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. Fernando F.

    this "fear" of Muslims is equivalent to the fear of witches in Salem.
    Some Americans are ready to burn them alive.
    It seems that having somebody to hate makes them feel better about their lives, like superiors, more worthy... very pathetic.

    September 5, 2010 at 9:47 pm |
    • Fred

      I really do not believe Muslims will ever be harmed in this country with the exception of occasional lunatic. But, what is happening is the United States is getting more info and education on the Muslim Religion than ever before. The vast majority are pushing back and are repulsed by it.

      The majority are not idiots or racists. They just do not like the religion. It goes against their core values.

      September 5, 2010 at 9:56 pm |
    • Greg

      Fred, I feel the same way about Christianity. Will you give up Easter for me?

      September 6, 2010 at 12:17 am |
    • Greg

      Fred, the problem is your getting your info and education from sources like FoxNews and Glen Beck. That's no education chief. That's indoctrination into the feeble mind club. Where hate and ignorance is a plus.

      September 6, 2010 at 12:20 am |
    • Fred


      I think you are speaking for yourself. If you ask people (outside of your inner circle) you will find out they are not very keen on it.

      September 6, 2010 at 6:33 am |
  2. MJ

    I am a muslim doctor, I will be on call this 9/11 treating ALL people regardless of color, religion or name!

    September 5, 2010 at 9:45 pm |
  3. MarkYelka

    It's mind boggling that people actually believe in any god, let alone one that inspires such hatred. I just wish god could be flushed down the toilet, along with people's insecurity that keeps them hoping for a god to fix their lives.

    September 5, 2010 at 9:43 pm |
  4. NHPatriot

    CAIR is not only an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case - so named by the Justice Department. Also, CAIR operatives have repeatedly refused to denounce Hamas and Hizballah as terrorist groups. Several former CAIR officials have been convicted of various crimes related to jihad terror, and CAIR's cofounder and longtime Board chairman (Omar Ahmad), as well as its chief spokesman (Ibrahim Hooper), have made Islamic supremacist statements.(http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=53303)

    I'm not buyng Mr. Hoopers BS.

    September 5, 2010 at 9:39 pm |
    • Xugos

      AIFD is the closest thing to a unified voice for American muslims. I think you'll like this organization, Google it.

      September 5, 2010 at 9:41 pm |
    • iac249

      Nonsense. CAIR is being smeared because, let's face it, some invested interests don't want to see Muslims gain any real social enfranchisement. Support civil liberties in America. Support CAIR.

      September 5, 2010 at 9:59 pm |
    • Sasha

      Truth is different than smearing someone.

      September 5, 2010 at 10:43 pm |
  5. Brandon

    They should be worried. Guilt is a beyotch.

    September 5, 2010 at 9:37 pm |
  6. lilgtogirl

    Wow. I never thought being an American would seem to ugly. I am ashamed to be living in a country with such close-minded ignorance. Stop bring September 11th into everything. It certainly did not cause many men to feel the need to join the military to fight the war on terror as the Pearl Harbor bombing did. I am an American woman in Afghanistan. If I dont see ramadan as a threat why do you? Dont talk out of your ass about terrorism from middle America. Come here, to the front lines, and see the real face of evil. Its not Ramadan or Islam. Merely taliban.

    September 5, 2010 at 9:37 pm |
    • Kate


      You noticed the absence of all these patriots over there too huh? I think they're willing, to give them credit – they just have to finish Halo: Boot Camp first ...

      Just sayin'

      September 5, 2010 at 9:45 pm |
    • Fred

      It is not a threat at the moment. But it will be.

      September 5, 2010 at 9:49 pm |
    • Xugos

      Some Americans not eating Sunrise to Sunset is totally a threat LOL.

      September 5, 2010 at 9:51 pm |
    • Kate

      Some of them not eating hourly is mortal danger 😛

      Just sayin'

      September 5, 2010 at 9:57 pm |
  7. Mike

    As usual, apparently our biggest concern is the eternally hypothetical "anti-Muslim backlash" that stubbornly refuses to materialize in the US despite the perennial warnings of Islam's apologists in the West.

    September 5, 2010 at 9:36 pm |
  8. Henry


    September 5, 2010 at 9:34 pm |
  9. The Juan LeBron

    Stop letting the MEDIA TELL YOU WHAT TO THINK. Its our fault for letting Bush in office simple as that,the best thing we can do is learn from it!...Why shouldnt we build a place of worship near 9/11 thats what we need, a place were people can come and pray and learn new things that can better our spiritual selves.. We need this church so we have a place to go to and pray for those that were lost in 9/11

    September 5, 2010 at 9:33 pm |
  10. rdc

    they're nervous??!!!???!!
    Good.. Now they know how it feels...

    September 5, 2010 at 9:33 pm |
  11. MarkYelka

    With stonings, whipping, and amputations, Islam is certainly today's most intolerant major religion. And, I can't help believing that religious adherents are dumb. Dumb and cruel.

