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August 19th, 2010
03:48 PM ET

Ramadan road trip, day 2: 'Faith people have to stick together'

CNN's Wayne Drash filed this report:

The blue Chevy Cobalt pulled away from Atlanta, heading into toward the Muslim community of Jacksonville, Florida.

Driver Aman Ali jams to "Eye of the Tiger," his thumbs beating to the rhythm and his voice belting out along with Survivor's lead singer. His friend, Bassam Tariq, studiously reads fan emails and scans the internet.

"I just read a news piece that 1 in 5 Americans think Obama is a Muslim," Bassam says. "Isn't that crazy?"

Aman and Bassam, both young Muslims, are now one week into their journey to visit 30 mosques in 30 states during the holy month of Ramadan.

Marvin Gaye croons through the car speakers. "... Ooooo, sexual healing ..."

"The station is teasing y'all during fast," I quip.

Both laugh.

Wednesday was spent at an African American mosque in Atlanta, the Atlanta Masjid of Al-Islam. The so-called ground zero mosque dominated headlines again, when New York Governor David Paterson suggesting a compromise location.

But the faithful were focused on prayer, their children and the end of the daily fast - a splendid iftar feast of whiting, green beans and rice. Little kids chased each other between picnic tables; others played hoops into the dark of night. The mosque is active in community outreach and works to feed the homeless. Every summer, it hosts an "I love my family" event for people of all faiths to gather, meet and get a better understanding of one another.

"Faith people have to stick together," said Imam Mansoor Sabree.

The car bobs down the highway. Bassam jokes about CNN commenters on an earlier blog post about the trip.

"Did you see the one guy who said 'be careful, we might try to convert you?'"

The rolling melting pot–two Muslims, a Seventh Day Adventist and a Methodist–presses on.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Islam • Journeys • Muslim • Ramadan

soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Muhammed

    Hi Karen :)Nice idea, photographing the air show! Goodness, it has been a long time since I have been to one. I still reemmber going to see the Blue Angels with my father. It was amazing, but loud! LOL. I like a lot of the shots you have here, but the second to last one got me. For some reason... don't laugh... it reminds me of a shark! LOL. Ok, even I am laughing, but it does. A hammerhead shark. LOL. Neat pics!-Carly

    July 29, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  2. Missy

    I had the pleasure of meeting up with Aman and Bassam at a mosque in Charlotte, NC. What 2 fabulous guys they are. I interviewed them – feel free to check it out in my int'l ed blog. http://melibeeglobal.com/2010/08/interview-with-aman-ali-and-bassam-tariq-from-30mosques-com/

    August 21, 2010 at 12:19 pm |
  3. Michael Shih

    I don't really care Obama is Muslims, christian ,Budisam or what ever he come from.! He is President,
    I respect him!

    Michael Shih http://www.gene2gene.com

    August 19, 2010 at 11:35 pm |
  4. Justin

    We fear what we don't know! Keep doing your thing guys... there is nothing to hide in our mosques, dinners or other events. Kudos to CNN for giving America an insight into this special time for Muslims. For those of you who look at an article like this and immediately begin to think of terror (@ Keith), challenge yourself to arrange for a visit at your local mosque or Muslim Student Association chapter. There are extremist teachings out there, no doubt, but gosh what will it take for you people to understand how similar we all are?

    August 19, 2010 at 10:52 pm |
  5. Barbara

    Sounds like a great trip:)

    August 19, 2010 at 10:42 pm |
  6. Keith

    Check the trunk for fertilizer and diesel fuel.

    August 19, 2010 at 9:13 pm |
  7. (B)iraq Hussein Osama

    Please don't let these moslems convert you to Islam. REMEMBER LORD JESUS the savior. Remember, he has died for your sins, you do not have to do anything, sin all you want, you are going to heaven guaranteed. Don't convert to Islam, you will have to work for your salvation. Are you listening to me?

    August 19, 2010 at 7:03 pm |
    • Reality

      Osama,

      News flash, the prophet Jesus did not die for anyones' sins. He got caught causing a Passover disturbance in the Jewish temple. The Roman guards summarily crucified him, no questions asked, as they did to all trouble makers. His body still lies a-mouldering in a mass grave somewhere in Palestine.

      August 20, 2010 at 12:29 am |
    • Guest

      @Reality

      You are proof atheists can be a figment too.

      August 20, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
  8. Reality

    A another Ramadan escape i.e. sleep all day, party all night!!!

    August 19, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  9. Saladin

    That's a road trip I wouldn't mind being in on! What a great idea!

    August 19, 2010 at 4:00 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.