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. Chiz99

    Whenever Eid may be this year, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, Muslims still feel insecure about celebrating the holiday that has been celebrated since the birth of Islam. This is an unfortunate reality...Muslims should not feel this way. 9/11 was caused by deranged Islamic EXTREMISTS and technically, people who kill/murder are not considered Muslims. This is not a value supported by the religion of Islam. Unfortunately, since they called themselves Muslims, some of nation now believes that all Muslims are cruel and murderers. What should be considered when making these opinions? Muslims were also victims of the 9/11 attacks; Muslims have been a part of the American society for forever; "Muslims" were NOT the terrorists of 9/11; and Muslims are people like Christians, Buddhists, Catholics, etc. Hopefully, Americans will realize this and not scrutinize/bash Muslims when they celebrate their long-time holiday known as Eid.
    Let us, as Americans, rise as one and show the origin of the real terrorists that we are tolerant and loving to all people, that we uphold the Freedom of Religion.

    September 6, 2010 at 1:37 am |
  2. ben

    Seven thousand innocent people were killed in Srebrenica, Bosnia. The killers were christians. It happened before 9/11. If we follow the logic of some people here christianity and all christians are to blame. Which of course is not true since we had nothing to do with it. How hard is to understand that this is the case also with Islam and 9/11? Of course human nature remains as dangerous as ever. There is an alarming tendency in this country for willful ignorance and hate as a tool for political gains.

    September 6, 2010 at 1:37 am |
    • M&M

      The major problem I have with Muslims is that they don't come out publicly and denounce the people who hijack their religion in the name of Islam. Because they don't, it would appear to me that they are in agreement with them. We just don't know who is who and who is against you and who isn't. They put their Islam before country and that is FRIGHTENING!

      September 6, 2010 at 1:44 am |
    • Edwin

      M&M: I don't know where you have been, but every muslim I know has expressed horror at the attacks and denounced the attackers as strongly as possible. I have read, in blogs and posts, over and over again, public pronouncements by muslims against the bombers, al Qaeda, and the Taliban. I have seen TV interviews where the muslims call the bombers terrorists and make it clear they do not represent Islam in any way.

      Honestly, they could not denounce more strongly - it isn't really possible, unless you think they should buy space on billboards on the freeways.

      September 6, 2010 at 2:10 am |
  3. Jeannette

    I just think that we all should mind our own business. We should respect all nationalities, countries, creed, Religion and beliefs. We are all God's Children. We should love one another and respect each others views. Especially, when it comes to culture, and traditions. We all have our own ways. That is what makes everyone of us different. God respects those who fast and he is a loving and merciful God. Why can't we all just get along? Why can't we just love one another. Some people are just totally ignorant! Don't u people know that the 911 attacks! And everything else that happens is already destined. Read the bible. we as christians are suppose to love each other and forgive! So much hate in the world. Muslims should be allowed to worship and celebrate. I say go for it. God bless!

    September 6, 2010 at 1:36 am |
  4. Sourabh

    I dont want any mosque in the US & I dont want any mosque anywhere in the world. Mosques are the places where the blue prints of terrorist attacks are made. They are the shelter for terrorists. I want all the muslims to leave the US. Beware all muslims in the US. Dont celebrate anything near or on 11 sep.

    September 6, 2010 at 1:34 am |
    • Edwin

      Sourabh: I can list off dozens of churches used as fronts for terrorist activities. Do you also condemn christians, or do they somehow escape your wrath?

      Your level of intolerance is astounding, especially if you somehow consider yourself 1) an American, and 2) a christian. If I am wrong and you are an atheist from Zimbabwe, I apologize for jumping to conclusions.

      September 6, 2010 at 2:07 am |
    • mmom

      Sad to see that you bring your hatred of Muslims from India to this truly blessed land. Sad! Sad! Sad!

      September 6, 2010 at 8:16 am |
    • Asim

      He is being tolerant of disbelievers of islam by being intolerant of islam. @edwin you conveniently leave out size and scale in comparing deeds of followers of a religion. For every incident you can even remotely attribute to another religion's teaching, there are 10 million cases of islam causing harm to non-muslim and muslims alike. is it because you are truly not aware or your intent is to deceive people.

