September 10th, 2010
03:42 PM ET

Feasting at Eid al-Fitr

Editor's Note: Over at our sister blog Eatocracy they have a great post from CNN Producer Amir Ahmed and his wife Mona Megahed as they share the story about the foods of Eid al-Fitr:

Ramadan and Eid are special times of the year when people from various parts of the globe enjoy cooking and sharing their traditional foods. Muslim families typically break their fast together and savor the scrumptious meals that have been prepared that day. We have tried a variety of traditional food during this Ramadan but we must admit; our favorite is the Egyptian cuisine. Perhaps we are biased because we trace our roots to the Middle East.

Breaking the fast is a truly social event. At dawn, typically Egyptian families invite friends and relatives to break their fast with either dates or a drink of "Qamar-eddeen" – an apricot juice with small bits of different dried fruit and nuts.

The delicious drink – almost exclusively served during Ramadan – is supposed to supply the body with a much needed dose of sugar after many hours of fasting. It contains raisins and bits of figs, dates, apricots, pine nuts, almonds, and hazelnuts.

Read the full story here.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Food • Holidays • Islam • Ramadan

September 10th, 2010
03:20 PM ET

America, the Tolerant

Two young Muslim men journeyed 13,000 miles across America for the holy month of Ramadan. They found a nation – not of intolerance – but one of kindness. In the end, they have a renewed faith in Islam, and the country they love.

Amid the hype of the so-called “ground zero mosque” and the possible Quran burning in Florida, Aman Ali and Bassam Tariq traveled into the nation’s heartland to visit 30 mosques in 30 states. When they left on this pilgrimage, they wondered: Is America still the accepting nation that embraced our forebears or has it reached a new level of intolerance?

Despite the recent tit-for-tat nasty headlines, the two were embraced nearly everywhere they went – an America that welcomes its diverse people.

"After 13,000 miles, I think that America still exists, and I'm happy to know that it does," said Tariq, a 23-year-old American of Pakistani descent. "It's really made America feel like home to me in a way that I've never felt before.”

Read the full story.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Holidays • Islam • Muslim • Ramadan

September 10th, 2010
07:58 AM ET

Quran controversy casts pall over Eid celebrations

(CNN) - This Friday, Muslims around the world will bid goodbye to a long month of fasting with three days of feasting and festivities.

The faithful usher in the holiday, Eid al-Fitr, with joyous community prayers, acts of charity, visits from far-flung relatives, gift-giving and hearty greetings of "Eid Mubarak," or happy Eid.

This year, however, one controversy has cast a pall over the celebrations for many Muslims: a Florida pastor's threats to burn copies of the Muslim holy book, the Quran, on the anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks.

Read the full story here.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Holidays • Islam • Muslim • Quran • Ramadan

September 10th, 2010
07:00 AM ET

My take: Why this Ramadan was different

Editor's Note: Imam Khalid Latif is a chaplain for New York University and Executive Director of NYU's Islamic Center.

By Khalid Latif, Special to CNN

I started fasting regularly when I was in fifth grade.

I was one of two Muslims in my school and every day when the rest of the kids in my class went to the cafeteria for lunch, we would head to the computer lab to play Oregon Trail or Where in the World is Carmen San Diego for an hour.

Even though I was doing different things, my classmates who weren't Muslim never thought of me as different and I didn't think much of it. I was more worried about why I kept losing oxen every time I had to ford a river or how people in my wagon kept dying of cholera or dysentery.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Holidays • Islam • Muslim • Opinion • Ramadan

September 8th, 2010
10:45 AM ET

Vatican: Quran burning 'outrageous'

Burning the Quran would an "outrageous and grave gesture," the
Vatican said Wednesday, joining a chorus of voices pleading with a small
Florida church not to burn Islam's holy book on the anniversary of the
September 11, 2001, attacks.

The Vatican body responsible for dialogue with other religions said
expressed "great concern" about the plan by Dove World Outreach Center in
Gainesville, Florida.

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Holidays • Islam • Pope Benedict XVI • Quran • Ramadan

September 7th, 2010
03:56 PM ET

Attorney General to meet with faith leaders

Editor's Note: CNN Justice Producer Terry Frieden filed this report today about a meeting faith leaders are having with Attorney General Eric Holder later this afternoon.

Attorney General Eric Holder late Tuesday prepared to host a brief meeting with religious leaders concerned about hate crimes against American Muslims as the upcoming 9/11 terrorist attack anniversary coincides with the Muslim Eid-al-Fitr celebration.

Holder frequently meets privately with advocacy groups, minority representatives, and others wanting the ear of the nation’s top law enforcement official. As his crammed schedule allows, Holder–like many of his predecessors–quietly engages in such outreach to listen to concerns and calls for action, even when he may disagree with the message.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Holidays • Interfaith issues • Islam • Leaders • Muslim • Politics • Quran • Ramadan

September 7th, 2010
10:39 AM ET

End of Ramadan coincides with 9/11 for some Muslims

Editor's Note: In case you missed it, here's our earlier coverage on the issue from CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor Dan Gilgoff.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Holidays • Islam • Ramadan

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."


- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Holidays • Houses of worship • Interfaith issues • Islam • Mosque • Ramadan

August 30th, 2010
01:20 PM ET

Ramadan road trip: Not all Kumbaya

Two young Muslim Americans are taking a cross-country spiritual journey at a fascinating time in the nation’s history.

Just this weekend, conservative commentator Glenn Beck stood before a crowd of hundreds of thousands in the nation's capital and proclaimed that "America today begins to turn back to God."

Hours earlier, in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, four construction vehicles used for the groundbreaking of an Islamic mosque were vandalized and damaged in a fire suspected to be arson. The mosque has faced stiff local resistance.

Aman Ali and Bassam Tariq are on Day 19 of their cross-country trip to 30 mosques in 30 states during the holy month of Ramadan. Beginning in New York, they traveled down the East Coast to the South and then onward West, covering thousands of miles and meeting Muslims of all walks of life.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Culture wars • Faith • Holidays • Islam • Journeys • Mosque • Ramadan • Traditions • United States

August 25th, 2010
11:07 AM ET

New York's Bloomberg: We are all Muslims

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

In a smart commentary on the shrill Republican silence in the face of the "Obama is a Muslim" nonsense, Slate’s John Dickerson wrote that "with so much traffic on the low road in American politics, you'd imagine a politician or two might take the high road simply to beat the congestion."

Well, New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg continues to take the road less traveled.


- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Church and state • Culture wars • Islam • Muslim • New York • Ramadan • Religious liberty

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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.