Among Muslims, the end of Ramadan is marked by the celebration of Eid al-Fitr. Traditionally prayers are followed by food, singing and dancing. This year could be different for many in the United States.
Like many Muslim events, Eid is calculated on a lunar calendar. This year, many in the Muslim community will mark the holiday between September 9th and September 12th.
September 11th marks the ninth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington.
Many Muslim organizations are asking the American Muslims to tone down their celebrations on that day.
Alajandro Beutel, the government liaison officer for the Muslim Public affairs Council says the celebrations on September 11th “runs into certain sensitivities" between Muslims celebrating their holiday and the larger American society feeling a bit sensitive toward people celebrating on that day.
So, Buetel says what his "community" is suggesting are those celebrations that would normally be held on September 11th be more private. And, says Buetel, his organization along with others around the country is encouraging their community members to take part in the “Muslim Serve” program. Its web site calls for Muslims to “invite your family, friends and community to be part of a nationwide effort to spend the anniversary of September 11th in service to your neighbors and your city.”
Buetel says although there is wide support for the suggestion, there are "a couple of people here and there who feel like this is sending the wrong message by not being able to celebrate their day publically and feel it is an unfair chilling effect of religious feeling here in the United States."