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Ellison Statement on the Beginning of Ramadan

August 4, 2011 by  


image.custom300x0.dimgRamadan Kareem to all. Today marks the first day of Ramadan, when Muslims and their friends, families and neighbors come together for food and fellowship.

For me, Ramadan is a time to reflect upon how I can play a positive role in society. Each year I recall the story of the Good Samaritan. It was Jesus, who Muslims call “Issa” and revere as a prophet, who taught us to care for others, no matter their religion. This message of inclusiveness is one of my core beliefs.

One of my favorite Ramadan moments happened in 2007, when Ramadan coincided with the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. To commemorate this special occasion, the Imam of my mosque in Minneapolis and the Rabbi of Temple Israel brought together their congregations to break our fasts as one. So many people came that we didn’t even have enough chairs for everyone. It was a wonderful event and a testament to our shared American values of religious tolerance and pluralism.

This Ramadan, my thoughts and prayers are with those seeking their basic human rights, whether they are demanding freedom from oppressive governments or struggling to have enough to eat. Peace be upon all of them and everyone.

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