisters and brothers in america is You have to be strong! Don't let any of this event cause you hardships in doing your duties as muslims. Have faith in God, and most of all, have faith in yourself, that every single thing is going to be just fine...

    September 5, 2010 at 8:53 pm |
    • Sasha

      The problem is that doing one's duty as a Muslim involves subjugation of women, promoting Sharia as the law of the land which leads to second-class citizen status for Muslim women who are regularly murdered with impunity (under Sharia), polygamy, forced marriage,forced conversions, dhimmitude or death for infidels, taqiya which is lies to infidels. Oh, and religious blasphemy laws that are only followed as to those, like me, telling the truth about Islam.

      September 5, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
    • Xugos

      Blah Blah Blah, Sharia Law, Blah Blah Blah, Women.

      You do realize that the late Prime Minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto, was a woman? She was the most popular Prime Minister that country had since 50 years.

      September 5, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  7. corwin crocks

    wow...polite and civic minded and good citizens who actually think before they do or say something...remember when Americans used to be like that:(

    September 5, 2010 at 8:51 pm |
  8. Stan

    What's going on right now in America is saddening...A bunch of hate mongers flaring negative attitude towards muslims and inciting violence on islamic centers. It is unfortunate for things like this to happen in this day and age, but the reality is MOST americans are tolerant people who respect the freedom of religion and abide by the laws of this country! MOST Americans do not believe that muslims are responsible for 9/11...We were attacked by Al Quaida, who hide behind religion to commit their barbarous acts and heinous crimes....It's unfortunate that American Muslims get blamed for crimes commited by others. I feel that in response to this hate wave and hostile discourse, muslims should not hide, but be proud of who they are and educate people on Islam and the noble things it preaches and act with grace in the face of adversity! America will stand strong forever because of what it stands for and the founding principles of the constitution: freedom, liberty and justice for ALL!
    God Bless America!

    September 5, 2010 at 8:50 pm |
  9. dontlookknow

    I think putting pressure on good Muslims is just fine. Let me explain. Most leaders, extreme or moderate when dealing internial issues don't listen to anyone outside of their circle. The Pope is not going to repsond to the overall concerns of a Jewish or Muslim leaders. But, get the good Catholics pushing for change and things will happen. NO Muslim leader is going to help extinguish terrorism within its religious circle to remove itself or rid itself of the Bad Muslims. Put a lot of pressure on the good Muslims.. Its Self Policeing. unfourtunately its our only hope!

    September 5, 2010 at 8:50 pm |
    • Jeem

      @dontlookknow

      I don't think that would work.
      Self-regulation is one of the biggest causes of corruption and tyranny. All the religious leaders have to do is say, "NO", and no one is willing to go against them.

      Examples of this problem include law enforcement, bar associations, medical associations, Congress, every government in the world, every organization that does self-regulation and does not allow regulation from those they oppress, every dictator, every religion – they all are "self-regulating" and they pretty much ALL become corrupt and unwilling to stop the bad things they do.

      Criminal activity is criminal activity. Crimes against humanity come from every quarter.
      You may as well say that we just need to convince all those members of the American Mafia that they just need to go against their bosses and tell'em what's what. Ain't gonna happen.

      But I like the fact that you are trying to think of solutions. I want them too. 🙂

      September 5, 2010 at 9:18 pm |
    • MrsFizzy

      What kind of "pressure" are you proposing "we" put on the Good Muslims??

      September 5, 2010 at 11:00 pm |
  10. Kelly

    I wish we would stop blaming every Muslim for 9/11 and let them celebrate a holy day. If something were to happen on Christmas, would people stop celebrating that?

    September 5, 2010 at 8:50 pm |
  11. James

    Not sure why Muslims are worried in the US. The hate crime data shows that Muslims are target much, much less then say Jews are. It is we infidels who have to worry about planes filled with Muslims crashing into our buildings.

    September 5, 2010 at 8:50 pm |
  12. Mock Me

    Muslims living in the USA need to remember the freedoms they have, I know that "they" didnt fly planes into buildings, but people of the same religion did, that is a fact. If I was in a Muslim country and was of another faith, I would have to be careful to celebrate anything because I could be killed for not being a muslim...fact. Shut up about your religion and how people view it. Quit shoving this crap down everyones throat.

    September 5, 2010 at 8:48 pm |
    • Xugos

      That is honestly a stupid argument. I could go on and on about the amount of Christian/Hindu/Sikh/Atheist terrorists, should Atheists/Christians/Hindus/Sikhs be held accountable for their actions today? The correct answer is of course not! They WEREN'T THE ONES WHO PERPETRATED THE ACTIONS.

      The only muslim country in which the government would kill you because of your faith is Iran, even that one probably will not, so stop cooking up lies. (Remember the hikers in Iran, well they're still alive).

      September 5, 2010 at 8:52 pm |
    • Matt

      We'll remember that come the holiday season when your heroes on Faux Nooz trot out the "WAR ON CHRISTMAS" garbage *again*. After all, wouldn't want to be "shoving things down people's throats". I know that not all Christians blew up the Murrah Federal Building, or killed abortion doctors, or lynched black people, but *some* did – and you should be sensitive about that!

      Regarding the whole "well, I can't run around screaming PRAISE JEEBUS in Saudi Arabia" routine: so you're now basing the rights of people in THIS country on the rights afforded to others in an absolute monarchy. WHY DO YOU HATE AMERICA?

      September 6, 2010 at 10:15 am |
    • Iqbal khan

      Hello please check it out and ...
      http://rediscover911.com/2010/03/was-america-attacked-by-muslims-on-911/

      September 6, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
  13. MollyBee

    Sick hateful people are the ones who are tarnishing the U.S. Wouldn't it be nice if they would all go back under their bushel baskets. The so-called American leaders who are stirring them up must be voted out of office by the reasonable American voters. You know who I mean.

    September 5, 2010 at 8:48 pm |
  14. Consciency

    Why we have to let Muslims stops celebrating after finishing one month of fasting and all the difficulties that come with it. What if it concides with 9/11? I mean there are violant extremists everywhere in the world those who kills with the knives and those who kill with the words! One doesnt have to kill to be a terrorist just doing any kind of Evil is terrorism.
    Plus Chrstianty calls for openness.

    September 5, 2010 at 8:47 pm |
    • Travis

      Who told you Christianity calls for openness? I'm not posting on here to get into the Muslim vs Christian debate, however, I am a licensed Pastor and spent 6 years of my life in Seminary fervently studying God's Word. Because of this, I feel I am charged with correcting false interpretations of the Bible. Christ didn't call for openness and acceptance of all – in fact He said the world will hate those who preach His message because it hated Him. You're welcome to your own views in our country, but please don't make an ignorant statement about Christianity.

      September 5, 2010 at 9:14 pm |
    • MrsFizzy

      Consciency, lets just say Travis doesn't speak for all Christians in "our country" (how does he know it isn't your country too?!) I wonder if he knows that Muslims revere Jesus (Isa) too as a prophet? As for Christianity not calling for you to be open to others, how does Jesus say you should respond to someone who hates you? What do you call turning the other cheek, I don't think Jesus talks about smacking them back harder...? I guess Travis studied a different Bible.

      September 5, 2010 at 11:06 pm |
  15. pat

    oh really!! nervious

    September 5, 2010 at 8:46 pm |
  16. Uncle Sam

    Want to celebrate? How about we issue an order similar to Executive Order 9066, round up all you jihadists, and you can celebrate in a fenced off area? Sounds logical to me.

    September 5, 2010 at 8:44 pm |
  17. Bill

    The very terrorists we seek today are those we trained to fight against the Russians. The very people in Iraq and Afganistan that we train today will be the terrorists of tomorrow. America should have learned from past history what is going to happen. That is why I think we are ignorant. The big money machine in our country is interested in the oil.

    September 5, 2010 at 8:42 pm |
  18. sososad

    I commend our Muslim brothers and sisters who would forego their celebration because of 9/11. However, I do believe that Muslims have the right to worship as they please. That is what America was partially founded on, freedom of religion. I am a Christian and would hate to feel like my rights to worship were stifled by my own country. We can't be angry at all Muslims for what happened on 9/11 just like we can't be angry at all Whites whose ancestors killed many Blacks, Jews, and Indians over the course of our earth's history. I hope that one day we all can move past this and respect each other.

    September 5, 2010 at 8:41 pm |
  19. jay

    nowayjoe,
    do you still beat your wife?

    September 5, 2010 at 8:41 pm |
  20. klarg

    Hate flourishes! How is that possible in a "Christian Nation." (Holy Rollers and Tea-Party bigots, please refer to Matthew 5:44 before spouting off.)

    September 5, 2010 at 8:40 pm |
    • John

      Because for most of these people, being "Christian" is an excuse to say "I'm better than you nah nah nah." If they actually had to live by all the commandments instead of just cherry-picking the ones that can be twisted to support their world view, most of them would fail miserably. As is, the lot of them are on the proverbial "highway to hell" for making a mockery of the values that Christianity has at its root while claiming to be acting in the name of the faith.

      September 5, 2010 at 9:44 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.