I never expected to be caught up in Ramadan celebrations in Union City, New Jersey, but this morning I did. About 700 Muslims from this area celebrated the end of Ramadan this morning praying and listening to a local Imam at the Union City Midtown Atheltic Complex, which formerly was the garden of a Catholic Monastery– St. Michael’s. Now it belongs to the city of Union City.
Muslims throughout the world are celebrating the end of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Muslim calendar, a month given to fasting and refocusing their attention on God. They’re making their way into this area, as today’s event proves; recently they’ve opened a religious school in a former Catholic High school nearby and have a mosque here in Union City.
The Imam spoke in Arabic to the assembly, people brightly dressed from many Muslim countries, but he ended with words in English, thanking Allah for the recent revolutions taking place in Egypt, Syria, Libya and other places in the Middle East and urging his hearers to support those revolutions. He also encouraged support for the Palestinians in their struggle for Independence.
These revolutions are giving Islam a new face in the world, the Imam said.
As the celebration ended a group, likely from Libya, held up a flag from the Libyan revolution to celebrate events in that country.
American cities, like Union City, are changing.