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Thousands of local Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr Sunday to mark the end of Ramadan

Mecklenburg County Commissioner Trevor Fuller reads a proclamation before an Eid al-Fitr prayer service at Cabarrus Arena & Events Center in Concord. Eid al-Fitr is a Muslim holiday marking the end of Ramadan, a month of fasting and reflection.
Mecklenburg County Commissioner Trevor Fuller reads a proclamation before an Eid al-Fitr prayer service at Cabarrus Arena & Events Center in Concord. Eid al-Fitr is a Muslim holiday marking the end of Ramadan, a month of fasting and reflection.

Organizers estimate that 8,000 people gathered to celebrate the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr in Concord Sunday.

Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, a month of fasting and reflection. The crowd size was about the same as in previous years, Islamic Center of Charlotte spokesman Jibril Hough said.

Local leaders including County Commissioner Trevor Fuller and Mayor Pro Tem Vi Lyles attended the celebration, and Fuller read a proclamation about Ramadan from the Board of County Commissioners.

During this year’s Ramadan, Charlotte Muslims hosted open houses and invited non-Muslims to share meals. Hough said positive actions like these are especially important amid rising anti-Muslim sentiment in the United States and abroad.

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A woman, center, greets others in a file photo from Friday, July 17, 2015. Organizers estimate that 8,000 people gathered to celebrate the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr in Concord on Sunday. Jeff Siner jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Hough pointed to the attack on Muslims leaving a London mosque on June 19, along with the teenage girl who was killed near her mosque in Virginia, as evidence of that sentiment.

Locally, the Ramadan proclamation from the county commissioners led to controversy. Six members of the board voted for it, but Republican Jim Puckett, who voted against, said the county does not and should not adopt resolutions supporting Lent, Hanukkah or other religious holidays.

Puckett said at the time that he was opposed to a governing body “tangentially endorsing a religious holiday,” not because he has an issue with Muslims.

Hough said Ramadan is a time of renewal, and he hopes the relationships local Muslims built this month will continue to grow.

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