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. nobody999

    Not sure why Muslims are scared in America, Americans didn't blow up any muslim holy sites in America. Have your Ramidan, have it in peace. In our country we have the honor to not attack people observing religious rites, we don't blow up civilians carrying out daily shopping, we don't smoke people because of ideological differences. Pretty sure your're safe. Make sure your associates understand that and show the same respect, instead of the Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Years day attacks that the muslims carry out every year against American and Western troops. It's a two way street, and so far the only ones I've seen demonstrating honor is the West.

    September 6, 2010 at 2:53 pm |
    • jspitzer

      "The West"? So like Serbia right? They never did anything to Muslims right? In fact, Christian Serbian terrorists have killed more Muslims than Muslim Terrorists have killed Christians in the past 30 years. Don't be silly and throw out words like "The West" when you really don't know what that even means

      September 7, 2010 at 12:24 am |
  2. Fran182

    But it DOESN"T coincide with Sept 11th. Eid is going to be on Sept. 9th or 10th. Not the 11th.

    September 6, 2010 at 2:11 pm |
  3. Kaddafi_Delenda_Est

    American Muslims have apparently been in a coma (both before and after 9/11) since they appear to think 9/11 was the only incident of Muslims attacking non-Muslims. If they weren’t in a coma, there’s no excuse for such gross stupidity.

    Muslims must take some responsibility for their global jihad when thousands of their co-religionists over the past two decades kill thousands of innocents of every religion around the world; and when they deprive non-Muslims of their human rights in 57 of 57 Muslim governed countries.

    Look. American Muslims may be the very soul of moderation. But I don’t think it’s unreasonable for folks to ask for more from (allegedly) “peaceful” Muslims than disingenuous whitewashing of uncomfortable elements of Islamic sharia tradition, as practiced in Iran, Gaza, Kashmir, Malaysia, the Paris banlieue... and (pointedly) Cordoba House in NYC.

    A genuine tiny minority of anti-jihadist Muslims may be found @ SecularIslam.org.

    Americans remain breathless in anticipation of the vast majority of (allegedly) “peaceful” American Muslims supporting this genuinely tiny minority of their co-religionists... but don’t hold your breath.

    +15K deadly Islamo-supremacist attacks since 9/11 don’t lie.

    Don't parrot the propaganda lies of Islamo-supremacists your whole life, CNN Quislings.

    September 6, 2010 at 1:36 pm |
  4. denver2

    "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,"

    Hey look Christians, he is more Christian than you are even though he's a Muslim. Weird, right?

    September 6, 2010 at 12:14 pm |
  5. ZU

    Bin Laden is as real as santa. Wake up!!!

    September 6, 2010 at 12:11 pm |
  6. Londe

    One day god and allah decided that the people should have organized religion so they can go out and kill everyone who doesn't think they are loving gods....be sure to kill women and children first.....what a bunch of dumb a$$'s you all are, religious fanatics are scary any more.

    September 6, 2010 at 11:47 am |
  7. George

    They have a right to be nervous, I saw a question on-line today asking if Muslims will ever be acceapted in American. My answer to them is that the Japanese were following WWII and only after several decades. And then only after they adapted to the American way of life and proved beyond all doubt that they could be trusted. In short I doubt that ever happens in this case because Islam will never allow them to fully adapt and prove themselves.

    An OIF War Veteran

    September 6, 2010 at 11:45 am |
  8. realist

    As a former Muslim, let me make something very clear: these holy warriors everyone wants to call "extremist". Are not anything more then exactly what their religion tells them to do. They have not hijacked Islam. Islam is 2 faceted religion. There is a peacful side and a violent side and the 2 go hand in hand. It is a core teaching of the religion that non-believers are living an evil life and that the most loving thing they can do for us ia either convert us or kill us. By killing us they are doing us a favor by preventing us from living further in sin. Those muslims who tell us it is a peaceful religion, in their mind that is the truth. Much like any other country going to war to promote peace, so to does the Islamic religionwage war against nonbeleivers. To bring peace. All anyone has to do to see the deception is look around. If you need more convincing, go buy a Quran and read it yourself.

    September 6, 2010 at 10:59 am |
    • ZU

      You were not Muslim. I have never heard of such a thing. If you were then you should know why the revelation to fight back came about.

      September 6, 2010 at 12:16 pm |
  9. CommonSense

    You mudslimes should be nervous. We will be watching you like a hawk. Keep up your roach brained ways and there will, I repeat, there will be a second crusades and we won't be coming with swords and spears this time.

    September 6, 2010 at 10:47 am |
    • jspitzer

      A 2nd Crusade? There were 9 of them and in the end the Christians lost. You mean to say there will be a 10th Crusade. But you will be fighting it against the Jews in Israel since they control to Holy Land. And it won't be the first time the past 75 years that Christians have attacked Jews. But good luck I guess. given your record "Crusading" I think you'll need it.

