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. rushie

    I support all religions right to celebrate their holy days, whenever, even if those days conflict with a day of mourning for another demographic. Human beings are asked to live with contradictions every waking moment, but this is not one of them. As human beings, all of our religions ask us to show compassion for those who suffer, and celebrate the triumphs of our fellow man.

    September 5, 2010 at 11:44 pm |
  2. danny

    Does it not say in the Qoran ( probably misspelled), if you cannot beat your enemy befriend them until you can stab them in the back. I could very well be wrong about this as I do not read the book,but what other religion demands that. Christian bible says love thy neighbor as thy own family, turn the other cheek, forgive trespasses...etc. Why on this small speck of dust that we all share must it be about whos GOD IS BETTER. Sounds like we all have opinions. IF THERE IS A GOD WHY WOULD SUCH A BEING ALLOW ALL THIS MURDER AND MAYHEM IN HIS NAME? I live my life by the Golden Rule. Treat others as you would like to be treated.

    September 5, 2010 at 11:43 pm |
  3. Nik Green

    Considering that the US, with a "coalition of the coerced", is waging an endless war against the world's muslim people, this reaction by US muslims is hardly surprising.

    Follow the money. The corporate gravy train that was unleashed within minutes of two planes hitting the Twin Towers on 9/11/2001 was the one element of the motivation to get this war agenda going. This "catalyzing event" was the trigger for the next war, in which Islam replaced Communism as "the enemy thats going to get us". The "war on Islam", disguised as the "war on terror", could not have started without an event like 9/11, which the Neoconservative/Zionist architects of the war described as "a New Pearl Harbor" in their landmark extremist essay "Rebuilding America's Defenses", "coincidentally" published on 9/10/2000, almost exactly one year prior.

    September 5, 2010 at 11:33 pm |
  4. buddy

    The Muslim community will celebrate in a subdued fashion and the radical right-wing nuts will complain. No Ramadan bombings will happen, so, 'nuf said.

    September 5, 2010 at 11:32 pm |
  5. behnam

    Go to us navy site for the new moon and you'll that the new moon is on 9-8-2010. Eed is on the following day which is September 9th.

    September 5, 2010 at 11:30 pm |
  6. misanthropicus

    While there are Muslisms who sincerely do want to integrate in this nation's tissue (like in the European countrie's as well), there are also many Muslims who are very willing to camouflage their glee vis-a-vis the 9/11 disaster under some Ramadan pious cover. Rauf's triumphalist attitude in the Ground-zero mosques was a harbinger for what we may look at if we go feelie-mushie when we deal with so callous people.

    September 5, 2010 at 11:30 pm |
  7. Haters

    I oppose the injustce commited by muslims on 911.

    September 5, 2010 at 11:27 pm |
  8. Honesty

    I am not sure I understand the reason behind this article. No one in the Muslim community has such a concern because Eid will not fall on 9/11. Ramadan follows the lunar calendar, and in the lunar calendar a month is either 29 or 30 days. If the Eid is to fall on 9/11, then Ramadan would have to be 31 days; which is impossible. This article should not have been written, and should be retracted in my opinion.

    September 5, 2010 at 11:25 pm |
    • MrsFizzy

      Misleading article given how many people are saying that. They do say most would celebrate on the 10th ...but I guess that if a group of Muslims was seen to be having a party anytime around that date, ignorant people would assume it was a 9/11 celebration.

      September 6, 2010 at 12:05 am |
  9. sargeanton

    Hey, asher - when you're in hell, think back to all the Christians you gave your trash to... and enjoy your muslim buddies while you're there.

    September 5, 2010 at 11:22 pm |
  10. Allen411

    The CIA, Mossad, and the U.S. military did 9/11. so, what does9/11 have to do with Ramadan?

    September 5, 2010 at 11:17 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      Lemme get this straight, the US had a part in this. The US tried their utmost to destroy our business and economic circulatory stream in some flatulescent operation.
      And for WHAT purpose? Oh! The great crusades! Oops, we missed Jerusalem by a LOT.
      Oopsie, we'll go elsewhere. To Afghanistan. It's CLOSER.
      Oops it is not...
      The New World Order.
      Where the grays rule the government after we lost the extraterrestrial war or something.
      Dude, go take your lithium.The voices in your head demand it!

      September 6, 2010 at 1:40 am |
  11. James Bottorff

    I might need a little help here....We onced had prayers in public schools, but someone came up with the notion it was unconstitutional and stepped on toes....especially those who were atheist. Something about rights and junk like that,,,Hmm....If I'm in a public place, and I care not to listen or view to thier religious ceremony, perhaps I could claim those same rights of mine are being violated too. Mosques are on private property...Why not keep the Ramadan there too?

    September 5, 2010 at 11:17 pm |
  12. Synful

    I'm not christian, I'm not Muslim.. I have my faith. Don't stop celebrating because of what a few did to destroy our country. To those that are saying Muslims shouldn't celebrate their holiday... you are just as responsible as the ones the commited those awful crimes... You are letting and encouraging this country's demise by your ignorance and bigotry. AMERICANS died that day..Christian, Muslim, Athiests.... It was sad and awful. I still say my prayers. Muslim Americans are in the end AMERICANS stand up for the rights of ALL and not just those that you think are "worth the cause"

    September 5, 2010 at 11:15 pm |
  13. Allen411

    I did not think the Muslims had anything to do with 9/11. I thought the Mossad, the CIA, Larry Siverstien, and U.S. military did it. So, what does 9/11 have to do with Ramadan?

