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. EidBoy

    Happy Ramadan to all true believers. Please forgive my ignorant brothers who hate things without understanding them at all.

    September 5, 2010 at 11:03 pm |
    • Xugos


      September 5, 2010 at 11:03 pm |
  2. Nursehope

    It is a sad reflection on 21st century America. Low information citizens being pumped full of fear and hatred by the corporate media and fueled by the GOP.It resembles the propaganda machine of Russia in their heyday. What will it take to wake up these people to the truth and facts?

    September 5, 2010 at 10:59 pm |
  3. Karen

    They should be.

    September 5, 2010 at 10:59 pm |
    • Arrr!

      A woman!


      September 5, 2010 at 11:11 pm |
  4. fifo

    only iran can kill u for being a christan?!! What a lie ,u people don't know nothing about muslims country.egypt,iraq,nigeria kidnap ,kill & burn christan churches, Muslims stop playing victims & u american stop being stupid.Go listen to muslim emams at the end of thier prayers they asking God to burn American & christan in Hell.cause u dont understand arabic they foul u.go switch to any arabic chanel & use a transulator & u will hear what they really say.u americans know nothing 🙁

    September 5, 2010 at 10:58 pm |
    • Xugos

      Most muslims don't speak Arabic, so naturally most imams don't give their sermon in Arabic. Also, there is not a single country in the middle east that will execute you for being a Christian. Some random punks might, but not the government. Most people claiming this have never visited ANY muslim-majority country.

      September 5, 2010 at 11:00 pm |
  5. Reality

    Considering all Muslims have been victimized by the great Gabriel con, on 9/11 they should burn their korans. And Christians should burn their NT's come Easter for being victimized by the great Resurrection con!!

    September 5, 2010 at 10:57 pm |
  6. Ruspanic

    I don't think American Muslims should have to reschedule their holy day because of the anniversary of 9/11, but I respect those who would do so willingly. Granted, it might be kind of hard to celebrate and mourn at the same time...

    September 5, 2010 at 10:56 pm |
    • Xugos

      Eid's not on the 11th by the way.

      September 5, 2010 at 10:57 pm |
  7. Yo Mama

    This wouldnt be a problem in the first place if we would just get rid of religion

    September 5, 2010 at 10:52 pm |
    • Vijai

      Agreed. Muslims are a strange breed. They love to kill each other and kill everyone else. In history even before the crusades the number of Muslims killed by fellow Muslims is the highest ever. I guess one way to look at it is the twin infidels Abdullah Al Allah and Allah al Abdullah hate each other and everyone else. Of course there are few Muslims who truly love life and laughter but the vast majority live in sadness, and anger. Recently there was a comedy show in Amman and the crowd was shocked as they did not know how to laugh! The crowd apparently enjoyed the comedy show but it was a rarity in their lives. Can you imagine a Pakistani laughing? I have yet to see a Pakistani on TV laughing! All I see is anger and sadness. Such is the tragedy and the American Muslim has themselves to blame – their cockeyed religion! It all starts with the stupid Madrasas their hatred school where the kids are indoctrinated with hate and anger. If they inject comedy, tolerance, and enjoyment then the Muslims will be respected.

      September 6, 2010 at 12:32 am |
  8. Sonmore

    Seeing how RELIGION gets everyone to DO a number here? This makes no one happier than your popes, imams, rabiis, etc – all of whom will be miserably out of their pathetic jobs without your rabid following. WAKE UP PEOPLE!

    September 5, 2010 at 10:47 pm |
  9. Hasib from Canada

    Guys guys guys.
    Let's get the fact straight, Eid will be on either Sept 9th or Sept 10th. CNN should get their acts in gear and remove this article from their site, because it's just promoting hatred because of false date in the story.

    September 5, 2010 at 10:45 pm |
  10. txrdgteacher

    personally, I think it's quite wise to not celebrate on this date. It's just courtesy at work. The 'when in Rome do as the Romans do' seems appropriate. I wouldn't celebrate the 4th of July quite freely in England, would I? It just isn't appropriate. This would be a slap in the face of all who lost loved ones on this day during the attacks. Let's continue to honor those who had no choice by making choices that are respectful, shall we?

    September 5, 2010 at 10:43 pm |
  11. Sherry in Kentucky

    I would like to take this opportunity to deeply and sincerely apologize to our Muslim American citizens for some of the really ugly things said on this blog. All of us are not that ignorant, though many of us are. I think it is the same all over the world, but Americans are free to say what they think. . . a blessing and a curse. . .but mostly a blessing.

    September 5, 2010 at 10:42 pm |
    • Xugos

      There's nothing to apologize about 🙂 but I think it's quite obvious that the few posters on this boards that are spewing venom are either trolls or confused, some may be sincere, but that's just my view.

