In a year that has seen massive opposition to the proposed mosque near Ground Zero, Muslims in the US are facing another challenge — a quirk of the calendar has put the date for Eid-ul-Fitr on the eve of 9/11.
With opponents of Park51 — as the mosque is called — planning a protest on September 11, Muslims are rescheduling what is likely to be a muted three-day celebration.
"We've decided to celebrate on the 9th, possibly even the 8th," said New Yorker Ameena Meer, originally from Delhi.
Other will celebrate later. "Some will have them on the 12th, 18th, even on October 2," said Naeem Baig of the Islamic Circle of North America.
Jacksonville, Florida-based Parvez Ahmed said typically, Eid-related activities — like picnics — are held on mosque premises or parks the weekend after Eid. However, the shadow of 9/11 has fallen on those plans. "There is apprehension, given the toxicity in the discourse." Ahmed lives 60 miles from Gainesville, where a Christian pastor plans to burn Qurans on 9/11.
The exact date for Eid isn't clear. The predetermined date according to the lunar cycle is September 10 but the orthodox will wait to see the new moon and that could mean Eid falls on September 11.