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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. my2cents

    you people do know when its day in America its night in the Middle East? If you're smart enough to know that, then you would understand its not possible to show live daytime footage on 9/11 in the Middle East while it being daytime in America also.

    September 5, 2010 at 10:14 pm |
    • Xugos

      But that...that's logical! That has no place here!

      September 5, 2010 at 10:15 pm |
    • MrsFizzy

      *pop*

      September 5, 2010 at 11:33 pm |
  2. MML

    Have a wonderful Ramadan and ignore the pinheads. They'll hate you no matter what, so their opinions are worthless in any case.

    September 5, 2010 at 10:14 pm |
    • Fred

      We all thank you for representing yourself as better than everyone here.

      September 5, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
  3. R

    Deal with it and get over it. Yes, some Americans don't like Islam but I would say we are far more tolerant with you guys. I don't think anyone will be walking into your mosques strapped with explosives or driving a car packed with nails and bombs into your markets. Chill out and realize we're a little more civilized than you like to believe.

    September 5, 2010 at 10:13 pm |
  4. richeyrich

    Where was the Muslim denunciation of the attack when it happened? Where is the Muslim denunciation NOW? As long as the Muslim community stays silent, Americans will remain suspicous of you.

    September 5, 2010 at 10:12 pm |
  5. hominoid

    If most muslims are against terrorism, then why there is not even a single incident of a muslim reporting a terrorist actovity to the authority?

    September 5, 2010 at 10:12 pm |
    • Xugos

      Usually, they don't know themselves, but there are cases. During the "Flying Imams" ordeal an Arabic speaking muslim reported suspicious activity that eventually led the suspects to being removed from the flight.

      September 5, 2010 at 10:14 pm |
    • MrsFizzy

      Actually that is not true .. for one the would-be "20th highjacker" was reported on to the French authorities by his own family. And the father of the underwear bomber tried to warn of his concerns his son was radicalized and would do something. I have heard of a few other cases but there could be others who did so anonymously or who weren't publicized for their own protection?

      September 5, 2010 at 11:32 pm |
    • NWU

      The person who called in and reported that smoking SUV in times square was muslim

      September 6, 2010 at 2:43 am |
  6. wasabiwahabi

    Yeah, don't you know that Obama works for Assad now?

    September 5, 2010 at 10:10 pm |
  7. QB

    People calm down... The most important thing happening next Sunday is week 1 of the NFL season anyway!!! Thank GOD for America

    September 5, 2010 at 10:09 pm |
    • crazed football fan

      @QB

      ZOMG! FOOTBALL!! That totally distracts me from EVERYTHING!!! I wont even eat or anything. I wont even take a shower!! LOL

      September 5, 2010 at 10:41 pm |
  8. Hank Shrier

    Dear "Do the right thing"

    The only Christian Holiday that is not the same day every year is Easter. Should Easter happen to fall on a day that is sensitive to another faith, would you want to move the date 48 hrs? December 25 is a day holy to Pagans who celebrate the Goddess Myrtha. How about moving Christmas 48 hours. This year the end of Ramadan falls on September 11. While I may have may problems with Islam's more redical elements, there is NO REASON that Muslims should change the date of their holiday. Given the vagaries of lunar calendars, the end of Ramadan, a day of feasting and festivity, may fall on Yom Kippur, the most solemn day of the Jewish year. That does not mean that either faith should move the day.

    It is very sad that people cannot pray in peace. before anyone attacks me pointing out the religious intolerance practiced in most Muslim countries, save your time. In the USA we cherish freedom of religion. While what has been done in the name of Islam is vile, and while my home in Israel just lost 4 citizens to Hamas, that does not change the fact that in the USA, people should be allowed to follow the customs surrounding the end of Ramadan without fear of harassment..

    September 5, 2010 at 10:08 pm |
  9. Wakeup321

    In Spain, at Sevilla.

    Some local people found a way to stop the construction
    of another mosque in their town.

    They buried a pig on the site, making sure this would be
    known by the local press.

    The Islamic rules forbid the erecting of a Mosque on
    "pig soiled ground".

    The moslems had to cancel the project..this land was sold
    to them by government officials.

    No protests were needed by the local people..and It worked!!!

    September 5, 2010 at 10:02 pm |
    • NWU

      That's so disgusting. Shouldn't you be putting on your white sheets and hood to go burn a cross somewhere, or you know....get a pig carcass and go looking for a mosque to defile?

