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. ttruong

    I hope everyone leaves all the mosques in the us alone to celebrate their holiday. I mean they didn't design the calendar; past people did.

    September 5, 2010 at 8:40 pm |
    • Sasha

      Many of the alleged hate crimes against Muslims have been proven to be staged by those Muslims reporting them. CAIR always goes all victim-y for no good reason. There's no reason to believe that Muslims are in any greater danger of being hate crime victims on 9/11 than on any other day but they sure as hell like to demand that others respect their beliefs while at the same time trampling on the beliefs of others. Respect, apparently, is a one-way street.

      September 5, 2010 at 10:08 pm |
    • Xugos

      Nice of you to make that blanket statement, Sasha, I don't recall trampling or being intolerant to the beliefs of others EVER.

      September 5, 2010 at 10:10 pm |
  2. CSh

    September 11 is my daughter's birthday. I can tell you she fully understands how it feels to have your celebration stolen. 🙁

    September 5, 2010 at 8:40 pm |
    • Junaid

      yeah.. i bet, but i dont think you should ever let that intimidate you...

      im muslim, and my bros birthday is on 9-10... for a couple years after we celebrated it couple days after but realized we didnt commit those crimes, we shouldnt be punished and in fact we wont let someone scare us into thinking we shouldnt celebrate my brothers birthday

      September 5, 2010 at 9:13 pm |
  3. pullmyfinger

    "Because Muslims follow a lunar calendar, the holiday falls roughly 11 days earlier with each passing year", This writer does understand that we are on a lunar calender too right?

    September 5, 2010 at 8:40 pm |
    • Xugos

      The gregorian calendar (the one we use right now) is a solar-based calendar. If it was a lunar calendar, it would snow in July occasionally.

      September 5, 2010 at 8:42 pm |
    • klarg

      Well we are not on a lunar calendar – haven't been for hundreds of years.

      September 5, 2010 at 8:43 pm |
    • CSh

      We who? Jews follow a lunar calendar. But the calendar most Americans follow isn't lunar. A lunar calendar follows the phases of the moon.

      September 5, 2010 at 8:43 pm |
    • A.N

      No, we are not....

      September 5, 2010 at 8:55 pm |
  4. billp

    This is the Christian States of America, and all that noble-sounding, idealistic talk about religious tolerance and freedom is just that – talk unless you also are a Christian. The Christian Right views all non-Christians as 2nd-class citizens. They have a right to feel however they want, just spare me the blather about this country being special, a shining city on a hill, the last best hope of mankind on earth, etc.

    September 5, 2010 at 8:39 pm |
  5. white

    Well for your infrmation,the largest # for death caused by spouses beating their partner is here in the USA.

    September 5, 2010 at 8:39 pm |
    • RightTurnClyde

      Well that's a switch .. you liberals kept saying it was guns up til now

      September 11, 2010 at 1:47 pm |
  6. Xugos

    Lol, you mad? Sounds like you're jealous of Obama's wife, but that's just me.

    September 5, 2010 at 8:37 pm |
  7. Greg

    grow up loser.

    September 5, 2010 at 8:37 pm |
  8. kaamil

    iam a muslim, and have nothing to do with september 11 horrific. i strongly condemn what happened to those innocent people back there. every body knows that every three has a bad apple, terrorists are the bad parts of a muslim; being a muslim doesn't mean to feel guilt of a crime done by those blood thirst idiots. iam a muslim, and i will celebrate september 11th, and wonder who is gonna ask me why? even though i feel as sad as most of none muslim americans about september 11th. muslims shouldn't have fear of people that exceeds that of allah, so don't worry be happy and celebrate the eid

    September 5, 2010 at 8:35 pm |
  9. bjnj

    Parrots just bellowing the ravings of other idiots, hence the name PARROT. On 9/11 we had enough of Izzy's dancing in the streets. BJNJ

    September 5, 2010 at 8:34 pm |
  10. Rob

    Im an American Muslim and i don't know anyone who is nervous about it. Silly news people i think.

