Ramadan in America, 2002

November 8, 2002

Source: The Buffalo News

On November 8, 2002 The Buffalo News reported that "Ramadan, the holiest of months for Muslims, began this week. And the next four weeks of fasting, praying and reflection is a special time for the several million American Muslims still under the public microscope. 'With everything going on,' said Hodan Hassan, a spokeswoman for the Council on American-Muslim Relations based in Washington, 'I think people have been looking forward to Ramadan to recharge their batteries.' In the last eight weeks, [Western New York] area Muslims -- from Islamic converts in Buffalo to Yemeni Muslims in Lackawanna to Kasmirian Muslims in Amherst -- have been trying to contain what can only be described as a public relations nightmare. The FBI arrested the Lackawanna Six, a half-dozen men of Yemeni descent accused of supporting the al-Qaida terrorist network. Angry neighbors vehemently fought a proposal for new Islamic boarding school on Best Street. In light of recent events, shaping the perception of Islam among nonbelievers and younger generations in Western New York remains as high a priority now as it was when the World Trade Center towers came down. Not only is Ramadan about internal purification, but it's about doing good deeds in the community, giving to charities and being with friends and neighbors, Muslim leaders said."