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. Eid Mubarak

    Eid Mubarak to all Muslims. I am a Muslim and I dont care if Eid falls on the 9th, 10th or 11th. I will celebrate it the way it would have been on any other day. Anybody who doesnt like it can go die in his rage. I don't care!

    September 6, 2010 at 2:36 am |
  2. Joe

    Before, if I read this article, I used to say "Muslims, that's what you get for causing 9/11.".

    However after watching the documentary "Loose Change", my anger now shifts towards Cheney, and the Bush Clan.

    I was a Republican before I saw this documentary. However, after seeing thing that Thermite (explosive ordinance) was found in all neighbouring apartments that had their windows blown in, know question my party loyalty.

    And then again, after seeing Republicans totally defending BP in the oil spill, I started to question the root of my patriotism.

    Sadly, even though I welfare (and all the bad things that come along with social crutches) I know feel like I have nothing in common with Republicans, and more in common with Democrats.

    Gosh, I wish Reagan was here. He would squash this foreign company BP, and totally fight for American dominance.

    Instead, without a powerful Reagan to focus these idiot-billionaires in investing in the US, these under-taxed "so-called" Americans are investing in India and China.

    My main reason for being a Republican is because I believed in the strength of the Republic. If each state was an independent entity with its own budget, it could exist. prosperously and democratically.

    However, after seeing the documentary " Loose Change" , I know question my loyalties.

    I hate being lied too. Especially by people that are less patriotic than myself.

    So the big question is: Why did "volunteer" physicists find Thermite in ther World Trade Center wreckage?

    September 6, 2010 at 2:34 am |
  3. Muslim

    So we should not celebrate Christmas because on this day a lot of people died in WWII. Right?

    September 6, 2010 at 2:25 am |
  4. Jamal

    I am a Muslim American living in this country for 16 years. Now I'm more fearful than before just because I'm a Muslim..I'm worried about my son who was born here and he has a Muslim name...I feel like I'm forced not to practice or express my religious identity. Very unfortunate time is being made for American history. God bless America and God bless people to be little more educated...

    September 6, 2010 at 2:22 am |
  5. Bobby Hill

    Thanks to those Alah worshippers, now I can't even bring face wash and shampoo when traveling. Thank you for making life that much more inconvenient.

    September 6, 2010 at 2:17 am |
    • Anthony

      oh no!!!! no shampoo or face wash on the plane boo hoo. buy it when you get there you cheap ****

      September 6, 2010 at 2:44 am |
    • Deen

      Hey Bobby...take a shower before you get to the airport you dirty *@!%.

      September 6, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
  6. Laurie

    This article is flawed in it's timing of the end of Ramadan, which makes me wonder about the intent behind it. Ramadan will end either on the Wednesday the 8th or Thursday the 9th of September (depending on how the it is calculated). This would make the celebratory Eid Al Fitr be either on Thursday the 9th or Friday the 10th. By no stretch could it land on September the 11th. So this brings the question, is this meant to stir up more tensions between non-muslim and muslims in the United States?

    September 6, 2010 at 2:10 am |
  7. koko

    Why don't you help us out and tell us who put the bombs in the building? Did they come from the plane? Listen to the fire fighters who were in the buildings @ 3:09. Please for God's sake use your best judgment and give me a legitimize Answer and thanks in advance for your explanation

    September 6, 2010 at 2:08 am |
  8. U.S. Navy Sailor

    I don't think most Americans would be so resentful and suspicious of American Muslims if we heard more outcry from their community about the atrocities that go on elsewhere in the world by their fellow Muslims. Yet, we hear about Muslim Imans in the U.S. advocating violence, recruiting for somalia and the Middle East and numerous financial schemes to finance the operations overseas broken up right here in the U.S.. Where is their outcry??? The silence is deafening.

    September 6, 2010 at 2:05 am |
  9. Leat

    Americans are such whiners. The Muslim community Is showing more class in this case. They are already trying to make peace. Give them some credit and stop keep crying terrorist to every Muslim out there

    September 6, 2010 at 2:03 am |
    • U.S. Navy Sailor

      Where are they trying to make Peace? I would Challenge you to name 5 predominantly Islamic countries that are not ruled by a totalitarian government or is not in a regional or civil conflict.

      September 6, 2010 at 2:10 am |
    • Edwin

      US Navy: Turkey, Indonesia, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Tunisia, Kuwait, Kosovo, ...

      (I confess I only knew the first few, but Wikipedia is fairly helpful. It is also very easy to use - you should try it!)

      And I am not saying every one of them is a delightful place to live, but I am pretty sure none have serious warfare.

