CAIRO - Decorating their cars with `Eid greetings, young American Muslims are launching a new initiative to teach the US public about the Muslim festival and show that Islam is part of the fabric of the United States.
On `Eid, the Muslim community gathers to reaffirm their monotheistic belief through a special prayer, said Hasan Gilani, the founder of Rad Talks website, told The Houston Chronicle.
But the feasting and fasting are important parts of our celebration.All About `Eid Al-Fitr
`Eid Al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, is set to start next week.
Seeking to educate the US public about the festival, two Muslim groups have launched an initiative to encourage Muslims to draw `Eid greetings on the windows of their cars.
Individuals from Rad Talks and Crescent Youth are encouraging the Muslim community to use glass chalk to paint Happy `Eid' on their car windows during `Eid, said Gilani.
The hope is that people will become aware of the celebration and their curiosity will lead them to visit a website we created about the `Eid celebration that we will also have written on our cars.
`Eid Al-Fitr is one the two main Islamic religious festivals along with `Eid Al-Adha.
During `Eid days, families and friends exchange visits to express well wishes and children, wearing new clothes bought especially for `Eid, enjoy going out in parks and open fields.
`Eid shows that Muslims are not aliens, said Gilani.
It can be a great unifying force that brings various faiths together under the banner of camaraderie and cooperation.
Organizers hope that the initiative will encourage many Americans to know more about Muslims and their faith.
Projects like Eid Mobile,' using humor and popular media, help convey the truth about Muslims as positive, contributing members of American society, Gilani said.
Organizers hope that the initiative will show the American public that Islam is part of the national fabric.
`Eid-Al-Fitr is the most approachable Muslim holiday, Hasan Asma told The Houston Chronicle.
She believes that Muslim holidays -- `Eid Al-Fitr and `Eid Al-Adha -- are like other national festivals as Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Many Muslim Americans would consider the adoption of `Eid as a national holiday as an efficient way of gaining symbolic recognition' of Islam in American society, he said.
The idea of the initiative came to Muslim activists over media ignorance of festivals of US Muslims, estimated at between six to seven million.
There are millions of American Muslims, but we were overlooked, Gilani said.
Now that's starting to change.
Former US president Bill Clinton was the first America leader to host an `Eid reception at the White House in 1996.
Since then, the Muslim festival has lured national attention.
Now, businesses such as IKEA and Best Buy are mentioning `Eid in their commercials.
Officials and religious leaders are also issuing statements to greet Muslims on the advent of `Eid.We want to help this trend by sharing `Eid with Houston to show everyone that there are lots of Muslims here and the vast majority of us are not dangerous, Gilani said.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net