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Central Florida Muslims Mark End of a Tense Ramadan

Central Florida is home to more than 40,000 Muslims. The man pictured here prays one of five daily prayers. Photo: Jama Masjid, Flckr.
Central Florida is home to more than 40,000 Muslims. The man pictured here prays one of five daily prayers. Photo: Jama Masjid, Flckr.

Prayers this morning marked the end of Ramadan, a month when Muslims abstain from food and earthly pleasures to focus on deepening their spirituality. Members of central Florida’s Muslim community are gathering at mosques across the region to celebrate and reflect on an exceptionally difficult Ramadan month. In the wake of the Pulse nightclub shooting and terrorist attacks in Turkey and Bangladesh, imams at local mosques have received threats. Over the weekend one local mosque was evacuated. That has led leaders to increase security but also push to increase opportunities for community dialogue about what Islam is and is not.

Today’s festivities mark the beginning of Eid ul-Fitr the first of the two major Muslim holidays. The second holiday called Eid al-Adha is a pilgrimage to Mecca.