The COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus, public health crisis has put a halt on all large scale events and gatherings for the foreseeable future. As Muslims around the country begin to fast for the holy month of Ramadan, lawmakers have decided to come together in a virtual event to celebrate with their fellow Muslims amid the viral outbreak.
Muslim political leaders including Rep. Ilhan Omar, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, and Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison have joined together with the Muslim Advocates for a national virtual event for Iftar on May 12. The event will also feature remarks from Imam Khalid Latif, Imam W. Deen Shareef, artist Aisha Fukushima and more.
“The unprecedented convergence of a global pandemic and Ramadan highlights all the ways American Muslims are overcoming hardship to honor their faith and their communities,” said Muslim Advocates Executive Director Farhana Khera in a press statement. “I hope that The National Iftar can provide a valuable public service to help keep us all connected and inspired during Ramadan while also staying home.”
Iftar is the evening meal that Muslims end their daily fast with at sunset. They break their fast at the time of the call to prayer and is the second meal of the day that is followed by suhur, the meal Muslims eat at pre-dawn.
“Though the pandemic has forced us to rethink how we celebrate Ramadan, I hope we can start a new tradition with this virtual National Iftar,” said Honorary Co-Chair Rep. Rashida Tlaib. “This event is an opportunity for all Americans to join us as my fellow Muslim colleagues in Congress and I observe Ramadan. We will uplift the stories of American Muslims who are working to help their communities during this pandemic and share why it is important to continue to show up for others.”