For Muslims and Non-Muslims, Ramadan is a Time for Community

Angela Rosario is a local resident and a leader in her community. A graduate of our Career Development Institute and long-time staff member, she is an institution at IMAN. She recently shared a story that touched us so much, we thought it was worth sharing.

Angela is not Muslim but in a show of support, solidarity and unity with her coworkers, “my brothers and sisters,” she says, she decided to observe Ramadan this year. When our security gaurd, Bilaal, who’s been getting food from a local group of sisters each day and donating it to different families, mashaAllah, delivered several pans to Angela, she was overwhelmed by all the dishes. Not wanting to waste any food, she invited her neighbors to join in the meal.

For several nights, neighbors joined Angela at her home. When they asked, “What’s the occassion?” or “Why are you doing this?” Angela took the time to explain to them the meaning of Ramadan; the spirit of sacrifice, and connection to a higher spirituality. The neighbors even began waiting until iftar before they would partake of the foods.

Angela described this month as a time when her neighborhood was drawn together more than ever before. Mothers began to organize babysitting and day care for each other. Neighbors began watching over each other’s property and forming watch groups. And just this past weekend, they held their first block party in over 13 years. For Muslims and non-Muslims alike, Ramadan has become a time for community.

A Day of Remembrance and Solidarity

September 11th in Marquette Park

Neighborhood families, resident leaders, community organizations and religious institutions of the Marquette Park community will be gathering on the steps of St. Rita of Cascia Church to communicate a spiritual message of remembrance and solidarity to commemorate the events of September 11, 2001.

Throughout the past four decades, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim community organizers in Marquette Park have worked together to combat the divisive forces of bigotry and intolerance, poverty, and the socioeconomic conditions that typically pit our communities against one another. The events of September 11, 2001 only served to strengthen our resolve that diverse communities striving together towards social justice, human rights, and human dignity is the very solution to defying the divisive and destructive forces that endeavored to claim that day.

The Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP), Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN), Beth Shalom Synagogue, Holy Cross Hospital, and Ephraim Bahar Cultural Center, along with other community partners and institutions will host a commemoration event on Sunday, September 11, 2011 at 9:15am that will recognize the loss of life on that day and in subsequent years, from victims and first responders, to soldiers and innocent civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan; collectively denounce any attempt to use 9/11 as a foundation to scapegoat, penalize, or unjustly target any sector of our communities; and demonstrate and express appreciation for the impact that American Muslims, alongside other faith communities, are making on a grassroots level to improve the quality of life in some of our most vulnerable neighborhoods.

Please join us as we remember, reflect, and stand together in solidarity.

Governor Quinn is tentatively confirmed to attend this event and invitations have been extended to Senator Durbin’s office.

A Day of Remembrance and Solidarity
September 11, 2011
St. Rita of Cascia Church
6243 South Fairfield Avenue
Chicago, IL 60629-2395