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CAIR-Austin, Muslim Community Leaders Welcome Month of Ramadan and Announce Stepped-Up Security Measures

(AUSTIN, TX, 5/3/19) – The Austin chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Austin) and the Austin Muslim Community Leaders welcome the month of Ramadan, expected to begin on or about May 6th.

[*NOTE: Because the beginning of Islamic lunar months depends on the actual sighting of the new moon, the start and end dates for Ramadan may vary. Consult local Muslim communities for the beginning and end dates of Ramadan. The end of Ramadan will be marked by communal prayers called “Eid ul-Fitr,” (eed-al-fitter) or Feast of the Fast-Breaking on or about June 4.]

Many Austin-area Islamic institutions have instituted advanced security measures and implemented extra precautions to ensure a safe Ramadan for everyone. Mosques hold special prayers and other activities during the month, and because of recent anti-Muslim incidents in this country and overseas, CAIR-Austin urges local law enforcement agencies to coordinate with Austin-area Islamic institutions already taking these extra precautions.

Ramadan is the ninth month on the Islamic lunar calendar during which Muslims abstain from food, drink and other sensual pleasures from before dawn to sunset. The fast is performed to learn discipline, self-restraint and generosity, while obeying God’s commandments. Fasting (along with the declaration of faith, daily prayers, charity, and pilgrimage to Mecca) is one of the “five pillars” of Islam.

“The month of Ramadan is a wonderful time in Austin, in large part because it creates numerous opportunities to bring people of all backgrounds together in solidarity and celebration” said Maira Sheikh, CAIR-Austin Executive Director. “Leaders of our local Islamic institutions have made tremendous efforts to strengthen security measures and to ensure that these spaces are safe and open to everyone.”

“As we welcome another Ramadan, we are faced with extraordinary times that are challenging every community across America. For masjid leadership and local law enforcement, nothing is more important than the safety and security of our communities as they attend congregational prayers and events at our masjids and other venues this year.  It is priority number one,” said Islamic Center of Lake Travis Execuvite Committee Member, Shakeel Rashed.

“Ramadan is a month to connect with God and community.   Special attention is given to those less fortunate and most vulnerable in our society.  While we take necessary precautions to keep our community safe, we remain undeterred in attending the Mosque for prayers and communal meals to break the fast,” said North Austin Muslim Community Center Imam, Sh. Islam Mossaad.

CAIR-Austin also suggests mosques and other Islamic institutions take measures outlined in its “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety” booklet. Advice offered in CAIR’s security publication is applicable to all institutions, regardless of organizational mission

The booklet may be viewed at:

https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/cairhq/pages/15191/attachments/original/1523597950/CAIR_Mosque_Safety_Guide.pdf?1523597950

CAIR has reported an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president.

CAIR 2018 Civil Rights Report: Targeted

http://www.islamophobia.org/reports/224-2018-civil-rights-report-targeted.html
  

CAIR: Anti-Muslim Assaults Have Tripled Since a Decade Ago, FBI Stats Show

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/odd-fbi-case-highlights-impact-anti-muslim-bias/story?id=61761006
   

Community members are being urged to report any bias incidents to law enforcement and to CAIR-Austin at 512-640-9421 or by filing a report at: http://tinyurl.com/CAIRAustinReport

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.

END

CONTACT:

CAIR-Austin Executive Director Maira Sheikh, 512-785-7105, msheikh@cair.com

ICLT Executive Committee Member, Shakeel Rashed, (512) 799-3193, ec@laketravis.org

NAMCC Imam, Islam Mossaad, (501) 247-3003, imam@namcc.org

 

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