Eid al-Fitr in U.S., 2002

December 7, 2002

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

On December 7, 2002 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that "with the words of the Qur'an fixed in his head and heart, 12-year-old Osama Siddiqui joined more than 3,000 [Franklin, WI] area Muslims Friday to celebrate the end of the holy month of Ramadan. He performed communal prayers with them on the vast floor of the Milwaukee County Sports Complex. He listened as the imam, or religious leader, of the Islamic Society of Milwaukee condemned extremists' attacks on Americans abroad, prayed for peace in Iraq and Palestine, cited President Bush's positive statements about Muslims and urged the people to counter negative stereotypes by leading exemplary, peaceful lives. Earlier this year, he earned the right to the title 'Hafiz' -- a guardian or protector -- by memorizing the entire Qur'an, the holy book that Muslims believe the Archangel Gabriel revealed to the prophet Mohammed. Osama is believed to be the first local youth to accomplish that by studying here, said the Islamic Society's Imam Amin Amer. A larger crowd than normal for a weekday -- estimated at well over 3,000 -- came to the sports complex Friday to celebrate the start for the Eid al-Fitr, or festival of fast breaking. Islamic Society leaders said people felt a need to be together after a tough year in which the nation's fight against terrorism had raised concerns about war and about an erosion of the image and the civil rights of loyal American Muslims here."