      September 6, 2010 at 2:25 am |
    • Anthony

      i have to agree leat. and to the us navy sailor i shall name five countries: Indonesia, Egypt, Turkey, Morocco, Algeria, Lebanon, the list goes on.... so nut up or shut up

      September 6, 2010 at 2:42 am |
  10. Oyster

    As usual, there needs to be a lot more mutual understanding between you and your perceived adversary. Make the effort to meet and personally talk to just one member of your perceived adversaries before drawing any conclusions.

    September 6, 2010 at 2:02 am |
  11. Deen

    If those terrorists had instead chosen to do their hatred crimes on 12/25 would everyone have stopped celebrating their Christmas festivities? Of course not. It would have been called "UnAmerican" to do such a thing. These conservatives are nothing but hypocrites that want to divide this nation even further. Most of the population in the US respect the muslims in their community but unfortunately it's the media that always portrays it the other way around. It's a sad time in America when Americans have to change their religious practices out of fear.

    September 6, 2010 at 1:59 am |
  12. William Ortega

    Time to move Xmas???

    Operation Linebacker II was a US Seventh Air Force and US Navy Task Force 77 aerial bombing campaign, conducted against targets in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) during the final period of US involvement in the Vietnam War.

    The operation was conducted from 18–29 December 1972, leading to several of informal names such as "The December Raids" and "The Christmas Bombings".[5] It saw the largest heavy bomber strikes launched by the US Air Force since the end of World War II. Linebacker II was a resumption of the Operation Linebacker bombings conducted from May to October, with the emphasis of the new campaign shifted to attacks by B-52 Stratofortress bombers rather than tactical fighter aircraft. Over 1,600 civilians died in Hanoi and Haiphong in the raids.[6]

    September 6, 2010 at 1:57 am |
  13. Christopher

    Why would the Muslims be apprehensive about the data that Ramadan ends? It doesn't make any sense, unless they are thinking that some idiot might attack another United States landmark at the end of that 'holy' season.

    September 6, 2010 at 1:55 am |
    • Xugos

      Because it ends on/around 9/11, and the celebrations regarding the end (eid) might be mistaken for celebrations of the horrific 9/11 terror attacks.

      Considering some guy burned a mosque in tennessee last week, their fears are not irrational.

      September 6, 2010 at 2:03 am |
  14. confused

    A tolerant Atheist is the biggest oxymoron of them all. Outside of disrespecting other people's beliefs where is the tolerance in "Survival of the fittest". I don't see how they can consider themselves proud Americans when the founding fathers built this nation on CHRISTIAN principles. The only contribution these atheists and agnostics to this country is its DOWNFALL! Great job!

    September 6, 2010 at 1:54 am |
    • Edwin

      confused: I think you may really be confused. Like all groups, atheists have some haters and some activists, but most atheists are no more intrusive or critical of others than a typical christian. They simply do not believe in a God.

      And the founding fathers were DEISTS, by and large, not christians. They may even have gone to Sunday services, but they did not generally believe Jesus was divine. Many did not really believe God was active in the day-to-day functioning of the world - a passive creator, not an active tinkerer. The founding fathers used British Common Law as the base of their government, and that was largely derived from Roman law, not christian faith.

      September 6, 2010 at 2:17 am |
  15. Help

    Hey guys, can you visit SaveStan . ORG a friend of mine with 4 babies is fighting for his life.

    September 6, 2010 at 1:51 am |
  16. M&M

    The Muslims curse Americans now and wish to rid Americans from their land. Well, the day will come when they will cry blood in the streets and beg for America to come rescue them from the hands of their Islamic government who will slaughter them like animals because they don't follow their rules and regulations.

    September 6, 2010 at 1:49 am |
  17. i m alam

    nobody is nervous, its all media hype, common intellegent people know the truth

    September 6, 2010 at 1:48 am |
  18. LeoValaunt

    What's to be nervous about? If you are not guilty of a crime, no reason to be nervous, right?

    September 6, 2010 at 1:46 am |
    • Edwin

      Leo: tell that to victims of police profiling, or those falsely imprisoned in this country (there are hundreds or thousands in our jails who are not guilty of the any crime, but were found guilty because of overzealous prosecutors or inadequate defense attorneys).

      You do not have to be guilty of anything to be attacked by a hateful mob, or a crazed lunatic.

      September 6, 2010 at 2:12 am |
  19. M&M

    How in the world can they follow 2 different calendars? Pick one already!

    September 6, 2010 at 1:41 am |
  20. confused

    I still don't see what these morons are whining about bush??? DUH!! It's human nature to blame the PERCEIVED source of 9/11 in this case Islam regardless of whether Bush was in power or not. BTW, Bush is gone years ago so what does that got to do with anything? The only thing I'm intolerant of right now are stupid people making comments.

    September 6, 2010 at 1:40 am |
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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.