London’s Muslim population broke its fast after the holy month of Ramadan ended Wednesday with the coming of Eid.
The Islamic Centre of Southwest Ontario hosted a morning prayer followed by refreshments. Meanwhile, hundreds gathered at BMO Centre to celebrate the end of their fast.
Muslims honour Ramadan by not eating during daylight hours and doing good deeds like giving to the poor.
Tarek Sayid who visited BMO Centre to gather with friends and family tells AM980 it is also a time to celebrate differences.
“Because we are different, that doesn’t mean that we are enemies. We are different but we are also brothers. My brother could be different than me and everyone has to have the freedom to practice their religion.”
For thousands of Syrian refugees who came to Canada earlier this year, this will be their first Ramadan and Eid as Canadians.
Sayid says Canada has been very welcoming for the refugees and Muslims.
“Society is welcoming, government is welcoming, and we are living with our community which is also more than welcoming. That makes their lives very easy,” he said. “We are trying to get them involved and get integrated into the Canadian society.”
Still, some like Doha Alrawashdeh believe that Islam is misunderstood.
“Working in a cafe… you get people who look at you weird, look at you differently. It’s hard sometimes,” she says. “I feel like some people have a basic idea but not really from the proper sources. People think that it’s a religion of terrorism and a religion of oppression, but it really isn’t.”
Recently, suicide bombings in Baghdad and Medina have claimed the lives of more than 250 people.
Alrawashdeh says the attacks are troubling.
“It’s difficult seeing on the news what’s going on back home, especially in Medina. It’s the holiest site for our religion… so it’s more proof that the extremists don’t represent our religion in any way, shape, or form. No Muslim in their right mind would do what the people in Medina did.”
Eid celebrations traditionally continue for three days.