      September 7, 2010 at 12:28 am |
  10. ASMA

    As a former Muslim who have become a happy Atheist (because of a comparative and self-imposed study of the faiths including Christianity), I can't help but shake my head about the whole fiasco. If can say any word of advice it is for the ones who think they are educated (one of them bragged that he is among the top 5% in education and financial wealth!), I say think again because your ignorance was dripping and dappling all over your lines! Now, for the Muslims Ramadan can not be more than 30 days and the Eid has to be on Thu or Fri. Do your think and on Sat light candles and pray for the victims and maybe do some community service. That would be a good message. Although my atheist makes me sad to see fundamentalist religious people drag the whole nation to their narrow interpretation and mind, my belief in the constitution tells me to defend every ones right to believe as they please! For those open minded people ESPECIALLY the service members who served in some Muslim countries and came back here and were defending the Muslims, I say thank you for your service to protect this constitution both by gun and the pen, you are our true treasure.
    I read a story some time ago that goes like this: “When they attacked the Jewish, I said I was not a Jewish and I did not rise up to defend them, and when they attached the Catholics, I said I was not a Catholic so I did not rise up to defend them. When they attacked the Mormons, I again said I was not one of them and did not rise up to speak for them. It went on and on and when they finally attacked me, I looked around and there was no one else to rise up.” May peace be on all of us and my intelligence trump ignorance.

    September 6, 2010 at 10:37 am |
  11. v1rot8

    If you really cared about sept 11th you would organize memorial events to recognize the the 9/11 event as a tragedy, not worry about being scared on 9/11. This is exactly why muslims are looked at as troublemakers, you constantly skirt the issues at hand and do not directly engage them. Why don't you have a day of prayer for those who died instead of going to six flags ?
    You are your own worst enemies, do something to show america you REALLY care. I'm sure someone will spin this into hate speech or islam-o-fobia....not at all, just telling you how other people look at you and what you do. take it how ever you want.

    September 6, 2010 at 10:09 am |
  12. Mohammad, CA

    America is a beautiful and Free country. If some people have a problem with Eid being on 9/11 that is their choice and their problem, I don't care and couldn't care less. If those people try to force their their opinion on us, we and the rest of the nation has the strength and wisdom to deal with them.
    The strength of this nation is its high ideals and values not those small minded people. Of course every nation has some of those type of people, but so what! IF it wasn't for the bad, how would we know good?

    September 6, 2010 at 9:55 am |
  13. Teri

    The way the Muslim religion is practiced today is so far off course from its orgins that Mohammad wouldn't recognize it if he were to come back today (the same way I suspect Jesus wouldn't recognize "Christianity"). The problem that most Americans have with the Muslim faith is that it goes against this country's recent (in the scope of of history) ideas on how women and children are treated (not as property). The women's right movement in this country was a profound social battle, and to see a migration of Muslims coming into this country that devalues one half of the world's population makes us nervous... that and the 1% of Muslim terrorists out there blowing people up everyday in their "jihad". 9/11 is a sensitive day in this country , and the Muslims who are moving the celebrations by a day and/or toning down are showing some sensitivity at last.

    September 6, 2010 at 9:55 am |
  14. cmr

    well – if you don't like the sentiment of the country – don't let the door hit your rag-ridden *ss on the way out. And for the ubber liberals on this board – 70% don't want the mosque... which means alot of your LEFT brothers and sisters are counted in that number.

    September 6, 2010 at 9:46 am |
  15. JohnJohn

    What is it with American Muslims who are hell bent with playing the victims. There are exceptionally few "hate" crimes committed against Muslims in America, as a matter a fact their are more "fake" hate crimes reported by Muslims than actual hate crimes. Muslims have murdered a hell of a lot more Americans in the U.S. than vise versa. Jews in the U.S are attacked at a much larger rate than Muslim and they're generally attacked by American Muslims.

    September 6, 2010 at 9:43 am |
  16. missadrian

    Please listen to online lectures on Islam, by Muslim American respected leaders at: http://newafricaradio.com/

    September 6, 2010 at 9:35 am |
  17. missadrian

    Ask questions about Islam to Muslims with clear understanding. Call: 1-877-WhyIslam (24 hour hotline). Visit: http://whyislam.org/

    September 6, 2010 at 9:33 am |
  18. Cletus

    If I were them I wouldn't just be nervous one day out of the year. Not in the US.

    September 6, 2010 at 9:31 am |
  19. Alert Citizen

    I am not a muslim and I would say that as Americans we cannot bother Muslims on the celebration of their religious festival. If the X-mas bomber would have been successful then would we have stopped celebrating X-mas at Airport forever?

    September 6, 2010 at 9:30 am |
  20. Nancy Tomlinson

    I am a Christian I am also an American and I am proud our country has freedom of religion. I also grieve that there is so much bigotry and racial/religious/cultural hatred in our country. I do not know what would be a 'propler' blessing or prayer for my Muslin brothers and sisters during this, your holy time, but God bless and keep you. And may the day come when we may celebrate our faiths without fear no matter where we live in whatever country we live in. And for those of you who are having to change your normal celebrations because of fear, I ask your forgiveness 9/11 was a terrible thing but not all Muslims are responsible for that. For those of you who are changing your normal plans out of respect for what happened that day, thank you on behalf of all who still grieve – all those who grieve from all faiths who suffered.

    September 6, 2010 at 9:26 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.