MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota’s Muslim community is on guard. Many are concerned about safety because one of the most important holy days comes one day after Sept. 11.
Eid al-Adha is celebrated on Sept. 12 this year, giving some concern because it is so close to the anniversary.
“People are in good mood but obviously fasting then also preparing themselves for the holiday tomorrow,” Jaylani Hussein said.
The Karmel Mall in Minneapolis is full of people preparing for the Muslim holy holiday of Eid.
“This is the sacrifice holiday and it is the biggest holiday,” Hussein said.
Eid al-Adha marks the end of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. Muslim Americans are concerned that gatherings could become targets, because of how close the holy day is to the anniversary of the 911 attacks.
“The past few years every time this large gathering happens, we’ve always been on the edge. Part of it is we’ve seen the climate change, you know, the anti-Muslim organizing is at a new level,” Hussein said.
The local chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations issued safety guidelines to leaders of local mosques as well as those in charge of larger gatherings at the Minneapolis Convention Center in and The River Centre in St. Paul.
“With these type of gathering security is something that is somewhat of a concern many of the leaders have made efforts to be prepared and vigilant,” Hussein said.
Police are on board, providing extra patrols in areas where thousands will be gathered for prayer. Private security will also be used.
Jaylani Hussein says he hopes as Americans we can remember the 911 anniversary and not allow anything to cause one American to want to do harm to another.
“We have Muslims, Jews, Christian, Hindus, all people of faith made this country their home and they say and profoundly say we are Americans and that’s the uniqueness of this country. We cannot allow any group to break that deep long bond,” Hussein said.
Many will celebrate Eid with prayers early in the morning. Hussein says kids receive gifts while adults pray and ask for forgiveness.