    September 5, 2010 at 8:34 pm |
    • Junaid

      im an american muslim as well... im completely agree with you

      September 5, 2010 at 9:00 pm |
    • Junaid

      sorry for the bad grammer... I completely agree with you....

      September 5, 2010 at 9:02 pm |
  11. Dave

    I guess you could say it is respectful that they don't want to celebrate but don't try and twist the reason for your canceling of festivities as fearing for your life. On 9/11 (Saturday) this year there will be plenty of celebrating of other kinds that won't be deemed disrespectful. I see muslim women everyday and none of them are ever mistreated, for the most part they are very distant and never respond to polite conversation but are more inclined to move away from socializing. I have noticed that a lot of children that were raised in muslim families are not as extreme in their devotion to their religion.

    September 5, 2010 at 8:32 pm |
    • Xugos

      Exactly. Nothing annoys me more than people trying to play the victim. Things aren't perfect, but in relation to the world, America is a wonderful place for muslims like me to practice their religion.

      September 5, 2010 at 8:34 pm |
  12. Truth

    For the record, it was actually the Israeli Mossad who bombed the U.S.S. Cole. Please stop spreading more hateful lies...

    September 5, 2010 at 8:29 pm |
    • Xugos

      And here, ladies and gentlemen, is your daily conspiracy whackjob. Good day.

      September 5, 2010 at 8:30 pm |
    • Junaid

      actually it was israel... and if you think we are nutjobs, do research for yourselves... they have interviews with the crew members, and members of our government that know israel did it.. youtube it, watch the interviews then ask yourself who is crazy.... the guy who claimed it was true or the guy who denied it....

      September 5, 2010 at 8:58 pm |
    • wasabiwahabi

      Ah, the first muslim revisionist is about to tell us that bin laden is really Santa Claus.

      September 5, 2010 at 10:09 pm |
  13. gregor mendel

    Ask yourself, would a Christian in any muslim country be allow to celebrate a holiday around a national day of mourning for that country?

    September 5, 2010 at 8:27 pm |
    • Xugos

      Ask yourself, why do you want to turn into that which you abhor the most?

      And Christians celebrate Christmas in Indonesia and Pakistan, just fyi.

      September 5, 2010 at 8:29 pm |
    • Fahim Lodhi

      actually yeah they would be...

      September 5, 2010 at 8:32 pm |
    • MNCitizen

      In Saudi Arabia other religions are not permitted. You cannot have a Bible or cross. Christmas is not allowed. If a Christian or other non Moslem dies in the Saudi Arabia, they cannot be buried there. The dead have to be flown out of the country and buried elsewhere. When Moslems start complaining about the way Saudi Arabia treats non Moslems, I may be convinced they actually do support diversity and equality.

      September 5, 2010 at 8:43 pm |
    • Xugos

      My sect of Islam isn't even allowed in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia composes a very small percentage of the total muslim world population. Saudi Arabia isn't a fair example of a muslim state, when countries like India and Indonesia where there are the first and second largest muslim populations in the world, completely allow you to celebrate Christmas.

      Even some non-secular muslim countries like Pakistan allow Christians to celebrate/bury their dead with dignity.

      Either way, we are not ANY OF those countries, we are better, we were founded on religious LIBERTY. I DO NOT WANT TO BECOME an oppresive state like Saudi Arabia.

      September 5, 2010 at 8:46 pm |
  14. Fahim Lodhi


    Don't you think American Muslims who lost loved ones morn too? Do you not see them as Americans in your eyes? Stop being so IGNORANT! As a Muslim, but as an American Muslim I welcome diversity, and every 9/11 I have a personal moment of silence to pray for EVERY AMERICAN that lost his or her life that day. Don't tell me Muslims can't be good Americans! Don't tell me that I am not a good American because I love America!

    September 5, 2010 at 8:27 pm |
    • MNCitizen

      You are the exception. Most Moslems emphasize that Moslems died on 9-11, but they don't care about the others. The others are just infidels.

      September 5, 2010 at 8:38 pm |
    • Xugos

      They emphasize that muslims died not because they don't care for the other victims, but they want to feel apart of the America that was attacked. I hate fear/hate mongers like yourself who spread lies about muslims like me so people hate us even more than they do now.

