JACKSON, MI (WLNS) – The Muslim observance of Ramadan ended this week which was cause for celebration. Members at the Islamic Society of Greater Jackson reflected on the holiday in light of recent world events.
“When we see atrocities in any part of the world we must stand up and do it our way. Whatever power we have to denounce terrorism,” explained Islamic Society of Greater Jackson Community Outreach Coordinator Alexander Bashir to a large crowd.
This year though, Ramadan for the society is marked with frustration.
Bashir said, “every single morning when you turn your phone on there’s another bombing and you feel like becoming an apologetic person, a spokesperson who has to apologize for it. I need to literally force myself to say, ‘ok, this is just one more time . . . it’s going to get better.”
But, the 39-year-old Jackson native is striving for people to understand their religion.
“When somebody comes up to me and tells me that you guys did this and you guys did that, what I have to say is that I cannot blame Christianity for all the atrocities done by missionaries all across the globe in the name of their religion. It’s not. It’s the action of individuals. Not of the faith,” said Bashir.
Even though today is a joyous day, tension is spilling over.
Jackson native Afaf Humayun said, “when I leave the house I have to be concerned for my safety. I have to think about my family in terms of safety and how we’re going to go about the day and where we’re going to go or not go.”
In the end, dozens of people here lined up to celebrate the end of Ramadan. And, to eat with their loved ones. Giving them hope for a better future.
The Islamic Society of Greater Jackson has been part of the community for decades. It’s located on McNeal Street.