Houston Muslims Say All Is Calm, As Ramadan Ends

Muslims in Houston are spending the day marking the end of Ramadan. One local Islamic leader says the community hasn't experienced any increase in harassment or threats, despite this year's holy month being dominated by religious controversies. David Pitman reports.

There's hardly been a mention of Ramadan without some sort of reference to the contentious national debate over the proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero.  Numerous Ramadan stories have also included mentions of the pastor in Florida who threatened to hold a Quran burning ceremony this weekend. 

Amir Malik is the president of the South Houston Chapter of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam.  He says preparations for the Eid prayer to mark the end of the holy month included security measures that are somewhat more stringent than in recent years.

"But beyond that, are we typically concerned about certain acts that may occur today?  I can't really say that that would be a 'yes.'"

Another factor that has gotten a lot of play — the coincidence of this year's Ramadan ending right before the anniversary of 9/11.

Malik says Eid prayers made special mention of those killed and injured in the attacks.

"We state very firmly today that we, the Ahmadiyya Muslims of North America, stand together in solidarity with the victims of this tragedy.  We strongly condemn the acts of terrorism that lead to this fateful day nine years ago."

Malik says he has not personally seen, nor has he been told about, any spikes in threatening phone calls or other intimidating gestures toward local Muslims.  He credits that to the overall tolerance and diversity of Houston.

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David Pitman

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