      September 5, 2010 at 8:40 pm |
    • john

      Well said by a Muslim who only thinks of the Muslims who got killed! I bet most Muslims celebrate their deaths as some acceptable collateral damage! Anyway those Muslims who got killed will get their "72 virgins". Muslims do not consider infidels as worth anything otherwise.

      September 5, 2010 at 9:27 pm |
    • Fahim Lodhi


      you must not have read my post. I said I have a moment of silence for EVERY AMERICAN!

      September 5, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
    • Fahim Lodhi


      If I am an "exception", then all 7 Million AMERICAN Muslims are too. Organizations, like Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), and Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) are just a couple of Islamic organizations that always voice their hate for terrorism, and anything or anyone associated with it.

      September 5, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
  15. Arsio

    Like Americans dont beat their wives....

    September 5, 2010 at 8:25 pm |
    • Fred

      True, but it is against the law in the United States. That is a huge difference.

      September 5, 2010 at 10:01 pm |
      • Wzrd1

        What is against the law in the US, Fred?

        September 5, 2010 at 11:29 pm |
    • wasabiwahabi

      Arsio, you are a classic dupe. Typical muslim rhetoric. It's called, "equivocation," where you try to find some,e erroneous moral equivalency to justify horrific crimes. You point with one finger and pull a trigger with another.

      September 6, 2010 at 12:47 am |
    • M&M

      at least when they're caught they are punished for it. Unlike Muslims. They condone that mess.

      September 6, 2010 at 1:45 am |
  16. Arnab

    Yes... fear is the best response to slander and bigotry.

    September 5, 2010 at 8:25 pm |
  17. sczlittle

    No SH!T>> And FoxNoise Is Push the Lies and HATE. HOW VERY SAD

    September 5, 2010 at 8:24 pm |
  18. American

    9/11 is a day to be respected and honored for those who fell victim to the attacks in NY, Arlington, and PA. Regardless of intention, Muslims living in the US should be sensitive to what the date represents. As Americans, we should move on as one but never forget!

    September 5, 2010 at 8:24 pm |
  19. Bobby

    Bigotry is bad , no matter who it is against.. The Facts, nothing but the facts.. FBI Crime Statistics track 1606 Religious Hate Crimes in America in 2008.. 65.7 % were against Jews, 7,7% were against Muslims, 4,7% were against Catholics and 3.7 % were against Protestants..

    September 5, 2010 at 8:24 pm |
    • Xugos

      So where did the other 18.2% go?

      September 5, 2010 at 8:25 pm |
    • Bill

      I believe Israel is also a Terrorist Nation. We in America would have to be blind and stupid to not believe that. Why do you think America is so close to them. Keep your frinds close and your enemies even closer. If they were so friendly to us, why would they have stolen US Government Secrets for the past 40-50 years. Like I said, we are not blind, we are not stupid, but I sure question if we are ignorant or not.

      September 5, 2010 at 8:35 pm |
    • wasabiwahabi

      Bigotry is simply the lack of any bland deceit of the intellectually verbose. Get to the point. I hate people who kill women with stones. I am scared of people who walk into supermarkets with dynamite strapped to their hollow chests. Bigotry is survival.

      September 5, 2010 at 10:08 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      I find it hard to believe in a horseradish fundamentalist. For those confused, look up both parts of WW's name.
      You insult a good food!

      September 5, 2010 at 10:49 pm |
  20. danny

    Why is it Bush's fault a bunch of religious wackos terrorized this country? I think it shows alot of compassion and understanding that people are willing to delay celebrating the end of ramadan for one day.

    September 5, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
    • Texasnative

      Why blame Bush? It's simple, it's because he was leading his own group of idiot wackos, better known as conservative Christians, to make our country to be how they want it. It was him and his misguided advisors who insisted upon creating a war for bogus reasons i.e. "intelligence". G.W. Bush has many sins against his fellow Americans and humanity at large to answer for.

      September 5, 2010 at 9:00 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.