      September 6, 2010 at 2:40 am |
  10. tnusagirl

    If 9/11 happens to coincide with the end of Ramadan then so be it. Muslims should not feel bad or be afraid to celebrate, and they shouldn't have to cancel their festivities at their mosques.

    I am so tired of people bashing Obama, Bush, Beck, CNN, Fox etc. etc. Why is it always the fault of someone else that people hate..People have hated for thousands of years, long before any of these people existed .People have a choice!! I've not heard anything out of any of the above mentioned that would make me hate anybody. These comment areas are where the hate is... and it's always Dems against Rep or Rep against Dems, what's so sad is this is what is destroying America!!

    September 5, 2010 at 9:57 pm |
    • Ed

      Wake up girl.....the system was designed like that. Fighting for what you believe in is good. There is right and wrong, and one side must stop the other side. There are no compromise on principles, unless your name is Lieberman and McCain.

      September 5, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
    • vistle

      @Ed

      Daaaaang! That one went in!

      September 6, 2010 at 12:00 am |
  11. Phil

    The prophet of Islam told them to kill all the infidels – Jesus said to save them. The prophet said to starve them, Jesus said to feed them. The prophet said to stab them in the back, Jesus allowed Himself to be stabbed for them, even for Muslims. Christians preach to you, Muslims try to blow you up. I can handle the preaching.

    September 5, 2010 at 9:57 pm |
    • Xugos

      Why would you just blatantly lie like that? Makes NO sense. It's perturbing.

      September 5, 2010 at 9:59 pm |
    • Bosco111

      Islam did not exist until well after Jesus' time, hence the Bible doesn't mention Islam at all. Oh, you probably got your information directly from Jesus.

      September 5, 2010 at 10:06 pm |
    • Fred

      Amen !!!

      September 5, 2010 at 10:13 pm |
    • Fred

      He got it right. Where are you guys getting your info ??

      September 5, 2010 at 10:17 pm |
  12. Bosco111

    To hate-mongers: Please stop claiming to represent either Christianity or Islam if you insist upon speaking hatefully. Such speech is incompatible with both traditions. If you represent neither, why involve yourself in this discussion at all?

    September 5, 2010 at 9:57 pm |
  13. marlana

    Since most muslims think every country they live in should convert to islam. they should stay inthere own islamic countries

    September 5, 2010 at 9:57 pm |
    • Xugos

      Wouldn't most Christians/Hindus/Atheists like it if most of their countrymen converted to their beliefs (or lack thereof) too?

      September 5, 2010 at 9:58 pm |
    • Matt

      I'd rather you leave the country, because you have no respects for its rights or freedoms.

      September 5, 2010 at 9:59 pm |
    • Sasha

      Xugos, the problem is that Islam is a political system as well as a religion and the two cannot be separated so are incompatible with democracy. I live in an area in which Sharia is being promoted because Muslims refuse to recognize that they can't enforce Sharia in the marketplace; while it's true that Muslims have religious freedom, that freedom cannot be invoked to require others to follow Muslim religious laws, such as the attempts that have been made to require patrons of common carriers to do so, the attempts made to force patrons of grocery stores to scan their own pork products in the grocery store or wait for another cashier, the demands that employers give Muslims priority for breaktimes that adhere to their religious needs which occurs to the detriment of non-Muslim employees, demands for Muslim only segregated prayer space in government-owned facilities and the demand for religiously-mandated footbaths in the public sector. These are all attempts to impose sharia and dhimmitude.

      September 5, 2010 at 10:59 pm |
    • Xugos

      So you're idea of Sharia is a footbath in a washroom? I personally would prefer if washrooms stayed the way they are and didn't cater to a particular religion, and I say that as a muslim myself. Also, I've never heard of muslims demanding that, but if they are where you live, they are whackjobs and by no measure the majority.

      Most muslims want America to stay the way it is: Free.

      September 5, 2010 at 11:03 pm |
    • Stephanie Varnado

      Oh man Rana's mum is going to be so mad. She scans my pork purchases right through every time. She's my favorite grocery clerk!

      Get a life people and quit judging others and fabricating horrid ISLAM bwaaa haaa garbage.

      September 5, 2010 at 11:26 pm |
  14. Matt

    Those actually saying they should post-pone Eid celebrations because of 9/11 need to give their heads a shake. They are not celebrating 9/11, they are celebrating Eid. It is completely separate.

    Come on, people.

    September 5, 2010 at 9:56 pm |
  15. Curtin

    You cannot change the day of Eid. Just as you cannot change the day of Christmas- 12/25. It is a holiday. Nobody is celebrating 9-11. If people choose to change the date, they are doing so out of concern. My god, you act like Muslmis have no right to celebrate4 anything. Did any of you remember that the Nazis were Christians. So much for democracy.

    September 5, 2010 at 9:56 pm |
  16. spit on muhammed

    By the comments posted I can see that many of you have NOT read the koran. Please do so and you will see the truth. Then make your own judgment.

    September 5, 2010 at 9:54 pm |
    • iac249

      Yes, everyone, please do read the Qur'an and judge for yourself. You can get a free copy from CAIR (Council on American – Islamic Relations). Don't be a sheeple and follow the neo-con hate machine. And read a good biography of Muhammad as well. "Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources" is a good one.

      September 5, 2010 at 10:01 pm |
    • Xugos

      You can get a free copy if you just Google it. The AMC website has one in 23 different languages.

      September 5, 2010 at 10:03 pm |
  17. missadrian

    Listen to Islamic lectures online, by respected American Muslim leaders at: http://newafricaradio.com/

    September 5, 2010 at 9:52 pm |
  18. MJ

    I am a muslim doctor, I will be oncall this 9/11 treating ALL people regardless of color, religion or name

    September 5, 2010 at 9:50 pm |
    • sagebrush

      Physician Heal Thyself.

      September 5, 2010 at 10:49 pm |
    • Stephanie Varnado

      And I for one would be proud to have you treat me. Thanks for all you do. Between us I try to avoid ALL doctors and ER's like the plague! It's not your religion its what you do! Be good and stay safe.

      September 5, 2010 at 11:19 pm |
  19. missadrian

    Speak to knowledgeable Muslims, live to answer questions about Islam at: 1-877-WhyIslam (24 hour hotline). Visit: http://whyislam.org/

    September 5, 2010 at 9:50 pm |
    • Sasha

      http://freedomdefense.typepad.com/leave-islam/

      Here's information on what happens if you leave Islam.

      September 5, 2010 at 10:47 pm |
    • Xugos

      Gee, Sasha, that doesn't sound like a biased site at all.

      September 5, 2010 at 10:49 pm |
    • Greg

      Sasha, you are ridiculous. The worst thing that could ever happen in this country is the internet. People are just not smart enough to sort fact from fiction. The internet has become the bigots greatest asset. It never ceases to amaze me how stupid people can really be, just add a couple lies and you have a bigot's foot soldier.

      September 6, 2010 at 12:31 am |
  20. Mariam

    Being a muslim from the middle east, who have unfortunately witnessed the tragic events of 9\11, and have lived thru a major change that happened to the world and how my religion got hi-jacked by terrorists, and the media just completed their work, i read those comments today and smile, seeing it come from non-muslim americans who have decided to look at the bigger picture and realise for themselves that not wat everything the tv tells u s true...
    Us too, have received a negative image after 9\11 about the USA by the media, they have fed the middle east with images of hatred, racism, and violence towards every muslm!, ppl thought that there was a plan of muslim extermination and mass sluaghters going on there!... just last year i ivisited the USA and honestly thought id be pushed to the ground by security guards anytime during being in the airport!, but the i too, realised for myself that the image that has been probagated to us is very untrue!
    i salute the Muslim community over there for deciding to tone down and delay their celebrations in honor of the sad memory... this in fact, is a very muslim act!, for those who dont know much about the teachings of Islam , one major one states : " The murder of one soul is worth the murder of all humanity"... so Muslims too, all over the world, codemen this act!, this is not Jihad, this was pure violence and murder! and we mourn for the innocent lives lost, and us too want the culprits caught and punished as much as the families of the victims too for many reasons, 1st for the brutal murder and destruction, 2nd for hijacking religion and brutalising its image, 3rd.. that it lead to so much hatred in the world which innocent muslims till this day suffer
    I do support the delay in celebration in respect to the victim families, and honor all the non- muslim americans for supporting muslims to go on with their celebrations, they r fighting for the freedom their country was founded upon and decided to rise above the anger and hatred
    God bless u all

    September 5, 2010 at 9:49 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.