    September 5, 2010 at 11:14 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      I've spent 27+ years in uniformed service to this nation. A fair amount with Special Operations.
      Not a SINGLE one would EVER attack ANYTHING in this nation for such a nonsensical operation.
      But, than you for trolling, please troll elsewhere.

      September 5, 2010 at 11:24 pm |
    • wasabiwahabi

      Not buying it. Instigate elsewhere.

      September 6, 2010 at 12:50 am |
  14. JR Not Scared

    Islam isn't a religion, it's an archaic and oppressive political system that binds otherwise peaceful people to a 1400 year old scam by Mohammed.

    September 5, 2010 at 11:13 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      One could successfully make the same case for Christianity OR Judiasm.
      Your point? Or is your point NO religion, as it is the opium of the masses?
      If so, it's tired and RETIRED. Find a new pole to hang your underwear on, errrrr, flag...

      September 6, 2010 at 1:34 am |
  15. Kabel

    I am a Christian and I have never terrorized anyone and I am not plaining on terrorizing any Muslim over the anniverasy of September 11TH. This article talks about how honest and peace loving Muslims are afraid of attacks or repraisals during their Ramadan holiday because it happens to fall on the anniversary of the September 11th attacks is just plan non-sense. Christianity advocates foregiveness, not revenge. Any real Christian knows that Christ mandates us to pray for everyone , including of enemies and Jesus also mandates that we must not judge, but that we must forgive, everyone.

    September 5, 2010 at 11:12 pm |
    • Dee Smith

      Actually we are to judge with righteous judgment, and only that regarding fellow believers. It is God who will judge those who do not believe that Christ is His sacrifice for the sins of the world. BTW? Wanna come and party with some Muslims on Eid? πŸ™‚

      September 5, 2010 at 11:23 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      Dee, I have and will again. And anyone who F's with them while I am near will answer to 27+ years of military experience, a fair amount of which was Special Operations.
      So, in peace, I bid ALL who are willing to accept it, peace of plenty. For those who won't, peace of the grave.

      September 6, 2010 at 1:32 am |
  16. jaysunstar

    Thank you CNN for drawing more attention to this so it will now only encourage Muslim haters to join in. I am sure they were clueless about the exact dates of the holiday before this article. But now because of your sensationalism, you are giving people a reason to start more crap while you make a story about it and film the chaos. CNN is the news equivalent of that sneaky kid in school that provokes 2 kids into a fight with the old 'he said, she said' game. Shame on you.

    September 5, 2010 at 11:11 pm |
  17. MrHanson


    The author states:

    "The critics of this work will claim that Prophet of Doom is offensiv"e, racist, hatemongering, intolerant, and unnecessarily violent. I agree – but I didn't write those parts. They came directly from Islam’s scriptures. If you don't like what Muhammad and Allah said, don't blame me. I'm just the messenger."

    If you want to put Islam in it's true context, then read this site. It's jewish by the way.

    September 5, 2010 at 11:07 pm |
    • Xugos

      Or you could pick up a copy of the Qur'an and make your own judgments. That makes more sense if you ask me, rather than trusting another possibly biased site to make an important judgment.

      September 5, 2010 at 11:11 pm |
    • MrHanson

      Yes sure. Pick up a copy of the Qur'an that has been watered down for western eyes. I don't 'hate' muslims. I am critical of their founder. I would think that people would want to get their spiritual inspiration from someone that is not a sexual predator and a pirate like Muhammad. And please don't bring up the Catholic scandal because if you do, I want you do cite one passage in scripture that condones sex with children. But I guess marrying Aisha when she was nine years old was OK according to Islam.

      September 5, 2010 at 11:32 pm |
  18. Jeff

    I'm pretty sure if 9/11 happened on 12/25, we wouldn't be changing the date of Christmas...requests to "hold off" or not celebrate Ramadan are rooted in persecution and bigotry. Period.


    September 5, 2010 at 11:06 pm |
  19. Blackhawks Fan

    My Birthday is actually on Septermber 11th and I was born way before 2001.....does that mean that I can't throw down and celebrate either????!!!!!

    September 5, 2010 at 11:06 pm |
  20. Dee Smith

    Tell you what? All the muslims on the North end of Austin, TX - you are welcome to come and party it up at my place on Eid and have no fear of reprisal. While I don't believe many of the tenets of your Koran (yes, I have read it), I will defend to the death your right to practice your faith, until your freedom therein crosses the line to where my freedom begins. As long as that is understood, let's throw whatever on the BBQ and make merry.

    BTW, to all the haters out there? I AM what you would call a conservative follower of Christ, had friends and acquaintances lost not only at the Towers but in other conflicts with radicals.



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

      I've been to Lubbock a few times, supposedly the most right-wing city in America, but right-wing or left-wing the people there are really nice and hospitable πŸ™‚ .

      September 5, 2010 at 11:05 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.