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CAIR-MO, Missouri Muslims to Host Sharing Ramadan Event Amid Rising Islamophobia

chapter logos ohio(ST. LOUIS, MO, 6/7/17) — On Wednesday, June 7, the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis (IFGSTL), the Missouri chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MO) and the Islamic Information Center of St. Louis (IICSTL) will host the 4th annual “Sharing Ramadan” open house and “iftar,” or Ramadan fast-breaking meal, to help challenge the rising level of Islamophobia nationwide in recent months. 

Ramadan is the month on the Islamic lunar calendar during which Muslims abstain from food, drink and other sensual pleasures from break of dawn to sunset. The fast is performed to learn discipline, self-restraint, generosity, and building a closer personal relationship with God.

At each sunset during Ramadan, Muslims have “iftar,” a meal that breaks the fast. It is a time for food, community, prayer and fellowship. This year, the St. Louis Muslim community is working to build bridges of peace and mutual understanding by encouraging peoples of all faiths – and the general public – to join together in the breaking of the fast with their Muslim neighbors.

Fasting (along with the declaration of faith, daily prayers, charity, and pilgrimage to Mecca) is one of the “five pillars” of Islam.

“With all the anti-Muslim hate incidents occurring across the U.S., this will be our most important Sharing Ramadan event,” said Nauman Wadalawala, board member of IFGSTL and a member of the organizing committee. “During a time of so many misconceptions of Islam and American Muslims I believe the best way to build peace, tolerance and understanding is for people to interact with one another. What better way of doing that then having people participate in the breaking of the fast?”

The evening will include a guided tour of the Islamic Center, presentations about Ramadan, breaking of the fast meal, sunset Muslim prayers followed by dinner. There will be various activity tables such as an Islamic Information tables, writing names in Arabic, hand art known as Henna, try on Muslim clothing from around the world, and many more.

“Ramadan is a month of sharing, a month of reconnecting with God and one’s family and society,” said Chris Caras, Director of IICSTL. “This annual event gives the Muslim community an opportunity to invite their friends, neighbors and the general public to visit our Islamic Center and build meaningful bridges.”

“The last twelve months, with the presidential election and the ”˜Muslim bans’ have been particularly troubling to American Muslims,” said Faizan Syed, executive director of CAIR-MO. “Now more than ever, people of conscience must come together to overcome the troubling rise in hate and division going on in our country. Sharing Ramadan is a concrete positive step towards creating a more compassionate and loving society.”

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

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CONTACT: CAIR-Missouri Executive Director Faizan Syed, 636-207-8882, 314-330-2946, fsyed@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com

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