Politicians, locals gather in Muslim celebration

Member of Parliament Phil McColeman, and Brant MPP David Levac both joined in the celebration of the end of Ramadhan last Friday. They sat amongst worshippers who gathered at the Brantford Mosque in the morning for the customary Eid prayer.

Ramadhan is the holiest month in Islam during which Muslims fast for the entire month as a form of worship, as required by Islam. They refrain from eating or drinking from sunrise till sunset. Eid ul Fitri comes at at the end of Ramadhan. It’s to celebrate, among other things, Muslims’ triumph in overcoming trials and temptations during the fasting month.

Levac took time out of his schedule to sit in on the sermon, which was delivered by imam Mohamed El-Faram.

El-Faram reminded Muslims to look around them and extend a helping hand to those in need. He urged the congregation to donate generously to the Pakistani flood relief efforts, as Muslims are obligated to help one another. Before the sermon, local entrepreneur, Dr. Anwar Dhost, happily reported that a substantial amount of funds has already been collected for the flood victims.

Everyone later gathered in the mosque’s hall for light refreshments. McColeman exchanged greetings with members of the congregation over samosas and sweets prepared by the mosque’s organizing committee. Staff members from the Brantford YMCA’s Immigrant Settlement Services (ISS) were also present for the festivities. Director Karen Williamson was excited to see Brantford’s local politicians involved in the celebration.

“We need people to become more educated about the fact that our Muslim community is made up of wonderful, welcoming people,” she says. “That’s what we need Brantford to be.”

She added: “I just think it’s wonderful to see the community come together. It’s such a feeling of happiness and joy and it’s great to be here.”

Este Lauder chemist Hoda Othman thinks children will especially enjoy the day’s festivities. “Today is really great for the kids,” she says. “It’s good for them to know that there’s Eid in Canada and [that] this is their holiday.”

Othman also thinks that the organizing committee did a great job for this year’s Eid celebration.

“I’ve been part of this mosque for so many years now and every year we have problems with organization,” she says, “but they did a very good job today.”

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