      September 6, 2010 at 11:18 pm |
  5. Rick

    Too bad they are nervous about celebrating their holiday – probably feel like Christians do in Muslim countries.
    Who cares – if you get hassled – call the police, just like anyone else would. Stop whining

    September 6, 2010 at 1:28 am |
  6. rene

    You should your lives. Your religion teaches, encourages and celebrates killing and the ultimate goal is to overtake the eastern world. 9/11 is a disgrace, one of many, that your fellow believers has happily performed in the name of a false God, you do not serve the true God this world but one day you will have to stand before God and be judged by your lives and the company you keep and what you support and your heart will be judged. You can not have a good heart that is dedicated to allah, as they are polar opposites and are unable to coexist. Your people are evil and will pay for your cruelty, anyone who would feel sorry for you having to cancel you stupid carnival is misguide and insane. You are not welcome here and need to go back to your god forsaken land of evil and leave where you are not welcome.

    September 6, 2010 at 1:14 am |
    • Laurie

      Um.....most of the worlds muslims are non-arab, so exactly which "god forsaken land of evil" are you referring they should go back to ..... Secondly, do you know how many "white", multi-generational american muslims there are in America? Hmmmm....Might want to look into that....

      September 6, 2010 at 2:28 am |
  7. mike

    Ok, I never understood the muslim faith, but personally I think its a good idea to not celebrate eid this time. I know its unfair,but how 911has affected non muslim americans has made us distrustfull of anyone wearing a headscarf. Personally I saw some muslim people walking out of my grocery store and I was disgusted that "those rag heads were here". Im trying to understand them, and the root of my disgust, but I dunno. I just want our country to be safe again and if that means that a holiday that is NOT american is put to pasture, so be it!

    September 6, 2010 at 1:13 am |
    • Edwin

      It is a struggle, and I am glad you recognize it in yourself. It is hard to reconcile the rational and emotional parts of the brain when dealing with such things.

      I understand your lack of interest in Eid. But if we want to get technical, many Americans celebrate Easter, yet it is not an American holiday. Christmas is, apparently, but not Easter. If something bad happened on Easter, do you think Christians should refrain from celebrating? It is an interesting question...

      September 6, 2010 at 2:04 am |
  8. max pargs

    how much would anyone like to bet, that someone on the right like Hannity or Beck, plays the shi* outta this, and riles up the right to make them think Muslims are celebrating 9/11...at least the vast ignorant/racist right will perceive it that way.

    This country has thrived for the last 400 years on the fear/scapegoating of some ethnic/religious group, and I dont see anything changing so long as we have willfully ignorant people.

    September 6, 2010 at 1:10 am |
    • Edwin

      Of course they will use this as a tool for money-raising and inciting the masses. Why try to tolerate muslims, when you can hate them? On a blog recently I read someone stating that we should kick out all muslims from this country, whether they are American citizens or not. I asked for clarification, and he informed me that all muslims wanted to kill non-muslims, so it just 'made sense'.

      Clearly, we are not dealing with people who WANT to understand, but rather with people who want to NOT understand. Hate is so much easier, and so much more lucrative, than tolerance.

      September 6, 2010 at 1:57 am |
  9. Sanity

    Religion is a sin. Support your local chapter iod Agnostics working to pull us out of the Dark Ages.

    September 6, 2010 at 1:09 am |
    • max pargs

      good stuff sanity...its always good to see the growing number of agnostics/atheists out there. I myself am an atheist.

      With the end of religion will come the end of hate, and blind faith....and science and reason will prevail.

      September 6, 2010 at 1:11 am |
  10. ur_shadow

    What do you call the ability to suspend all rationality to blindly accept things which have absolutely no empirical proof? To defend to the death something which may not be true or exist at all. Religion. Some call it faith – I call it a form of mental illness.

    September 6, 2010 at 1:05 am |
  11. Pupu

    I like the common sense and consideration/sensitivity to non-muslim americans. Now why can you apply this same logic/reasoning to not build a muslim center at ground zero? Just as it would be common sense not to build a "gentlemens" club next to a mosque. There were be a lot less hatred if people would just stop being idiots.

    September 6, 2010 at 1:02 am |
    • Edwin

      In fact, they are NOT building a mosque next to ground zero. There has been, for several years, a muslim prayer center in that particular building. When they remodel, they intend to make the top floor a nicer version of what has been going on for years. Not a mosque, no domes or minarets, no advertising. Just one floor of a remodeled community center, doing what they have been doing since before 9/11.

      September 6, 2010 at 1:54 am |
  12. mucalfuzlum

    Let them party. They need an excuse to party or blow things up. They can't do both at the same time...

    September 6, 2010 at 1:01 am |
  13. Michael, Chapel Hill

    Jihadis chopped hands of Malayalam Professor - 'Crusaders' get the taste of 'Jihad' Haindava Keralam.com hat tip Satya

    THODUPUZHA: Christians in Kerala now started getting the true taste of Jihad . Five Jihadi fanatics today chopped of the hands of Malayalam Professor.

