Ramadan 1999

December 8, 1999


On December 8, 1999, USA Today published an article on the growing presence of Islamic children's books on Ramadan in the mainstream market. Available at most book stores is the best-selling Ramadan by Suhaib Ghazi, which won 1997 book-of-the-year honors from the National Council for Social Studies. Other titles that are gaining prominence are Magid Fasts for Ramadan, First, Zaki's Ramadhan Fast, and Id-u-Fitr. Laleh Bakhtiar of Kazi Publications in Chicago, which sells to Borders, Barnes & Noble, and to public libraries, stated: "Our sales of Ramadan books for adults and children are up 20% over last year. Everyone wants to include all three religions in their stock." Phyllis Tickle, contributing editor on religion at Publishers Weekly, stated: "Islamics feel they are still an immigrant society. They want to create a comfort level for their own children operating in the mainstream culture and to reach out to introduce themselves to the wider culture." Children also can watch the video Ramadan or play with the Ramadan Fun Pack from Astrolabe Pictures. Jawaad Abdul Rahman of Astrolabe stated: "Muslims in America want books and videos to be positive and accurate, but they also want these to meet the same quality as any mainstream product they might buy, like a Disney cartoon." Rahman continued by calling for more accurate representations of Muslims: "Your kids don't read books where there is simply a Muslim character who's a good friend. We need even more stories which can be shared with the mainstream and which will help Ramadan to become recognized as part of the American cultural landscape."