Muslims Delay Religious Celebration For 911

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The end of Ramadan celebrations began yesterday, but some Muslims in central Ohio are holding off on any big festivities today to remember the tragedy of 9-11.

The Noor Islamic Cultural Center in Hilliard held 3 prayer services Friday so more than 7-thousand Muslims could mark the end of Ramadan, a time spent praying and fasting for 30 days. A 3-day celebration normally is planned but because this year’s event falls around the anniversary of the 9-11 tragedy, Noor leaders decided not to hold any activities at the Mosque today. Member Mohamed Soltan says he understands why plans are different this year.

“We’re not here celebrating September 11th. Our monthly is based on a lunar calendar so it just happened to fall on that day right before. So, yes there is definitely some tiptoeing, but I don’t think it’s huge,” said Soltan.

Recent controversies have shined a negative light on the Muslim faith. In New York, a proposed cultural center near Ground Zero of the 911 tragedy has caused a backlash. And in Florida, a pastor in Gainesville has threatened to burn Koran’s, the Muslim holy book. Noor member John Kashubeck says Muslims have to speak up.

“Muslims need to show themselves for who they really are. Because if we don’t then just the wackos and the terrorists and the violent people who make up such a small fringe such a tiny fringe they’ll grab all the headlines and people will think that that’s really what Islam is all about, so it’s our job to be more gracious,” explained Kashubeck.

Noor member Asma Mobin-Uddin says people outside of the Muslim faith may not understand a celebration occurring on September 11th.

“The Muslim community is aware that the larger community may not know that it is a holiday and we’re working on ways to educate people that certainly we want to commemorate 911 and be part of our nation commemorating that day as well as with our faith still observing the traditions and holidays of our faith,” said Mobin-Uddin.

Spokesman for the Noor Islamic Cultural Center, Jamal Sadouin (sa-doon) says most Muslims are concentrating on their faith and not controversy.

“This celebration is about us reaching a level of spirituality that we can feel happy about, where we devoted 30 days of our time to prayer and charity and good work. Those are the most important things to us,” stressed Sadouin.