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Sacramento California Celebrates Eid
Report By
Ras H. Siddiqui

Dec. 2002
Eid was celebrated with fervor at a number of locations in the Sacramento area
on Friday,  December 6, 2002. Especially noteworthy was the gathering at one
of the oldest continuous places of Muslim worship in the United States and the western hemisphere, the Downtown "V Street Mosque" whose foundations were laid by people from the Punjab and NWFP areas of Pakistan more than half a century ago. The mosque is to someday become a historical landmark as it represents a Muslim community with almost a century of presence in the Central Valley of California.
This year, in spite of the increase in the number of prayer venues in the area where Eid gatherings were held, the V Street mosque still had to hold its usual two sessions of prayers because close to two thousand worshippers and their families created too much of an overflow for a single session. And once again this year the Muslim Mosque Association needs to be commended for its organizational skills and the many volunteers who kept the between and after prayer activities going smoothly at this facility deserve our appreciation.
Imam Qasmi led the prayers and in his khutba address presented many words of wisdom to a community that is still reeling from the aftereffects of 9/11 and the real or perceived erosion seen in civil liberties of Muslims since. Imam Qasmi stressed the spiritual aspects of our faith with his usual zeal, but also pointed out that the freedom of religion that accompanies our lives here in the United States does not find a parallel in many other countries. He said that our religion is a personal journey and is not a clergy oriented faith where people can be forced to become good Muslims. He stressed the
need for tolerance and that Islam is a peaceful faith. After prayers, it was great to observe the colorful attire of our children and the festive atmosphere that prevailed in the Mosque courtyard and spilled out onto V Street. One could hear the Pashto, Urdu and Punjabi languages being spoken along with English at various corners of this gathering. Sindhi speakers were also spotted.  And since this was a American gathering of Muslims, a large amount of pizza was consumed along with other ethnic foods by the worshippers after prayers. Islamic literature was also readily available. Outsiders were welcome to observe the event. We even had the pleasure of having representatives from the local Sikh community present to wish us well on this festive day. This reporter next had the opportunity to visit another venue of Eid celebrations, that at the Robertson Community Center in Sacramento. African-American Muslims and those from many other parts of the world had gathered together to the fine entertainment provided. The Masjid Ibrahim appeared to be at the forefront of this effort and it was touching to see such a diverse gathering wishing us "Eid Mubark" with such enthusiasm.   These were just a couple of glimpses from Eid celebrations in Sacramento. The Muslim community here is growing at a steady rate and it comes as no surprise that Pakistan-Americans remain very much in the limelight at these celebrations. In closing, a very resounding "Eid Mubarak" from Sacramento, California to all of our readers.

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