News / USA

Muslims Celebrate Eid in US Amid Controversies

Eid festivities like here at the Islamic Center of Washington have been scaled back this year, 11 Sep 2010
Eid festivities like here at the Islamic Center of Washington have been scaled back this year, 11 Sep 2010


Nico Colombant

Muslims in the United States are celebrating Eid-al-Fitr amid several controversies, including a week-long saga involving threats by an American pastor to burn Qurans.  Festivities also overlapped with the 9th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks by Islamic extremists.  

Saturday, Muslims across the United States took part in volunteer service and attended interfaith discussions about the meaning of September the 11th, before returning to gatherings in their hometowns with their families, as is the tradition.

Eid marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, and usually involves big parties.

But many Islamic centers in the United States scaled down festivities on the day of the September the 11th anniversary.

Imam Ben Abdul-Haqq from Washington saw the coincidence of dates as an opportunity.

"The reality is some Muslims are uneasy but I believe that that is God's will. I really believe that some of us feel, Muslims and non-Muslims, because I have talked to some of my non-Muslim friends, and they feel that what is happening with all these situations, the mosque in New York situation, the Florida situation with Pastor [Terry] Jones all of these things, if we continue to take them with the right spirit, it will bring us closer and make us more sensitive," he said.

He also called on those supporting the Reverend Jones' now dropped plans to burn Qurans in Florida and those opposed to the proposal for a mosque near the site of the terrorist attacks in New York to better understand Islam.

"Those individuals have to come to understand what Islam is about, and understand that Islam is not anti-American, to be Muslim is not anti-American," said Imam Ben Abdul-Haqq.

Ide Bilo, a nursing student from Niger at the University of the District of Columbia, said he felt Islam was being manipulated by many American politicians before important congressional elections in November.

"These topics are hot topics here, topics that some politicians use to get people to vote for them," said Bilo. "Because of all the terrorist actions that are going on in the world, the Iraq war, the Afghanistan war, all these issues come together, because Islam is misunderstood, and most Americans do not even have a Muslim friend, most of them they do not understand Islam."

He said it was also up to him and other Muslims to reach out and better educate Americans to show them Islam is a religion of peace, and not the religion of terrorism.

After Saturday, Eid-related events will pick up again, with several Islamic centers organizing unity walks as well as family celebrations, but many of these events will be held at locations other than mosques.

You May Like

800-Pound Man Determined to Slim Down

Man says he was kicked out of hospital for ordering pizza; wants to be an actor More

Australia Prepares to Resettle 12,000 Syrian Refugees

Preference will be given to refugees from persecuted minorities, and the first group is expected to arrive before late December More

S. African Miners Seek Class Action Suit Against Gold Mines

The estimated 100,000 say say they contracted the lung diseases silicosis and tuberculosis in the mines More

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemeni
Henry Ridgwell
October 12, 2015 4:03 PM
The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemen

The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video No Resolution in Sight to US House Speaker Drama

Uncertainty grips the U.S. Congress, where no consensus replacement has emerged to succeed Republican House Speaker John Boehner after his surprise resignation announcement. Half of Congress is effectively leaderless weeks before America risks defaulting on its national debt and enduring another partial government shutdown.

Video New Art Exhibit Focuses on Hope

Out of struggle and despair often comes hope. That idea is behind a new art exhibit at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. "The Big Hope Show" features 25 artists, some of whom overcame trauma and loss. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy as US Holiday

The second Monday of October is Columbus Day in the United States, honoring explorer Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the Americas. The achievement is a source of pride for many, but for some the holiday is marked by controversy. Adrianna Zhang has more.

Video Anger Simmers as Turks Begin to Bury Blast Victims

The Turkish army carried out new air strikes on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets on Sunday, a day after the banned group announced a unilateral cease fire. The air raids apparently are in retaliation for the Saturday bombing in Turkey's capital Ankara that killed at least 95 people and wounded more than 200 others. But as Zlatica Hoke reports, there are suspicions that Islamic State is involved.

Video Bombings a Sign of Turkey’s Deep Troubles

Turkey has begun a three-day period of mourning following Saturday’s bomb attacks in the capital, Ankara, that killed nearly 100 people. With contentious parliamentary elections three weeks away, the attacks highlight the challenges Turkey is facing as it struggles with ethnic friction, an ongoing migrant crisis, and growing tensions with Russia. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Afghanistan’s Progress Aided by US Academic Center

Recent combat in Afghanistan has shifted world attention back to the central Asian nation’s continuing civil war and economic challenges. But, while there are many vexing problems facing Afghanistan’s government and people, a group of academics in Omaha, Nebraska has kept a strong faith in the nation’s future through programs to improve education. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Omaha, Nebraska.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video In 'He Named Me Malala,' Guggenheim Finds Normal in Extraordinary

Davis Guggenheim’s documentary "He Named Me Malala" offers a probing look into the life of 18-year-old Malala Yousafsai, the Pakistani teenager who, in 2012, was shot in the head by the Taliban for standing up for her right to education in her hometown in Pakistan's Swat Valley. Guggenheim shows how, since then, Malala has become a symbol not as a victim of brutal violence, but as an advocate for girls’ education throughout the world. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.

Video Paintable Solar Cells May Someday Replace Silicon-Based Panels

Solar panels today are still factory-manufactured, with the use of some highly toxic substances such as cadmium chloride. But a researcher at St. Mary’s College, Maryland, says we are close to being able to create solar panels by painting them on a suitable surface, using nontoxic solutions. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs