On Sunday morning, June 25, about 20,000 Muslims are expected to congregate at Angels Stadium in Anaheim to pray together and celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the day that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
This year, the biggest concern for this event — and other end-of-Ramadan festivities — is security.
On Monday, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) issued an alert to all mosques and Islamic organizations nationwide, warning them to be vigilant after incidents of violence against Muslims in recent weeks and a year punctuated by an increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes, hate incidents and rhetoric.
CAIR-LA has issued a similar alert for all mosques in Southern California, said executive director Hussam Ayloush.
“We’re asking mosque administrators to make sure the areas are well-lit and there’s adequate security available,” he said.
Ayloush also is asking Muslims not to engage with people who target them through hate speech.
“Don’t respond to racial slurs because you don’t know the state of mind of that person,” he said. “The best thing to do is to ignore. If you feel unsafe, call the police and move to a safe place immediately.”
Ayloush said two recent incidents — the murder of 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen of Reston, Va., who was killed after leaving her mosque Sunday morning, and an incident outside a mosque in Finsbury Park, London, where a man plowed a rented van into worshipers, leaving one dead and nine others injured — have left American Muslims shaken.
The community is certainly more concerned this year, said Ahsan Baseer, board president of the Islamic Society of Corona-Norco.
“We have told everyone to be alert and have especially warned girls and women wearing hijabs not to walk by themselves,” he said. “It’s unfortunate that we have to do this, but these are precautions we have to take under current circumstances.”
Baseer’s mosque will host an Eid event this weekend at Santana Regional Park in Corona….