CAIR Urges U.S. Muslims to Share Ramadan with Neighbors
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
A prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization (CAIR)
today urged Muslim communities nationwide to reach out to their neighbors of
all beliefs by inviting them to take part in an interfaith "Iftar" or
fast-breaking meal, during the upcoming month-long fast of Ramadan.
Ramadan is the month on the Islamic lunar calendar during which Muslims
abstain from food, drink and other sensual pleasures from break of dawn to
sunset. It is estimated to begin July 20 this year.
To assist local Muslim community leaders, the Washington-based Council on
American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has produced a "Sharing Ramadan Resource
Guide 2012" that offers step-by-step advice on hosting an interfaith Iftar.
A CAIR video promoting the campaign notes that the resource guide includes
instructions on forming a "Sharing Ramadan" committee, a sample media advisory
for an Iftar, advice on reaching out to local media, an advertisement for the
event, text for a "Welcome to Our Ramadan Fast-Breaking" brochure,
frequently-asked questions about Ramadan, and a sample event program and
The video also notes that education and outreach help decrease anti-Muslim
prejudice in American society.
"In order to enhance interfaith relations, it is imperative that American
Muslims reach out to their neighbors of all beliefs to offer balanced and
accurate information about Islam and the Muslim community," said CAIR National
Executive Director Nihad Awad.
He cited a 2009 survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, which
stated that those who know a Muslim or are familiar with Islam and Muslims are
"most likely to express favorable views of Muslims and to see similarities
between Islam and their own religion."
Awad also noted that Islam's Prophet Muhammad said Ramadan "is the month of
sharing with others." (Al-Tirmidhi)
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization.
Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue,
protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that
promote justice and mutual understanding.
Gambia: Commercialising Islam Is Forbidden - Says President Jammeh, As He
Gives Out Ramadan Gift
The president of the Republic has denounced the commercialisation of Islam,
saying it is forbidden and will not be accepted in The Gambia.
His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Yahya Jammeh was speaking Monday
afternoon at State House grounds in Banjul, while distributing over 27,000
bags of sugar as Ramadan gift to Muslims all over the country.
The Gambian leader condemned what he called the commercialisation of death and
the Quran recitation, something he emphasised strongly, will not be accepted.
He urged the Gambia Supreme Islamic Council to regulate it before it develops
roots in society. "These two practices must stop. These are very bad practices
that are spreading it tentacles in our society. What kind of Muslims are we?
Now I am challenging the Supreme Islamic Council to regulate these practices.
As religious leaders, you have a huge task and I want to see that all these
are regulated," he said.
While emphasising strongly on the importance of the Holy Quran, the Gambian
leader stressed that knowing and reading the Quran and without respect for
Allah that knowledge is useless.
He continued: "You will realise nowadays people turn up in their large numbers
attending rich people's funerals than the average people, and prefer attending
Quran recitations where they anticipate to earn money and you don't mind you
will not be able to accommodate everybody.
If you have faith in Allah, you should know that the way you are being
affected is the same way that someone is also poor and there is a Surah in the
Holy Quran which says that, one should not sell anything in the Quran.
Now if people commercialise the Holy Quran recitation and funerals that means
they are doing business with the Quran. And if I talk they say I am attacking
people, but these are things that are happening."
President Jammeh also stated that he will not tolerate any behavior or
attitude that will portray this country negatively. "We should be contented
with what we have and have faith in Allah and avoid taking what we don't have
yet. If you don't have, maintain your faith in Allah because you don't know
what would happen in the future," he advised.