Press Releases

CAIR-Cleveland Commends Jail Chaplaincy Program For Facilitating Eid Al-Fitr Celebrations for Incarcerated Muslims

(CLEVELAND, OH – 5/27/2020) – The Cleveland chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OH) today commended the chaplaincy program at the Cuyahoga County Jail for their efforts to support fasting Muslims as they celebrate the Feast of Fast Breaking (Eid Al-Fitr) at the end of Ramadan. More than 100 Muslims in the facility participated in the month-long fast of Ramadan during the restrictions of COVID-pandemic.

Due to social distancing measures, incarcerated Muslims were not able to congregate for Eid prayers, but were provided with the transcription of a pre-recorded video Eid message from Shaykh Musa Sugapong of Darul Qasim Institute and the Islamic Center of Cleveland. The fasting Muslims also received an official recognition proclamation from Cuyahoga County for the holiday and accommodations for a special Eid meal.

In a statement, CAIR-Ohio, Cleveland Chapter Executive Director Julia Shearson said: 

“CAIR-Ohio is committed to doing our part to help end mass incarceration through education efforts that promote peace and social justice and the treatment of all people with dignity and respect. Ramadan encourages upright moral behavior and noble conduct and promotes abiding mercy and compassion for others. The lessons of Ramadan are especially profound in a prison or jail setting. We commend the fasting Muslims for their accomplishments and encourage them to carry the spirit and discipline of Ramadan forward all year long. We also appreciate the efforts of the chaplaincy program in trying to make the Eid celebrate special even during social distancing.”

As part of its Empowerment Program for Incarcerated Communities (EPIC), CAIR was able to provide Eid al-Fitr sweets and savory appetizers for the more than 100 fasting Muslims at the Cuyahoga County facility. CAIR-Ohio also issued a pre-Ramadan guidance memorandum on the legal requirements for respecting the rights of incarcerated Muslims, which was sent to correctional institutions and jails throughout Ohio. CAIR-Ohio provided hundreds of Ramadan educational packages in response to written requests from incarcerated individuals throughout the state. CAIR-Ohio officials regularly advocate on issues related to religious freedom for Muslims under conditions of confinement in Ohio.

For more information about EPIC, click here.

To read CAIR-Ohio’s Pre-Ramadan Guidance Memorandum, click here.

To read the Cuyahoga County Jail Administration’s Congratulatory Eid Message, click here.

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.

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CONTACT: CAIR-Ohio Cleveland Chapter Executive Director Julia A. Shearson, 216-440-2247, jshearson@cair.com; CAIR EPIC Program Coordinator, Areege Hammad, 216-830-2247, ahammad@cair.com

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