On Wednesday, October 1* , the Muslim community in America will celebrate the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan with communal prayers around the country. (Ramadan is the month on the Muslim lunar calendar during which Muslims abstain from food, drink and other physical needs from the break of dawn to sunset.)
Hundreds of Muslim workers at two meat processing plants in Colorado and Nebraska walked off the job earlier this month, protesting their employer’s refusal to grant time to pray and break a 12-hour fast during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
Gerald Hankerson, Outreach Coordinator at CAIR-Chicago, will share a presentation with the Muslim Student Organization (MSO) and its guests at Roosevelt University. Hankerson’s talk will focus on Ramadan and fasting.
The University dining halls may not seem as full as before. Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting and purification, began Sept. 1 and will continue until Oct. 1.
The Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company has invited CAIR-Chicago’s Sensitivity Training Coordinator, Veronica Zapata, and Outreach Coordinator, Gerald Hankerson, to share a presentation on Islam and Ramadan with its employees.
Throughout Ramadan, Muslims break a 12-hour fast with an Iftar meal, which in many Muslim countries is a time to see extended family or to celebrate with close friends. But for taxi drivers who work shifts late into the night, the meal is more functional, a short break from the day’s work when there isn’t time to meet up with one’s family.
Call it Iftar-on-the-go, but definitely don’t call it fast food.
An agreement between Muslim workers and a Nebraska meatpacking plant reached late Tuesday could be an outline for an accord in a similar dispute in Greeley, people involved in the discussions say.
But a major hurdle in any agreement over Muslim prayer times will be whether 103 workers who were fired for walking away from the JBS Swift & Co. slaughterhouse in Greeley are rehired, said Christina Abraham, civil-rights director at the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Chicago.
A volunteer attorney with the Council on American-Islamic Relations said Wednesday thatCAIR has been negotiating for a year with JBS Swift & Co. about break times for Muslim workers.
CAIR-Chicago was recently recognized at the Mosque Foundation’s 13th Ramadan Community banquet in Bridgeview. The annual banquet celebrates the teamwork of individuals, organizations, and public officials who serve the Bridgeview community.
A civil-rights group holds little hope that a week-old dispute between Muslim workers and their bosses at a Greeley slaughterhouse will end quickly, based on the company’s recent response in a similar standoff in Nebraska.