    September 5, 2010 at 9:30 pm |
    • Ras


      Dumb and cruel could just be a cultural thing, but religious indoctrination can do stuff like that super easy. I expect there to be exceptions to your rule, otherwise you are being dumb and cruel yourself.

      September 5, 2010 at 9:40 pm |
    • MarkYelka

      Whether it is a god, elves, or leprecauns, who would believe this? Dumb: because religionists stop critical thinking in favor of fairy tales. Cruel: real bodily injury; not words. And, Islam's actions tell all that they should be feared.

      September 5, 2010 at 10:00 pm |
  12. neinil

    Gosh, I'd think they'd be nervous about the woman in Iran getting 99 lashes for not wearing a head scarf. Carnivals would really be second place in my mind.

    September 5, 2010 at 9:30 pm |
    • ZU

      Thats like saying. You shouldn't celebrate xmas, because, women get rapped,beat, and killed by their own spouses here in the USA.

      September 6, 2010 at 12:05 pm |
  13. Tired

    Wow, after reading all of these comments I only have one question. Do all of you sit in the same room and come up with things to say? First of all who ever wrote that the celebration pictures were from 1990 your a complete idiot. Second, if their celebration is on the same day as 9/11 fine throw a party do what ever you want this is free country. Regardless of what you do there is always somebody that will judge you. Look at Christians, we say Christmas and every free loading liberal comes out and screams. Just make sure that you guys get the word out. As for all of you liberals trying to start a fight shut up.

    September 5, 2010 at 9:28 pm |
    • Greg

      Wow Tired the right wing conservative is tired of the liberals standing up for what's right. I'm shocked.

      September 5, 2010 at 11:54 pm |
  14. healer

    Ramadan and thereligionofpeace.com

    Ramadan 2010 Scorecard
    Day 25
    In the name of
    The Religion
    of Peace

    Terror Attacks

    Dead Bodies

    September 5, 2010 at 9:27 pm |
    • Iqbal khan


      September 5, 2010 at 9:31 pm |
  15. Terry

    Sorry, I do not buy into any of these posts.

    September 5, 2010 at 9:27 pm |
    • Xugos

      Which ones?

      September 5, 2010 at 9:29 pm |
  16. Rooster

    Muslims dancing in the streets on 9/11...just like they did 9 years ago?
    Nah, probably no one will think anything about it!

    September 5, 2010 at 9:27 pm |
  17. Henry


    September 5, 2010 at 9:25 pm |
  18. Ikram

    This is Ridicules. The Eid celebration Has Been Going on for 1400 years. Why Would a Few Radical People that decide to blow up the building change this religious Holiday? Do they ALL Represent The 1.5 billion Muslims around the world?

    September 5, 2010 at 9:25 pm |
  19. Muhammad

    Actually on 9/11 day itself there was a group that was cought celebraiting filming the event on top of one of the buildings. Remember the news on that day that group of people was actually released. The authorities didnot send them to Guantanamo, they deported them to Israel becuase they were citizins from that country. Do you guys remember that piece of news??

    September 5, 2010 at 9:25 pm |
    • Haters

      muslims hate israel, The USA loves Israel.

      September 5, 2010 at 9:28 pm |
    • Xugos

      No, muslims do not hate Israel, FFS.

      September 5, 2010 at 9:29 pm |
  20. Haters

    Al Queda reason for attacking the USA, among others, is their hate for israel and the support that the USA gives to them, well deserved I may add.All the uhmma hates the state of israel, but demand the privileges of living in the USA, and will keep defending the motives of the perpretators of 911. They may disagree with the acts, but ALL agree with the motives. They support and give comfort the enemy of the USA.

    September 5, 2010 at 9:25 pm |
    • Xugos

      Speak for your self, fool, I most certainly do not hate Israel; I am a muslim. Most other muslims I know either like Israel, or are neutral towards it.

      September 5, 2010 at 9:26 pm |
    • Ras

      I very much doubt that you know very many muslims. You need to be more honest if you are going to defend Islam. I know you might be one of those who prefer peace, but you must be honest. It will bring you respect.

      September 5, 2010 at 9:36 pm |
    • Xugos

      The area in which I live in has 2500 muslims, I think I qualify for knowing quite a few.

      September 5, 2010 at 9:37 pm |
    • Fred

      I am glad people are starting to recognize this. I have know it for many years.

      A true Muslim could never be truly loyal to the United States. It is against their teachings.

      September 5, 2010 at 9:43 pm |
    • Xugos

      Fred All I have to say to you is:

      Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan. U.S. ARMY. KIA, Baqouba Iraq, August 9th 2007. Bronze Star, Purple Heart. He was an American Muslim.

      Nice to know that there are those in the United States of America who would rather dismiss his sacrifice as a "traitorous dog" than face the truth of the matter that there are loyal muslims.

      September 5, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
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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.