      September 5, 2010 at 10:46 pm |
  12. dwighthuth

    See why Osama Bin Laden attacked America on 9.11.01. He hopes that all American's will hate Muslims for celebrating on 9.11.01 which is close to their day of celebration. Bin Laden hopes that American's will hate Muslims so much because of the proximity of Ramadan to the 9.11.01 attacks that American's will attack Muslim's across the country out of fear and anger thus justifying the Taliban and Al-Queada to continue their attacks around the world. It's the same issue with the Islamic Facility that the Islamist's are trying to build near Ground Zero. The terrorists hope that such notions are deemed disrepectfull to cause American's to hate Muslim's. Muslim's celebrating Ramadan on the 10th is okay because the celebration occured before 9.11.01 but the building of the Islamic facility near Ground Zero is not okay because the wanting to build the facility came after 9.11.01.

    September 5, 2010 at 10:42 pm |
    • MrsFizzy

      You're right about the reasons behind it . And I wonder how many people realize they are playing right into Bin Laden's & AQ's hands with their hateful reactions to all Muslims. But as for the mosque / center, someone posted that they group had already been worshipping on the site before 9/11..? Someone will say it was always part of the plan from the beginning I'm sure...

      September 5, 2010 at 11:46 pm |
  13. Peace

    We should all be toleant of eachother and be willing to show the rest of the world that America is not that steryotype that is stuck up and selfish, we should sow the world that we r care about all the types of people rather then just one religion. I livew in the US and i m proud to say that i love my country, but discriminating against one religion doesnt make us any better then the other wartorn/3rd world countries

    September 5, 2010 at 10:35 pm |
    • ProudAmerican

      With all due respect. Tolerant means that you are willing to deal with someone even if you don't like it. I think its better if we try to learn about the other cultures and try to understand them, to walk in their shoes, see things from their point of view, maybe try to be accepting. If we can't be accepting, then we can be tolerant.

      September 5, 2010 at 11:12 pm |
  14. Sarah

    Freedom of Religion. That's all I have to say.

    September 5, 2010 at 10:34 pm |
  15. Qalam96

    Hiroshima was bombed on August 6, 1945. What would you think if the Japanese asked you to respect their losses (many times greater than the losses on 9/11) by canceling or rescheduling the major religious festival in the Anglican and Catholic churches that celebrates on that day the Ascension of Jesus. The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not the work of a small number of terrorists but an act by the Government with the approval of the vast majority of the people. It's time to turn the page and get on with life. Jesus commands his followers to love their enemies and to do good to those that hate them. Yet it seems that thousands, perhaps millions, of American Christians cannot even find it in their hearts to show kindness and mercy to their Muslim fellow citizens who had NOTHING to do with the events of 9/11.

    September 5, 2010 at 10:32 pm |
  16. LWyman

    I want to wish all the Muslims, both in the United States and around the world, have a joyous Eid ul-Fitr and I hope that this year's Ramadan went well.

    Don't care what the other small-minded bigots living in this country say, you all should enjoy this holiday and the rest of us really should take this as an opportunity to learn more about your religion and ourselves.

    Peace be upon all y'all from an Arkansan

    September 5, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
  17. John Galt

    You are far safer in the U.S. than the all the people in the Twin Towers were from the armed fanatics of radical Islam. Here in the U.S. we are a nation of laws. We may not believe as you but we do not send suicide bombers to destroy people in our nation who don't believe as we do. Go about your day, enjoy your holidays and thank G-d you live in the USA and not the middle east.

    September 5, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
    • MrsFizzy

      Yeah and nevermind all the ordinary Muslims in the world who also say ""We" do not send suicide bombers to kill people..."

      September 5, 2010 at 11:42 pm |
  18. Wood

    kill the infidels!!!!

    i'm not really sure who the infidels are, at this point

    but kill them anyway!!!!

    September 5, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
    • Arrr!

      its pirate!


      September 5, 2010 at 10:53 pm |
    • Arrr!

      hoist the Jolly Time Popcorn!
      Take no prisoners!


      September 5, 2010 at 10:55 pm |
    • MrsFizzy

      Yeearrrrhhh! Don't ye be tellin' me I've missed Talk LIke a Pirate Day...? Arrr?

      September 5, 2010 at 11:40 pm |
  19. hominoid

    muslims – stop acting like a victim. if you love this country, report terrorist activities in your community to the police.

    September 5, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  20. jpw

    The simple fact is hate is not a crime, it is an emotion/feeling. Fact, the Japs got what they deserved, though personally we should have wiped them off the face of the earth. Fact, Muslims attacked the US of A, and like the Japs Muslims will have to pay the price for this. If the Muslim "DIASPORA" wanted to prove loyalty to the US, then they would be coming out in their "millions" to publicly denouce and condem all acts of violence against any US citizen. They have not done this. By the way, Christians are the most persecuted in this country by the leading terrorist organization the ACLU and the atheists who seem to think the 10 Commandments are just pure evil. " Congress shall make no law regarding th establishment of relligion (which James Madison, the guy who wrote it, said they did not want a Church of America like the English Aglican) NOR HINDER THE FREE EXPRESSION THEREOF" you.

    Muslims show good form in leaving 9-11 alone. Bloody perdition, they are allowed to be unhindered in the free exercise of their religion.

    As a member of the Armed Forces 6 years active and 6 in the reserves, I will defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign (terrorist of any ilk) and domestic (ACLU).

    You have a right to hate, you do not have a right to lynch.

    September 5, 2010 at 10:24 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.