On Muslim Holiday, Religous Leaders Unite Against ''Hate Wave''

September 10, 2010

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Muslims from across Chicagoland marked the Eid ul-Fitr, the end of the holy month of Ramadan, with prayer at Toyota Park. (WBEZ/Odette Yousef)
Thousands of Muslims gathered at Toyota Park in Bridgeview this morning to pray. They were marking Eid, the end of Ramadan. But they also prayed for healing on the eve of 9/11.

Muslim men, women, and children took off work and school, and they filled the field, bowing in unison to prayer. Afterward, leaders from across Chicago's religious spectrum spoke to the media. They said they're alarmed by recent anti-Muslim rhetoric that was prompted by a proposed Islamic Center near Ground Zero.

More recently, tensions have flared over a Florida pastor's plan to burn the Koran on 9/11. "We hope this will not be the beginning of a cascade of events," said Dr. Zaher Sahloul of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago. Sahloul said the proposed desecration of the Islamic holy text would be an act of "spiritual terrorism." 
 
The local religious leaders said they're united against bigotry toward Muslims, and called for people across faiths to pray for healing this weekend.