30 August 2011
Man Praying at Lyon’s Great Mosque in Lyon, France. (photo: Pascal Deloche/Godong/Corbis) Featured on the September 2008 cover of ONE
Today, many Muslims around the world are celebrating Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting.
In the cover story of the September 2008 edition of ONE, Islam’s Many Faces, Archbishop Michael L. Fitzgerald discussed Ramadan and the Eid al-Fitr feast:
Ramadan begins or ends according to the sighting of the moon (though some Muslims follow astronomical calculations). Thus, there can be differences, with one country starting and consequently ending before another. This can even happen in the same area where different groups follow different systems, so one group will still be fasting while the other is already feasting.
With the political upheaval throughout many Muslim communities today’s this year’s feast carries mixed emotions for some, as CNN reports:
There’s joy tempered with concern on Tahrir Square in Egypt, which saw a successful revolution topple President Hosni Mubarak this year. And there’s optimism in Libya, where 42 years of rule by Moammar Gadhafi seem to be coming to an end.
But emotions are much more muted in Syria, where the government is clamping down to prevent the Arab Spring from spreading, and there is a sense of gloom in Pakistan, wracked by violence and natural disasters.
Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports that many prisoners in Egypt were released today in honor of the Muslim holiday:
The prisoners let free for the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan were mostly protesters arrested in Tahrir Square, and had no prior convictions, English language Egyptian daily Al-Ahram reported.
Read more of the CNN and Washington Post stories on their web sites respectively: Muslim festival brings rare joy for some this year, but not all cheer and On Eid al-Fitr, hundreds of prisoners freed in Egypt, UAE, Oman
Tags: Interreligious Muslim Islam Ramadan