Friday, July 11, 2014

Ramadan Kareem

Wishing all my friends and readers all the best for the month of Ramadan.

In 2011, belatedly recognizing the religious diversity of our country, the United States Postal Service issued this Eid stamp
I am sorry that the 9th Annual Ramadan Iftar sponsored by The Turkish Cultural Center of Springfield and the UMass Rumi Club was canceled this year. It is an event that I have very much enjoyed attending in years past: one of the few genuinely multicultural gatherings here because it actually educates rather than merely promulgating platitudes.

I of course nonetheless take to heart the spirit of the season. Because Ramadan this year falls during a time of renewed conflict in the Middle East, here are two selections from previous posts.

In 2011, Gershon Baskin and Hanna Siniora of the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information (IPCRI) offered the following simple greeting:
    To all of our Muslim friends and colleagues, Ramadan Kareem!

    May we all enjoy the blessings of health, prosperity, happiness and peace into our lives and may we all multiply it and share with others as well!  

And in 2012, Michael Oren, Ambassador to the US from Israel (whose population is 20% Muslim) said the following at the White House Iftar:
    It is a world grounded in our holy books. Tonight, of course, is Laylat al-Qadr, the night of the Holy Quran’s revelation. As a student, I spent an entire year reading the Quran and vividly remember how it referred to the Jews as Ahlu al-Kitab—the People of the Book. It says in Sura 29, “Our God and your God is one, and to Him do we submit.” And in Sura 3, the Jews are invited to, “Come to a word that is just between us and you, that we worship none but God, and that we associate no partners with Him, and that none of us shall take others as lords besides God.”

    Similarly, the Bible tells us, in the Book of Psalms, “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity.” And the Book of Proverbs says, fittingly for this Ramadan feast, “Better a dry crust with peace than a house full of feasting, with strife."

* * *
Update July 28:

As has become the custom, the Empire State Building displayed green lights in honor of the end of Ramadan:

And President Obama issued his Eid greeting:

As Muslims throughout the United States and around the world celebrate Eid-al-Fitr, Michelle and I extend our warmest wishes to them and their families.  This last month has been a time of fasting, reflection, spiritual renewal, and service to the less fortunate.  While Eid marks the completion of Ramadan, it also celebrates the common values that unite us in our humanity and reinforces the obligations that people of all faiths have to each other, especially those impacted by poverty, conflict, and disease.

In the United States, Eid also reminds us of the many achievements and contributions of Muslim Americans to building the very fabric of our nation and strengthening the core of our democracy.  That is why we stand with people of all faiths, here at home and around the world, to protect and advance their rights to prosper, and we welcome their commitment to giving back to their communities.

On behalf of the Administration, we wish Muslims in the United States and around the world a blessed and joyous celebration.  Eid Mubarak.

Wishing all my friends and followers Eid Mubarak and the blessings of peace in the coming year.

Update July 29:

It seems that our hapless President, attacked from all sides, can do no right. Many evidently took umbrage at his wishing people a joyous celebration when fighting rages in Gaza and without mention of the situation there. Not for nothing do they call it the toughest job in the world.

from Al Arabiya: Obama's Eid greeting to Muslims backfires

Previous Ramadan posts:

• 2012 Ramadan Reflection
• 2012 Eid Mubarak!
• 2011 Ramadan in Amherst: Celebration of Community and Concerns Over Intolerance
• 2010 Ramadan Kareem! (with some tools for keeping track of non-Christian holidays)

No comments: