Muslims celebrate the Eid at end of Ramadan under a cloud, but you can help ease tensions … here’s how:

If you’re among our many readers who appreciate the genius of America’s commitment to religious freedom and diversity, then today please wish our Muslim relatives, neighbors and co-workers a happy “Eid,” an Arabic word that simply means “celebration” or “festivity.” Here’s the sad irony as the month-long fast of Ramadan ends this year: Opponents of a Muslim house of worship near Ground Zero in New York City have whipped up dangerous levels of anti-Muslim fervor across the U.S.

Wednesday night, as the Eid ul-Fitr celebration was only about 12 hours away—with early-morning prayers on Thursday, then platters of sweet treats and family dinners followed by more prayers and celebration on Friday—the Washington Post reported some alarming news. According to a new Post-ABC News poll, “Two-thirds of those polled object to the prospective Cordoba House complex near the site of the former twin towers … The new results come alongside increasingly critical public views of Islam: 49 percent of Americans say they have generally unfavorable opinions of Islam, compared with 37 percent who say they have favorable ones. That’s the most negative split on the question in Post-ABC polls dating to October 2001.”

Since our founding in 2007, ReadTheSpirit has published hundreds of stories encouraging an appreciation of our religious diversity. America’s religious freedom, coupled with Americans’ intense interest in religious traditions, makes the U.S. almost unique in the world today.

ReadTheSpirit links on Islam to share:

Among our journalistic projects showcasing America’s religious diversity are: “Sharing Islam,” a website with stories about the positive contributions of Muslims in America; the book “Beauty of Ramadan,” which we encourage readers to purchase to understand more about Islam; and a recent American Journey story reminding readers of the importance of religious freedom in light of the Ground Zero contoversy.

ReadTheSpirit’s Home Office is in Michigan, where the large Arab-American community is comprised of both Christian and Muslim families of Arab descent. At the approach of “9/11” and the end of Ramadan, Arab Detroit published an opinion piece on this provocative convergence of dates. The story is written primarily for the news site’s largely Arab-American readership and provides a helpful insight into the sensitivity many of our neighbors are feeling right now.

Please, help ease tensions this week! We are encouraging our readers to email friends with helpful ReadTheSpirit links. Check out the three ReadTheSpirit links above—and share with friends some of these stories that provide an accurate and positive glimpse of Islam. To make this very easy, there’s an “Email Article” link below!

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