    A Malayalam professor T J Joseph of the Newman College, who is under suspension for preparing a defamatory question for an exam paper, was attacked by a gang of five men at Muvatupuzha when he was coming back from church.

    His crime – A question prepared by the professor for a Exam was offensive to Jihadis.

    Government Action – Government who never misses a point to score when it comes to the matter of winning Jihadi hearts suspended the Professor.

    Jihadi’s who have scant regard to rule of the land decided to impose Sharia punishment to this professor. Professor Joseph and his family were attacked by Jihadi’s today when he was coming back from Church after attending Sunday mass.

    Repeated warnings of Hindu organisations in Kerala about the growth of Jihadi fanatics in Kerala were repeatedly brushed aside by so called ‘Secular Society’ as the propaganda of Hindu Communalists.
    A cutting from an Indian news paper...ISLAMIC TERRORISM IS A FACT THE WORLD HAS TO LIVE WITH!

    September 6, 2010 at 1:01 am |
    • Edwin

      Michael: thugs and crazies can and do terrible things all over. My father (when he was a teen) was attacked and beaten by christians for being jewish. They did not cut off his hands - it is true, but christians of that era burned crosses in people's front yards, and occasionally hung people.

      A few years ago, some christian boys killed a gay boy by dragging him behind their pickup truck.

      Do you think these actions condemn all christians? I hope not - they were isolated, evil people. And so are the examples you provide.

      September 6, 2010 at 1:52 am |
    • Asim

      @edwin, you go extreme lengths to defend evil people. muslim terrorists not only practice the religion, but also commit the terror in the name of and motivated by islam, unlike others terrrorists who happen to belong to some other religious heritage. So quit comparing. based on size and scale of hate and violence in islam, there is absolutely no comparisons.

      September 6, 2010 at 11:28 pm |
  14. mucalfuzlum

    Let them party. They need an excuse to party and an excuse to blow things up. If they are doing one they aren't doing the other, see?

    September 6, 2010 at 1:00 am |
  15. Molly1e

    cnn should fact check. Eid will be thur or fri..not sat 9/11.

    September 6, 2010 at 12:55 am |
  16. street462

    Religion is awesome!!!!!! we do so many great things to our fellow man in the name of it...........

    September 6, 2010 at 12:49 am |
  17. Cotton

    I cannot comprehend the mere suggestion that Muslims should “post pone” their celebration of Ramadan which has roots since 610 A.D because of the events of September 11.

    On September 11, a group of EXTREMISTS attacked and killed many Americans. The resulting war which Americans have accepted has cost more American and innocent lives than those on Sept 11. These extremists? They happened to be Muslim.

    Now this large group of people has been focused in on. The religion painted as some barbaric practice in which all members must be insane (yet Ramadan is about self control, patience, and charity). What if they had been Christians who were responsible for the Sept 11 events? I believe it wasn’t too long ago that Christians viewed anyone who was not Christian ( and some still do ) as barbarians. It was used to justify slavery (of many races, not just blacks) and the proprietary viewpoint on women. If I can recall correctly, Christianity has been at the core of many long bloody wars because of the belief that any other religion is full of hedonics.

    Yet we do not view Christians in such a manner despite their long history. How this has been so easily forgotten in a time where so many people are pointing fingers at Muslims.
    People do bad things. So looking at a group of 19 people and throwing this viewpoint on the other billion is grossly unfair and not at all right.

    I do not have any Muslim friends and I don't claim to know much about the religion, but I know that it is wrong to discriminate against someone based on religion, race, and sex. The events of September 11 were tragic, but to allow this hate and intolerance to continue would be even more tragic. Freedom is what we celebrate and since the founding of this country religious tolerance has been a cornerstone. That cornerstone is being chiseled away. Americans, don’t boast about being “free” … BE FREE and FIGHT for the freedom of EVERYONE … or you’re in dangerous risk of losing it. I am proud to be American, but in situations like this – my faith falters.

    September 6, 2010 at 12:47 am |
  18. kafir4life

    I wish Muslims in Islamic countries accord a fraction of their "ill treatment" in America to other non-muslim minorities...The ironic things is if we apply reverse Shariah in the US, and treat muslims as it stipulates they treat Jews, Christians and others, we would be fascists.

    September 6, 2010 at 12:47 am |
  19. shawn

    What are they woried about??? America loves Muslims. We voted one to be President. Liberals will bring you food and give you a big hug. No worries!

    September 6, 2010 at 12:44 am |
  20. Claire C.

    None of the Muslims in my neighborhood had anything to do with the 9/11 attacks, and they were just as upset as I was about it. I wish them all a peaceful and joyous holiday.

    September 6, 2010 at 12:43 am |
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About this blog

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.