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. MAVV

    I know how to celebrate really special way U Muslims....get big goat and roast it. Drag the Mulim woman out prison and use some them left over bricks from 9/11 tower collapse and bash her head in. What wonderful celebration of Muslim traditions...sorta like PINATA bashing but no candy inside. By using same hole of roasted goat...U can slice off piece of her and have little wine....perform Holy Communion? Must use one them Mullahs or will have FAT WAH.

    September 6, 2010 at 7:45 am |
  2. Madman

    It's M0therf&cking Ramadan Charlie Brown. Google that, and laugh your a$$ off.

    September 6, 2010 at 7:44 am |
  3. WDrad

    crush Islam

    September 6, 2010 at 7:42 am |
  4. Fred

    Let us all remember 9/11. There will be another revolution in this country. I wonder if it will be muslim blood? I sure hope so.
    I wonder if it is red? Drive em out and keep em out of the good ole USA!

    September 6, 2010 at 7:42 am |
  5. MAVV

    BOMB BOMB BOMB IRAN....lets all sing along! BOMB BOMB BOMB IRAN...only if we can. Sign the course again. BOMB BOMB BOOM IRAN....if only Isreal can. Lets all clear the land.......BOMB BOMB BOMB....let get it over with soon as we can ! Where is GWBush when we need his a#$$ ? Can he ever run again after being out office 4 yrs? Is that legal?

    September 6, 2010 at 7:37 am |
  6. Indian Hindu

    Well Islam is not at all a religion of peace, its a cult with an intention of world domination.

    It first starts by showing that they stand for peace, you get to see their real face when they are close to a sizeable population. In democracy all they have to do is to make sure their population grows much faster then the rest of us.

    See the case of a non-muslim democracy – India is a shining example. They soon will demand their own sharia courts.

    Start their political islamic parties. Make life of non-muslims hell.

    So much in the name of religion of peace.

    September 6, 2010 at 7:26 am |
  7. AGeek

    "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."

    Islam made its bed, now it can lie in it. ...and speaking of lies and Islam..

    September 6, 2010 at 7:26 am |
  8. baby sing

    did the actions of Timothy McVay cause Americans to hate or persecute Christians on Christian holidays? Enough hate, please.

    September 6, 2010 at 7:18 am |
  9. Indu

    I want all the Muslims to be +ve and not to be afraid of -ve stuff happening in media or anywhere else. Every Religion for that matter every country has good and bad. Dont go by what bad people are saying. Remember,there are many good americans out there who like you and love you for your contributions to America. Have a great time with your families and friends. I still remeber Ramzan in India..While my friends of muslim faith used to fast they use to bring us"Hyderabadi Haleem" and "Kheer". I miss India at the time of Ramzan very much. Sab Musalman Bhai and Behno ko Eid Mubarak!! Love you All!!!

    September 6, 2010 at 7:08 am |
  10. brinky

    Come one everyone. Can muslims prey on ramadan end? Of course they can. Should they show respect for 9/11 innocent victims? Yes they should. Remember their terrible death...People jumping from 40th floor not to be burn alive. And no mosque in 9/11 proximity – until there will be real proof of being peaceful. What that would be? Condemn the terrorists and be willing to fight them. And as for historic references....yes christians had some dark history moments as well – but it was 500 years ago not now. And let's build interfaith centers & interact more – buddhists, christians, hindus, jews, muslims & atheists – maybe it will give everyone more trust in each other

    September 6, 2010 at 7:07 am |
  11. warsteiner

    All the celebrations are parts of history that people want to remember. So now you have something to add to that celebration a moment of prayer that your alive another year after your breatheren killed a bunch of innocents.

    September 6, 2010 at 6:28 am |
  12. Truth

    If they want to celebrate their false religion which in great detail condones killings of inocent people...Then so be it. I will be celebrationg on 9-11 with this church in our free country.


    September 6, 2010 at 6:17 am |
  13. Colin Fox

    Yeah, they want to show that they are above hatred, but ONLY AGAINST MUSLIMS!!! Ask them how they fell about rising up against hatred of Jews and Israel and you will get a much different story.

    September 6, 2010 at 6:17 am |
  14. Westerner

    Celebrate in the basement quietly and you will be fine.
    the two events collide on the calendar, bummer , deal with it. Do not play victims as always

    September 6, 2010 at 6:17 am |
  15. Rome akrum

    I love how people say stoning is part of Islam because some people who claim to br Muslim are doing it, so it's part of our religion. Okay, a dew catholic priests have sexual relations with little boys, is that part of your religion? Of course it's not. What a minority does should not account for the whole. Don't take what i say about Islam, you shouldn't always believe what strangers tell you about something, like I don't know the media. Go ahead and read about the Quran on Islam on wikipedia or any third party unbiased fact based source. Educate yourselves and learn to respect others. I don't agree with things that christians, Jews, Hindus, or other religions do but I have several friends from each religion. Learn about Islam and realize just because someone says they are Muslim doesn't mean they are. Osama bin laden is a perfect example. Let Muslims celebrate their holiday, because like I just said, they are celebrating their holiday, not 9/11.

    September 6, 2010 at 6:12 am |
  16. Brian

    We no longer celebrate the True God of Abraham and Moses......so what the heck....let's party.

    September 6, 2010 at 5:47 am |
  17. Hall


    September 6, 2010 at 5:44 am |
  18. Science

    We still don't know enough about who attacked us that day. We know what we were told. Leave the Muslims alone unless you are going to attack the Catholics and other religions with the same intensity.

    September 6, 2010 at 5:42 am |
  19. CJ

    I spent 18 months in Turkey. Once I got used to the culture shock and differences from America. I had a good time. Although I was raised a Catholic, I decided to to give everyone a fair chance. I had no one try to kill me or my friends. I did everything I could to respect the Turks, their country, and their religion(s). We think of America as a "tolerant" nation for varied religious beliefs. The Turks have absorbed more different religions than I can remember. A Turk may not agree with your religious belief, but they won't try to kill you because of it. They will point out the good stuff of Islam, like dealing with dopers and rapists, and their history, which is mind boggling as far as who has occupied and ruled over what is now Turkey. They also throw pretty good parties. Another Raki, anyone?

    September 6, 2010 at 5:30 am |
  20. Hall


    September 6, 2010 at 5:22 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.