Ramadan and Eid have become American traditions since then- First Lady Hillary Clinton received Muslims on Eid in 1996. (Eid rhymes with deed and marks the end of Ramadan's fasting; this year Eid falls on Oct. 13.) White House iftaar dinners, which mark the breaking of the fast, have become an annual event. Mujahid said the council hosts annual interfaith iftaars, which this year will include Cardinal Francis George.
"During our interfaith work, we send and receive greetings on all holidays. The United Methodist Church even fasted last Ramadan for solidarity reasons," Mujahid said.
Mujahid offered some suggestions on the pending Muslim holidays:
- Include a message about the holidays in your company newsletter, calendar or on the notice board.
- Realize that most Muslims fast from dawn to dusk the entire month, so they might not be joining you for lunch as usual.
- Ask questions if you are intrigued and accept invitations for iftaar. Knowledge of each other's faith and traditions is the single most important block in building bridges and practicing tolerance.
- Visit a mosque. All mosques have open houses around sunset during Ramadan and welcome anyone who would like to come and perhaps share a meal.
- As with Ramadan, extend Eid greetings via a card or well wishes. Muslims might take the day off to celebrate with their families.
- Remember that alcohol and pork products are a "no" when it comes to gift-giving; most other gifts work well. (Kids get Eid gifts in the form of new clothes, toys or cash.)